Water extravaganza returns to Malvern

A giant whale will be invading Malvern’s Priory Park as the town’s watery extravaganza returns for the second year running.


The aluminium structure, which doubles as a mini-theatre venue, is coming to town on what is being dubbed Big Splash Monday, May 1 as part of the Malvern Well Dressing and Water Festival 2017.


The Whale is about the height of an elephant and is run by Coventry based theatre company Talking Birds. Visitors will enter through the mouth of the whale where they will then find themselves inside a submarine. They will then be treated to a short performance by submariner Jonah.


The day’s events run between 10am and 5pm and also include the chance for people to make their own watery music, try out water zorbing, test their water divining skills, attend the well dressing awards ceremony and see if they can taste their Buxton from their Volvic with water sommelier Simon Clark, and much more.


The festival starts on Friday, 28 April with the dressing and blessing of 55 wells throughout the Malverns by the Malvern Spa Association. This year’s theme is Tree of Life and there will be daily minibus tours of the wells from Saturday to Bank Holiday Monday.


Then on Saturday, 29 April between 11am and 5pm there will be a health and wellbeing fair held in Rose Bank Gardens. A range of activities and demonstrations will be on offer, while experts will be on hand to offer advice on nutrition and all aspects of keeping healthy including meditation, acupuncture, massage, yoga, Zumba and more.


There will also be the May Day Arts and Food Market on Abbey Road between 10am and 5pm. On Sunday, 30 April, there will be a procession of donkeys through the town starting from 12noon outside the Abbey Hotel. The event celebrates the key role donkeys played in Malvern’s heyday as a Victorian spa town and resort by carrying people up to take waters at the various healing springs.


The festival was held for the first time last year and is jointly organised by Malvern Hills District Council, Malvern Town Council, Freedom Leisure and The Malvern Spa Association. Further details are available at or via Malvern Tourist Information Centre.


Simon Smith, Economic Development Manager at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “Together with our partners we’re delighted to be bringing the well dressing and water festival back this year. It promises to be a fantastic weekend and we hope people will have a whale of a time.”