Worcester is situated some 17 miles (27 km) southwest of the southern suburbs of Birmingham and 23 miles (37 km) north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 100,000 people. The River Severn runs through the middle of the city, overlooked by the 12th-century Worcester Cathedral. Worcester was the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain and, for much of his life, the composer Sir Edward Elgar. It houses the Lea & Perrins factory where the traditional Worcestershire Sauce is made, and is home to one of the UK's fastest growing universities, the University of Worcester.
There are three main parks in Worcester, Cripplegate Park, Gheluvelt Park and Fort Royal Park, the latter being on one of the battles sites of the English Civil War. In addition, there is a large open area known as Pitchcroft to the North of the city centre on the east bank of the River Severn, which, apart from those days when it is being used for horse racing, is a public space.
There are also two large woodlands in the city, Perry Wood, at twelve hectares, and Nunnery Wood, covering twenty-one hectares. Perry Wood is often said to be the place where Oliver Cromwell met and made a pact with the devil. Nunnery Wood is an integral part of the adjacent and popular Worcester Woods Country Park, itself next door to County Hall on the east side of the city.
Every three years Worcester becomes home to the Three Choirs Festival, which dates from the 18th century and is credited with being the oldest music festival in the British Isles. The location of the festival rotates each year between the Cathedral Cities of the Three Counties, Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester.
The Worcester Festival was established in 2003. Held in August, the festival consists of a variety of music, theatre, cinema and workshops, as well as the already established Beer Festival, which runs as an event within the Worcester Festival. The festival ends with a spectacular firework display on the banks of the River Severn on the Monday of the August bank holiday.
The M5 Motorway runs north-south immediately to the east of the City, and is accessed by Junction 6 (Worcester North) and Junction 7 (Worcester South). This makes the city easily accessible by car to most parts of the country, including London which is only 120 miles (190 km) away (via the M5, M42 and M40).
There are two park and ride sites serving Worcester, one located off the A38 in the Perdiswell area of the city and the other located at Worcester Rugby Football Club's Sixways Stadium next to junction 6 of the M5 motorway.
Worcester has two railway stations, Worcester Foregate Street and Worcester Shrub Hill.
Worcester's nearest major airport is Birmingham International which is accessible by road and rail.