Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire is amongst the most historic towns in the Midlands. Situated in the north of the county to the immediate north-west of the city of Worcester, Droitwich Spa is surrounded by attractive villages such as Ombersley, Oddingley, and Hanbury. To the east is the large town of Redditch, and to the north lie the towns of Bromsgrove and Kidderminster, and beyond them, the southern suburbs of Birmingham.
Droitwich Spa provides its residents with excellent transport links to the surrounding towns and cities. The railway station is located in the centre of the town – from here it a journey of only 10 minutes to the centre of Worcester and the Foregate Street station, 12 minutes to Kidderminster, and just over 20 minutes’ journey to Stourbridge. Commuters or shoppers heading to the centre of Birmingham will find trains running on a frequent basis and reaching Birmingham within 40 minutes.
The M5 runs just to the east of Droitwich Spa and can be joined after a few minutes’ drive to the north at junction 5. From the town it is also easy to follow the A roads to popular holiday destinations Ludlow, the Wyre Forest and the Forest of Dean, and to the Brecon Beacons National Park.
The origins of Droitwich Spa go all the way back to the time of the Roman occupation of Britain. To the Romans the town was known as Salinae, a reference to the underground reservoirs of brine that exist at Droitwich. The brine reservoirs and the potential for the production of rock salt when the brine was boiled was the basis of the local economy through the Middle Ages. Three pits were created through which the brine could be extracted and then processed – Upwich, Netherwich, and Middlewich.
In the 19th century the town grew significantly and became known as a spa resort – it was then that the Spa appellation was added to the name of the town. The Victorians came to Droitwich Spa to bathe in the brine, which was believed to relieve muscle pain and other complaints. John Corbett, the MP for Droitwich at this time, took over the salt works and introduced industrial production. He was also a great philanthropist and many buildings in modern-day Droitwich were built by him for his workers. Chateau Impney, just outside the centre of the town, an extravagant French-style house, was built by Corbett for his French-Irish wife.
In the centre of the town much of the traditional High Street remains around Victoria Square. A farmers’ market is held here each month. Leading chain stores can be found in the St Andrew’s Square Shopping Centre. Droitwich is home to a leisure centre, lido, cricket and rugby clubs, and an archery club.
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