This AONB covers the range of Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a small part of Gloucestershire. In total, they cover 105 km2 and are formed of some of the oldest rocks in England, mostly hard igneous and metamorphic rock which have resisted erosion better than surrounding landscapes. The hardness of the rock is also responsible for the quality of the famous Malvern spring water that emerges from the hills. The area supports wide areas of grassland and heath at higher elevations, as well as mixed woodland and ancient woodland in the lower hills and valleys.
The Hills are also designated as a Special Site of Scientific Interest and key species in the area include the Brown Fritillary Butterfly, Great Crested Newt, Adder, Skylark and Dormouse.
There are around 1.25 million visitors to the AONB every year.
A legal freedom to walk anywhere in the Malverns was passed in 1884 and the Victorians constructed paths throughout the area. The Worcestershire Way is a long-distance trail which runs through the Malvern Hills, although the stone markers which signpost the path can be difficult to find. A host of other activities are available, including mountain biking, horse riding, orienteering, hang-gliding, fishing and climbing.
As well as motorway access close by, there are four railway stations inside or close to the AONB boundary and local bus services connect Malvern with surround areas.
The Malvern Hills are part of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark, one of only seven European geoparks in the UK. A geopark is one which is internationally recognized for its unique or important geology.