MALVERN'S heritage as a spa town and centre for the water cure will be celebrated over the May Day bank

holiday weekend.

Wells and springs across the town and the hills will be decorated, a health fair will be held at Rose Bank Gardens and there will be all kinds of watery fun in Priory Park.

The festival starts on Friday, April 28, with the well-dressing.

Kirsty Johnson of the well-dressing committee said: "This year we have got a record 55 wells being dressed by many different community groups and individuals. The theme is the Tree of Life and it’s up to the dressers to interpret the theme.

"The well-dressing attracts a lot of interest from local people and visitors, and this year will be the biggest event yet."

There will be daily minibus tours of the wells from Saturday to Monday.

On Saturday between 11am and 5pm, Rose Bank Gardens is the venue for a health and wellbeing fair, with a range of activities and demonstrations on offer. Experts will be on hand with advice on nutrition and all aspects of keeping healthy including meditation, acupuncture, massage, yoga, zumba and more.

And between 10am and 5pm, the May Day arts and food market will be held at Abbey Road.

The long weekend culminates on Bank Holiday Monday with the Big Splash at Priory Park.

One of the most eye-catching attractions on the day will be a metal whale which doubles as a mini-theatre venue.

The whale, run by Coventry-based theatre company Talking Birds, will treat visitors 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 zorbing, test their water-divining skills, and try out mineral waters with Simon Clark.

The festival is jointly organised by Malvern Hills District Council, Malvern Town Council, Freedom Leisure and Malvern Spa Association.

Simon Smith, the district council's economic development manager, 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.”