Worcestershire is a non-metropolitan county, established in antiquity, located in the West Midlands region of central England. In 1974 it was merged with the neighbouring county of Herefordshire to form the county of Hereford and Worcester; which was divided in 1998, re-establishing Worcestershire once more as an independent entity. Following the 1998 reform the crest of the Malvern Hills forms the east–west border between the two counties, with the exception of the parish of West Malvern in Worcestershire.
The county borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, and Gloucestershire. To the west, the county is bordered by the Malvern Hills, and the spa town of Malvern. The southern part of the county is bordered by Gloucestershire and the northern edge of the Cotswolds, and to the east is Warwickshire. There are two major rivers flowing through the county, the Severn and the Avon.
The cathedral city of Worcester is the largest settlement and administrative seat of the county, which includes the principal settlements of Bromsgrove, Stourport-on-Severn, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern, and the largest town, Redditch, and a number of smaller towns such as Pershore, Tenbury Wells, and Upton upon Severn. The northern part of the county includes the beginnings of the vast urban sprawl of the industrial West Midlands agglomeration, while the remainder and the south of the county is largely rural.