Herefordshire is so beautiful that you will want your dog to enjoy it with you. As you ramble down country lanes, stroll beside the River Wye, sit in a pub beer garden in a picturesque village, admire the gardens of a country house, or tackle the challenging Offa’s Dyke path, you’ll feel the stress and worry of your everyday life fade into insignificance.
Much of Herefordshire is protected with the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the south, and the Malvern Hills AONB in the west. As well as containing some of Britain’s best scenery Herefordshire borders the Shropshire Hills AONB, the Forest of Dean and Symonds Yat, and the Brecon Beacons National Park. Herefordshire is within easy reach of Gloucester and Worcester which all means you have a huge variety of activities for you and your dog to enjoy.
Herefordshire Walking Routes
These days Herefordshire is a serene oasis, belying its past as one of the key areas where the Industrial Revolution took hold. History is everywhere from the remains of a prehistoric settlement, to a market town with black and white buildings lining a medieval square. There are several villages with extremely well preserved medieval houses in Herefordshire, including Weobly (pronounced “Webbley”), Pembridge and Erdisland. Follow the Weobly Heritage Trail, or walk around Pembridge at your leisure and admire the dog friendly Westonbury Water Mill Gardens.
Other routes to consider include the Wye Valley Walk, which stretches down the Welsh border and takes in hills and rivers; the Herefordshire Trail, which takes in five market towns and covers 150 miles of pristine countryside; and the world-famous Offa’s Dyke Path. There are also numerous shorter waymarked walks around the county.
Dog Friendly Attractions in Herefordshire
Herefordshire has a lot more to offer than fantastic walks. Local attractions where you can take dogs include Berrington Hall near Leominster which allows dogs in the Capability Brown designed parkland as long as they are on leads. With a lake, parklands, and accessible trails, it’s a fun family activity at any time of year. Nearby Wigmore Castle also lets you bring your dog.
Ross-on-Wye is a postcard-perfect town straddling the River Wye. It’s just the spot for a lazy weekend, and a convenient base if you’re staying for longer. Nearby, the romantic ruins of Goodrich Castle are managed by English Heritage who welcomes well behaved dogs on leads everywhere but the tearoom.
Venture into the delightfully named Golden Valley to Arthur’s Stone. This Neolithic grave is more of a place to have a breather and a picnic on a walk rather than a full day out, but certainly worth the effort for the views.
Shipley Gardens is in Holme Lacy, close to Hereford. People have lived on the site since Roman times. The current gardens have been a work in progress for four decades and are home to a diverse population of plants and birds. Peacocks and pheasants roam freely around the gardens so dogs must be kept on leads.
Dogs can explore more freely at The Weir where the gardens are carefully managed to look spectacular all year round. As an added bonus the National Trust operates a tea tent where you can buy locally made cake to eat alfresco. Other dog friendly sites in Herefordshire include Brockhampton Estate and Eastnor Castle.
Dog Friendly Restaurants, Pubs, and Cafes in Herefordshire
Since so much of Herefordshire is agricultural it’s no surprise that the local produce is simply amazing. Visit a local farmers’ market for the ingredients to prepare a truly mouth-watering meal back at the cottage, or try out one of the numerous dog friendly eateries.
If you’re staying near Ross-on-Wye you and your pooch will receive a warm welcome at The Moody Cow. The atmosphere is relaxed and the portions are generous – just what you need after a day’s exploring on foot. The New Harp Inn in Hoarwithy is also happy to feed owners who arrive with their four legged friends.
Getting to Herefordshire
Herefordshire is well served by main roads and public transport making it the ideal choice for a country break. There are major train stations in Hereford, Ledbury, Leominster and Colwall for four legged companions who travel well by train and Hereford is equidistant from London and Manchester, being around 135 miles from each; and less than a 90 minute drive from Birmingham and Cardiff. Easily accessible to many dog owners!
While there is no “best” place to enjoy a self-catering holiday in Herefordshire you’ll find basing yourself near Hereford, Leominster, or Hay-on-Wye gives you good access to a wide choice of walks, shops, restaurants, and attractions. There is also an impressive concentration of quality dog-friendly holiday cottages in these areas.
You and your dog will fall in love with Herefordshire with its friendly locals, stunning scenery, delicious food and drink, and of course, the endless walking opportunities. Its central location makes hassle-free Herefordshire a good choice for a break at any time of the year.