Category: Herefordshire

Hassle-free Herefordshire – Not Just A Weekend Retreat

Explore the pretty Black & White Villages

Explore the Black & White Villages

Balancing on the border between England and Wales, Herefordshire is a gorgeous county crammed with bucolic charm. It’s hard to find a prettier place to visit especially when you consider how easy it is to reach either by car or train.

A popular destination for weekend breaks, Herefordshire’s distinctive and diverse landscape provides an exciting playground for a great range of outdoor activities. From rock climbing to canoeing and fishing to walking, there are endless opportunities, including those that should satisfy the hungriest of adrenaline junkies.

Spend your days exploring the picturesque ‘Black and White’ villages the area is famed for, or wandering around ancient market towns. Enjoy the very best of the county from field to fork with vineyards and cider producers to visit, and restaurants and pubs serving tantalising local produce – what better place to sample the world famous Herefordshire Beef than on home soil!

Hopefully we have whet your appetite to visit Herefordshire, so now let us tell you a little more about the county and the many reasons to visit.


All roads lead to Hereford, the county’s capital city that sits on the banks of the River Wye. Its cathedral and market have put it at the heart of rural life in this area for centuries and it’s still buzzing today. You’ll have no trouble filling your days with the number of shops, cafes, and restaurants, along with museums where you can learn about everything from cider making (and  tasting!) to the history of the water you drink. Make sure you leave a good few hours to enjoy Hereford Cathedral. Nearly 1,000 years of history resides within its walls including the famous Mappi Mundi (a 13th century map and the oldest medieval map in existence) and the tomb of Saint Ethelbert the King to whom the cathedral is dedicated. Herefordshire is known for its festivals and what finer place to host the oldest music festival in Europe, than in Hereford’s magnificent cathedral every three years.

North Herefordshire

North of Hereford you’ll find Leominster and Kingston. The former is in the middle of the Herefordshire Marches and an ancient stopping off point for travellers making their way between Shropshire and Ludlow. Leominster is renowned for its black and white buildings dating back nearly 500 years. The Black and White Trail, a 40-mile circular route, is the best way to see some of England’s most charming villages and towns, including Kington. Whether you explore the route by car or bike, the trail showcases some of the country’s finest timbered buildings and takes you on a journey through spectacular countryside with traditional pubs and tea rooms along the way.

At the very north of Herefordshire is Mortimer Country. You won’t find a better example of a quintessentially English landscape than these meadows, woodlands and rolling farmland. It’s hard to imagine tiring of such beauty but if you want to stretch your walking legs even further, it’s only a few miles to Radnor Hills in Wales and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Many walkers come to trek the 30-mile Mortimer Trail which winds its way around the north of the county taking in historical spots like Hampton Court Castle and Gardens where the Battle of Mortimer Cross was fought in February 1461.

West Herefordshire

The border town of Hay-on-Wye is famous worldwide for the annual Hay Festival which has been running for nearly 30 years. It’s a fantastic book town and a great place to lose hours browsing the many independent book shops and boutiques with plenty of places for lunch. Offa’s Dyke Path runs nearby offering you ample opportunity to walk through pristine countryside and pretty towns and villages. A few miles away is an area known as the Golden Valley for its fertile soil. Stop by the friendly town of Bakehouse, picnic by the Neolithic burial chamber known as Arthur’s Stone, and take time to visit St Margarets and Abbey Dore.

Ross on Wye and Symonds Yat

The market town of Ross sits on the banks of the Wye River and has its roots firmly in tourism being hailed as its birthplace. Its skyline has been dominated by the spire of St Mary’s for more than 700 years. Stroll alongside the river or streets lined with quirky shops and cafes; source your local produce at the twice weekly market on a Saturday and Thursday or simply sit back and soak up the beauty of the river from Prospect Gardens alongside the church. If stunning views and outdoor activities are your thing, a trip to Symonds Yat at the Forest of Dean is a must. The incredible views over the River Wye as it carves its way through the wooded gorge make any journey worth while. And if you are the sort of person who likes to be active on holiday, there are miles of forest trails for walkers and cyclists, along with great opportunities for those who enjoy climbing, kayaking and canoeing, from a gentle paddle to the thrill of the rapids. The scenery in the Wye Valley is astounding whether you view it on foot, mountain bike, or horseback.

East Herefordshire

In the east of Herefordshire are the towns of Bromyard and Ledbury. Bromyard hosts a massive festival celebrating all things local and vintage over the first weekend in July. Bromyard Downs is rumoured to have inspired Tolkien to write The Hobbit while the Malvern Hills, another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are close by. In short, there is no end of amazing views and trails to take you to them.

When you’ve worked up an appetite walking, cycling, or canoeing along the River Wye, stop off at one of the regions incredible country pubs and enjoy locally produced Herefordshire Beef, lamb, cider and even Britain’s first vodka. Farm shops and weekly farmers’ markets abound if you want to pick up ingredients to cook a delicious meal back at the cottage or simply take home tasty souvenirs.

Hereford is a treasure of unspoiled English countryside with plenty to occupy all (including our four legged friends!). Come and discover it for yourself.


A birds eye view from Symonds Yat viewpoint

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