There are many reasons to visit Herefordshire, but here are the top 10.
Herefordshire loves a festival, and in the summer months there’s something for everyone, including the country’s best-known literary festival in Hay-on-Wye, the largest poetry festival in the UK in Ledbury and music festivals celebrating everything from dance music (Nozstock) and classical music (Presteigne) to folk (Bromyard) and even a boutique festival (El Dorado).
Myths, legends and folklore
Isolated and remote, Herefordshire offers ample opportunity to imagine a past populated with witches and replete with superstition. Authors have found an endless source of inspiration in the county’s mystical past – from Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay to Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series of novels, the folklore, much of it collected in the early 20th century by Ella Leather, has sparked many a plot…
Of all its glories, the landscape comes out top – the county has two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty within its borders – The Wye Valley AONB, home to a quarter of the country’s horseshoe bats! To the north of the county, hugging the Worcestershire border is The Malvern Hills AONB, where you’ll find nature reserves and historic and cultural sites, as well as walking and cycling routes.
‘Unrivalled in England’ – the verdict of architectural historian Alec Clifton Taylor on the string of stunning black-and-white timbered and half-timbered villages north of Hereford. Visit blackandwhitetrail.org for a map of this interesting 40-mile trail and discover some of the country’s most picturesque, must-see villages.
The River Wye
The fifth longest river in the UK, this magisterial river forms the border between England and Wales for much of its course from Wales to the Severn Estuary. Along the way it offers ample opportunity for a bit of Mr Toad’s ‘messing about in boats’ (in canoes or kayaks) or travelling its length on foot – following the Wye Valley Way from Plynlimon to Chepstow.
This is cider (and perry) country, and a visit in May will leave you in no doubt of that as you meander through a landscape filled with a sea of apple blossom. From large-scale producers to small, award-winning artisan cider makers, it’s no surprise that the county’s logo features an apple.
The visitor to Herefordshire has a wealth of choice for places to stay – from small intimate romantic hideaways for two to party houses, and from luxurious yurts to a fabulously converted horsebox, there’s somewhere for any mood or occasion.
Anyone searching for the perfect spot to tie the knot will inevitably come across the many beautiful venues available in Herefordshire – from castles to country house hotels – perfect for a stunning wedding album.
Slow it down
The unspoiled landscape, the slower pace of life, the extraordinary food and drink all present the stressed visitor with an unrivalled opportunity to take it down a notch, savour some of the simpler pleasures of life and recharge the batteries.
Herefordshire boasts some of the finest food and drink in the country, from salad leaves heading to Michelin-starred restaurants to spirits gracing all the finest bars, the county is home to a wealth of foodie entrepreneurs. Little wonder there are regular food fairs and festivals – from Hereford to Shobdon to Kington to Yarkhill.
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