Herefordshire’s Towns and City
As Herefordshire is located in a rural setting close to the borders of Wales and Gloucestershire, much of the landscape is taken over by farmland, unspoilt countryside, and parts of the Malvern Hills and Wye Valley. While there are many quiet villages, there are also a collection of small towns, and the city of Hereford.
Just an hour from Birmingham Airport, and 3 hours via high speed train to London, Hereford is ideal for resident commuters and tourists alike. Its attractions include regular craft and livestock markets and a range of independent shops on Church Street. The area is also well known for cider making, and although the biggest producer, Bulmer’s, is closed to visitors, there is a Cider Museum in Hereford, and many other producers in the area. It’s also a historical town, and includes Belmont Abbey, and Hereford Cathedral within its boundaries. The cathedral buildings are also home to the famous ‘chained library’, which includes important medieval manuscripts, and the Mappa Mundi, a unique medieval map of the world.
Moving away from the city, there are the market towns of Ledbury and Ross-On-Wye. Ledbury’s history comes alive in its architecture, which includes the church it grew up around, and the ‘black and white’ buildings of Ledbury Park and The Market House in the high street. Ross-On-Wye also has all the elements of a traditional market town, along with traditional country hotels displaying Georgian architecture, and modern facilities. This includes the Ross-On-Wye Golf Club, and the Premier Inn chain hotel close to the motorway. It’s also a great place to explore outdoors, with its close proximity to the River Wye, Forest of Dean and all their attractions.
Also worth a visit is the 7th century market town of Leominster, which lays close to the Anglo-Welsh border in Offas Dyke country. This town houses a variety of modern shops, tea rooms, pubs, and businesses in traditional market buildings and old coach houses. It’s a town that played its part in the wool trade, and has a town museum and folk museum which displays its history. The town is also big on local produce, with some shops stocking Herefordshire cheese, cider, and wine.
If sampling local culture is more your thing, then pay a visit to Bromyard. The town has a lively year round event schedule, the Hop Pocket Craft Centre, and Conquest Theatre. Close to the Cotswolds and Malvern Spa, it also actively promotes local routes for walkers. The market town of Kington is also great for outdoor pursuits, with facilities for cricket, riding, and golf, attracting visitors. It’s also great for families, with the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre proving popular.
Visit any of these towns and cities and you’ll likely get the true Herefordshire experience. Hereford and the other towns mentioned here serve up a mix of traditional architecture, interesting shopping experiences, lively events, and rural pursuits. It’s a county with a rich built and natural history, that is proudly preserved for all to enjoy.