Herefordshire is a historic English district in the West Midlands that borders the counties of Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the south-east, and the Welsh protected counties of Gwent to the south-west and Powys to the west. The province is well known for its varied fruit production, and the unique Hereford breed of cow. Largely a farming county, the market town is Hereford, which is around three hours from London by bus.
Towns in Herefordshire
Herefordshire is the least-populated county in England, being comprised mainly of villages and hamlets, as well as wide expanses of farm and agricultural land.
The name “Hereford” is said to originate from the Anglo-Saxon “here”, an armed force or regiment, and the “ford”, a spot for crossing a river. On the off chance that this is the birthplace it probably means that Hereford was a place where armed units forded or crossed the River Wye.
Modern-day Hereford boasts great attractions including Hereford Cider Museum, Kentchurch Court, and Chase Distillery.
Ledbury is a lovely old town which has a large number of timber-framed structures, specifically along the main roads – Church Lane and High Street. One of its most extraordinary and well-preserved is the Market House, built in 1617, located in the town center proper. Other important buildings include the church of St. Michael and All Angels, the Painted Room which has perfectly preserved, beautiful sixteenth-century frescoes, Eastnor Castle and not to are forgotten – the stunning St. Katherine’s Hospital site.
Established around 1220, this is a very rare surviving example of a full hospital complex, with perfect lobby, chapel, almshouses and a stunning old timber-framed barn.
Hailed by many as The Jewel in the Crown of the “Black and White Village Trail”, Pembridge has a history that stretches back no less than eight hundred years and like Ledbury, is known for its numerous timber-framed structures.
Modern-day Pembridge is small, having a populace of around 1,000 which shares three pubs and restaurants, an art gallery, a beautiful old village shop which was erected as the original town parsonage, and a church. Opened in 1773, the shop closed its doors in Dec 2010 but has now been reopened as a cozy tea room and shop.
Parks and Gardens
Herefordshire is largely green, with more villages and hamlets than any other county in England, allowing in turn for the rapid spread of country manor houses and estates.
Become acquainted with the history of Croft Castle inside the main house with a morning tour or afternoon talk and find something unique with our below stairs tours. Wander along the re-instated tracks and paths from as early as 1823 inside the walled garden, feed the chickens or wander around the borders in and around the terraced gardens and enjoy the peacefulness and serenity of the church garden.
Go for a relaxing walk around Croft Ambrey – the Iron Age Hill Fort or wind gently through the famed fish pool valley. Croft Castle is a must-see for garden lovers visiting Herefordshire.
Brobury House Gardens
Brobury House Gardens were initially laid out in the 1880s when the house was erected. The setting, on the banks of the River Wye by Bredwardine Bridge, was seen as the ideal site for a beautiful, terraced Victorian garden.
The present estate incumbents and owners, Keith and Pru Cartwright have been at Brobury since 2001 and have decided to implement a system of restoration in conjunction with their enclosure planner Peter Antonius as well as being involved in the heavy development of the gardens.
Wilton Castle and Gardens
The wonderfully romantic old remnants of a restored castle on the banks of the River Wye makes the ideal backdrop for gardens which include stunning herbaceous borders, wonderful beds of sweetly scented traditional English roses, gorgeous gravel gardens and delicate shrubberies.
The intricately arranged gardens are encompassed by a dry moat which leads down to the river Wye which has ducks, swans, and kingfishers; even elusive otters have been spotted.
Attractions and Places to See
Herefordshire has a raft of tourist attractions, owing to the fact that it is mainly an outdoor farming community, famed for its ciders and fruit.
Guests to the astounding Flanesford Priory, resting beneath the acclaimed Goodrich Castle, are afforded an authentic welcome to a special and historic building set in a wonderful, peaceful area in the Heart of the tranquil Wye Valley.
It is the ultimate way to escape the anxiety of modern-day, stressful life yet at the same time be in reach of recreational exercises, photographic opportunities and the opportunity to investigate wonderful old countryside either while strolling through quiet sunny lanes, or while taking a relaxing drive.
Hampton Court Castle
Hampton Court Castle, Gardens, and Parkland are to be found in the lovely Herefordshire countryside between Hereford and Leominster. The Hampton Court Estate has a rich and captivating history going all the way back to the Fifteenth Century.
The estate was initially formed by the consolidating of the estates of Hampton Richard and Hampton Mapper. Modern-day Hampton Court has a wonderful tour of the castle, gorgeous old walled gardens and is open year round.
Kentchurch Court is hailed as one of the most important ancestral homes in England. It is also the family home of the Scudamores, a prominent family in Herefordshire. Kentchurch Court is part of a more extensive estate of approximately 5,000 acres of land.
It is predominantly a family home, run by Jan Lucas-Scudamore and her family, who are the current incumbents from a long line of Scudamores that have lived in this beautiful old house. There are a variety of gardens to see including a Rhododendron Wood, walled garden, vegetable garden, and the beautiful deer park.
Things to Do
Herefordshire has a wonderful variety of things to do for kids and adults alike.
Llama Trekking at Old King Street Farm
Only very recently introduced to the UK, these beautiful, curious and tender creatures will actually enjoy going with you on a stroll through the wonderful south Herefordshire field.
You will help catch and prepare your llama, before going on an enjoyable walk through fields and farmland, and beyond into the beautiful Herefordshire countryside.
A whole host of extremely interesting exhibits allows visitors to delve into the trades of the town and the nearby Wye Forest. Investigate the old metal foundry and dare to enter the town prisons. See exhibitions of how to make baskets, blocks, ropes, and pipes using the original methods.
View tradespeople at work, or loosen up and unwind in the dazzling gardens and walk around the bordering Jubilee Gardens with a wildlife pond.
The Amazing Hedge Puzzle
Designed and planted more than twenty years ago by Lindsay and Edward Heyes, the fun of the “aMazing Hedge Puzzle” has turned it into Herefordshire’s most popular private tourist destination. People from everywhere throughout the world have loved finding out about mazes and their construction throughout the years.
By creating your own mazes you too can follow in the strides of these unsung intellectual heroes of history. Go to the aMazing Hedge Puzzle and create your own maze today!
Afternoon Tea Ideas in Herefordshire
Herefordshire is the most rural county in England, with fewer people per square mile than anywhere else. This doesn’t stop its residents enjoying a spot of afternoon tea, however!
Holme Lacy House, Holm Lacy
This magical old mansion finished in 1674, rests sleepily in the Wye Valley only 20 minutes away from Ross-on-Wye and near the beautiful cathedral city of Hereford. A lot of Holme Lacy’s fine features originate from the 1600s, for example, the wonderful ceilings, the stunning, draped staterooms and the central grand staircase.
On the menu in this stately mansion is a large selection of treats including “a variety of Princess cut sandwiches made with fresh farmhouse white, granary, wholemeal and all-butter brioche bread all filled with a traditional mix of fillings favored for afternoon tea”.
The Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye
The Chase Hotel is a beautiful Georgian manor house set in 11 acres of stunning grounds close to the Forest of Dean. The lovely old market town of Ross-on-Wye, with its historic and extremely interesting sites, is only a few minutes’ walks from the main building.
With booking a must, the menu is no disappointment with delicious scones, freshly made tarts, cakes, sandwiches and fresh tea and coffee available all year round.
The Priory Hotel, Nr Hereford
The Priory Hotel rests sleepily in the Herefordshire Countryside set in three acres of land, yet just three miles north of the city of Hereford proper. This old rectory house dates back to the mid-seventeenth century with later Victorian developments.
The modern building has a feel of a private home where there’s a chance to unwind and be waited on without any need to hurry or make a fuss by attentive and welcoming serving staff. The Hathaway Restaurant in the building proper serves delicious vintage afternoon tea with all the trimmings including scones, preserves, sandwiches and wonderful blends of fresh tea.
Wedding Venues in Herefordshire
Herefordshire’s beautiful countryside has been an attractor for builders of manor houses and estates for hundreds of years, making it a premier destination for people seeking to marry.
Brinsop Court Manor House
Brinsop Court Manor House, set in the heart of a beautiful and well tended eight hundred acre estate offers a perfect background for a very memorable wedding. A couple of miles north of Hereford,
the stunningly preserved moated medieval manor house is absolutely brimming with a character with open chimneys, an oak-paneled library, decadent banqueting lobby and lovely extensive rooms and lounges.
The Town Hall, Manchester
Burton Court is a historic manor house with a wonderful and varied history. This beautiful old Grade II listed building lends itself splendidly for weddings as we offer so much space both inside and outside and we are totally flexible about how you would like your wedding to be run.
The house was part of many different periods of structural engineering including Medieval, Regency and Victorian, with the main attraction being the fourteenth Century Great Hall, the finest in the West Midlands, which offers a genuine baronial feel for all celebrations.
Campsites / Caravans:
Herefordshire is a wide open expanse of greenery and forest land and is perfect for caravan owners and campers alike to explore and lose themselves.
Caravan Club Sites
• Moorhampton Caravan Park, The Old Station, Station Rd, Moorhampton, Hereford
• Lucksall Caravan and Camp Site, Mordiford, Hereford
• Trippenkennett Farm Certificated Site, Three Ashes, Hereford
• Marsh House Farm Certificated Site, Wellington, Hereford
• Midway Holiday Park, Hill Barn Bungalow, Aymestrey, Leominster
• Cuckoos Corner Camp Site, Moreton On Lugg, Hereford