Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Herefordshire

"Herefordshire, an inland Co. on the SE. border of Wales, and bounded N. by Shropshire and Worcestershire, E. by Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, S. by Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, and W. by Monmouthshire, Radnorshire, mid Brecknockshire; greatest length N. and S. 38 miles, greatest breadth E. and W. 35 miles; 532,918 acres, population 121,062. The Co. is almost circular in form, and its surface shows a series of quiet and beautiful undulations. It is watered by the Wye, Lugg, Monnow, Arrow, and Frome, also the Teme, which flows on the NE. boundary. All these streams are well stocked with fish. Of late agriculture has been greatly improved in the Co. the soil is peculiarly suitable for the growth of timber, which is very abundant. The pear and apple orchards of Herefordshire are famous; while the luxuriant meadow-land affords pasture for a well-known breed of oxen. Marl and clay form the chief part of the soil; the subsoil is mostly limestone. There are no valuable minerals, and the manufactures are insignificant." [Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]

Classic unspoilt English countryside, very restorative for quiet breaks, with appealing small towns, lovely villages, great gardens The main appeal here is that there's so much unspoilt countryside, and that settlements and buildings are so unchanging. So it's very good for quiet adult holidays. It has an exceptional number of fine gardens, and beautiful villages, with an interesting variety from the classic black-and-white timbering that is the area's hallmark to the Cotswold stonework around Broadway.

For scenery, the Malvern Hills stand out, though as you head W the Herefordshire countryside becomes almost bewitchingly untouched - not at all showy, but the sort of peaceful world that elsewhere tends to survive only in people's memories. Not many tourists or country-cottages have penetrated that part of the area, even at the height of summer, yet there's an abundance of art galleries and bookshops (Hay on Wye, that town-sized bookshop, is an attractive drive just over the Welsh border), and excellent natural cooking using local produce. Hereford is engaging and relaxing, with plenty of varied attractions - the cathedral has a splendid display of its great treasures. Worcester is a much busier city, but has interesting finds among its more workaday bustle - the Commandery is exceptional. Ledbury, Broadway, Great Malvern and Evesham are all attractive, with several appealing places to visit. Kington, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye are also agreeable to wander around. Eastnor Castle, Berrington Hall at Ashton, Lower Brockhampton House at Brockhampton, Great Witley with its extraordinary ruin and splendid church, Croft Castle, Hanbury Hall (with several other places to visit nearby), Goodrich Castle and the nearby farm park, Dinmore Manor and the buildings museum at Bromsgrove make pleasant outings, and there are several enjoyable cider farms. There's little in the W to entertain children: the very friendly farm park at Kington stands out. Another enjoyable farm attraction is the pig centre at Linley Green, and many children enjoy the Domestic Fowl Trust nr Evesham. Bewdley in the E has quite a lot of family appeal - particularly the safari park and the terminus for Britain's most lively steam railway. Elsewhere there are not many family attractions, apart from farm centres - the pig centre at Linley Green is an enjoyable newcomer. The orchards make blossom time (usually April through early May) and harvest time (September) attractive: local tourist board trails make it easy to see the best of this, especially around the River Avon in the Vale of Evesham - rich farmland and orchard country, full of farm shops. Asparagus fanatics have a bonus in May, when there is an abundance of fresh local asparagus. In winter big log fires and generous central heating are the rule - people here really seem to appreciate their warmth.

Barry Guppy

Hergest Mill Hergest Road
Herefordshire England

Weobley Arts Centre

The Old Corner House Broad St
Herefordshire England