What it's like
Herefordshire has a traditional quality about it. From the gently rolling hills and fields in its east, perfect for growing Cider apples and Perry, through to the picturesque chocolate box Black and White villages in the west.
The county is cocooned by hills. In the east, the spring-water-full Malvern Hills now provide the boundary between Herefordshire and its once counterpart, Worcestershire, divorced since 1998. The views along the 9-mile ridge stretch across both counties.
The English/Welsh border (and the Offa’s Dyke National Trail) run along the Black Mountain ridge, separating the Brecon Beacons National Park from Narnia author, C.S Lewis’ favourite spot in England, the Golden Valley. Follow in the footsteps of the Morimond Monks who established Dore Abbey in the valley and look out for the recently re-introduced Water Vole.
Kington offers excellent walking opportunities, particularly along Hergest Ridge. Further north, Mortimer Forest, the Wigmore Rolls, Bircher Common and Shobdon Hill, all present interesting routes through the turbulent history of the English/Welsh borders, including the Iron Age Hill fort at Croft Ambrey and the site of the bloody Battle of Mortimer’s Cross.
The jewel in Herefordshire’s crown though is the Wye Valley, snaking its way through the south-western region from the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye in the west to Ross-on-Wye in the south, slipping sedately through some of the county’s most rural areas, as well as its county town too. The Wye Valley walk is an excellent introduction to the county.
- Black & White Villages There’s a good 40-mile drive around North Herefordshire’s Black & White villages, however an excellent walk can be created by linking the village of Shobdon, Pembridge and Eardisland, providing a gentle walk along the River Arrow and idyllic timber framed cottages on route.
- Dorstone Nestling in the Golden Valley, climb out of Dorstone to Arthur’s Seat, Herefordshire’s oldest man-made structure, a Neolithic burial chamber, and then walk to Merbach Hill with outstanding views over the Wye Valley.
- Mordiford Stroll along the banks where Elgar once fished. A great 5-mile circuit linking the River Wye with the River Lugg at Hampton Bishop offers a perfect summer’s stroll, and a good pub (the Bunch of Carrots) for some leisurely refreshments.
Must see and do
- Mortimer Trail Beginning just over the border in Ludlow, this 30-mile, 2-day trail cuts across Herefordshire’s northern hills to the border town of Kington.
- Herefordshire Cider Trail Starting from the Cider Museum in Hereford, this drive encircles the whole county stopping off at producers and retailers. Best do this with someone else driving! www.ciderroute.co.uk
- Symond’s Yat Just inside the county, but the perfect place to watch Peregrine Falcon’s in the summer, before strolling around the most famous River Wye view of all time.
Destination County : Herefordshire