Things to do
Being situated in the borderlands of England and Wales, The Golden Valley is a mix of two cultures, with our Welsh heritage obvious by the many unusual (and often unpronounceable!) place names you will see as you drive around. Further details of local attractions and tourist information at www.visitherefordshire.co.uk or www.eatsleepliveherefordshire.co.uk
Some of our favourite places and things to do are mentioned below
o Hay on Wye is not just about it's world class Festival of Literature (www.hayfestival.org) is late May/early June and late November, but is a vibrant, eclectic and laid back place to visit all year round. You'll find lots of great places to eat, independent shops, an unique cinema and it's famous Thursday market.
The Globe at Hay – the Institute of Ideas is best summed up by its tagline – ‘think, talk, dance and play' www.globeathay.co.uk
o Hereford itself has many attractions including the magnificent C12 Cathedral www.herefordcathedral.org with its Chained Library, ancient Mappa Mundi, tranquil Cathedral Close and of course the River Wye – a lovely area to wander.
The Old House, a black and white former butcher’s shop in High Town, the Library and Museum in Broad Street and the Courtyard Centre for the Arts www.courtyard.org.uk which is well worth checking out for live events, film, theatre and meals.
Hereford Cider Museum is a good place to start understanding something Herefordshire is justly famous for www.cidermuseum.co.uk
o h.Art, Herefordshire Art Week, an open studio event held in early September gives exclusive access to some wonderful local artists. See this and other prestigious local art events including the Contemporary Craft Fair held in November at
o We are lucky enough to have many beautiful gardens to discover such as www.broburyhouse.co.uk a beautiful garden sweeping down to the magnificent River Wye. The National Trust's Weir Garden is also next to The Wye and is renowned for it's magnificent spring flowers. Many gardens locally are open for the National Garden Scheme. Nearby Kentchurch Court, the ancestral seat of the Scudamore family and it's gardens, are a little known treasure www.kentchurchcourt.co.uk
o The borderlands is famous for it's wealth of castles and Neolithic sites. Longtown, Snodhill, Goodrich and Raglan castles are all nearby and the amazing site of Arthur's Stone is just a few minutes away.
o Children love to meet the animals and extensive collection of owls at the Small Breeds Farm Park www.owlcentre.com Spot butterflies at the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo www.butterflyzoo.co.uk or try loosing them in the maze at Herefordshire's magnificent Hampton Court www.hamptoncourtcastle.co.uk Visit www.rowlestoneiceream.co.uk to taste their amazing ice cream and walk through their ancient woodland adventure too.
o For active guests you have canoeing and kayaking on the Wye, horse riding, bike hire, lead walks and hikes. carting, paintballing and even axe throwing, all within a short distance. The highest golf course in Britain is in nearby Kington.
o The area has many fascinating local churches
www.visitherefordshirechurches.co.uk. While it describes some beautiful Herefordshire churches, we feel it misses out on some nearby gems within a pleasant walk of Cothill Barn. The churches at Turnastone and Vowchurch (one sister vows to build a church before the other turns a stone – or so the saying goes…) are such gems while St Margarets is worth it for the views of the Black Mountains and the Golden Valley and its well preserved rood screen. Meanwhile, Bacton church built soon after 1573, has a curious monument to Blanche, a lady in waiting to Elizabeth I.
One of only two Cistercian abbey churches in England still used as a parish church is at Abbey Dore and home to frequent musical festivals – a good walk from here www.doreabbey.org.uk .
o Cothill Barn is on the route of a footpath and it’s a pleasant walk from here down to Peterchurch with it's medieval church, local pubs, village shop and the great little cafe in the church www.hubcommunity.org We have included lots of walks in our information folders to suit all interests and abilities, but do ask if there is somewhere in particular you would like advice on.
o Don’t forget Herefordshire Walking Festival www.herefordwalkingfestival.co.uk in mid June as well as walking festivals in nearby Kington, Talgarth and Crickhowell.
o One of our walks is up through Whitehouse Wood to St Margarets – lovely old woodland, great views of the Black Mountains and a real temptation to continue to The Bridge at Michaelchurch Escley – an excellent streamside pub/restaurant, or on to Red Cow Tavern - newly created on a rustic cider farm - our favourite for Sunday lunch!
o Offa’s Dyke Long Distance Path route runs nearby across the top of the Black Mountains and sections can easily be walked in a day.
One of the most rewarding walks is to the top of The Black Hill, known locally as The Cat's Back due to the narrow 'spine' along the top of the mountain. The most breath taking of views.
o For some great walk ideas nearby based on the 150mile circular route, look at www.herefordshiretrail.com or the newly created Golden Valley Pilgrim's Way, which goes past the barns,
Sarah at www.walkhay.co.uk offers bespoke guided walks in the area.
Eating and Drinking – another Herefordshire speciality
Herefordshire is famous for cider and we have several cider producers nearby such as www.gwatkincider.co.uk with the great Red Cow Tavern, www.fairoakcider.co.uk the only cider in the country made by horsepower and wwwtygwyncider.co.uk in nearby Rowlestone. Combine this with a trip to www.rowlestoneicecream.co.uk and sample their sublime ice creams and sorbets.
Just five minutes is the home of Hill Billy Gin where you can learn how to make and taste their award winning gins
We are lucky to have some great places to eat locally, many of which pride themselves in using the fabulous ingredients this rich fertile area produces. We provide a list of these in each barn, but if you have a query or a particular event you would like to eat out to celebrate, then please do ask.
We are also able to recommend local chefs and caterers who can come to Cothill Barns if required.
Arthur's Stone on Dorstone Hill
The Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch Escley
Hereford Cider Museum
stylish self catering in the borderlands of England and Wales