Things to do
Herefordshire has some good websites of local attractions and tourist information at www.herefordholidays.co.uk www.visitherefordshire.co.uk or
Some of our favourite places and things to do are mentioned below
o Hay on Wye’s world class Festival of Literature (www.hayfestival.org) is late May/early June and December at Hay on Wye
o Herefordshire’s Walking Festival in June (www.walkingfestival.com), - an easy way of exploring the area and meeting the locals.
o Flicks in the Sticks - an innovative idea that brings some great films to rural locations – our nearest venues are at Michaelchurch Escley and Dorstone – both just a few minutes drive away http://www.artsalive.co.uk/
o Hereford itself has many attractions including the magnificent C12 Cathedral www.herefordcathedral.org with its chained library, tranquil Cathedral Close and of course the River Wye – a lovely area to wander.
o Not totally unconnected is the Owen Sheers novel and its associated film, Resistance, which is set in the Black Mountains and tells the story of a world where the Nazis won the war. In the book, the C13 Mappa Mundi was secreted high the mountains but you can see for yourself how C13 artists interpreted the world www.herefordcathedral.org/visit-us/mappa-mundi
o Other buildings to look out for in Hereford city are 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
o Hereford Cider Museum is a good place to start understanding something Herefordshire is justly famous for www.cidermuseum.co.uk
o The world’s finest choral music can be enjoyed at the Three Choirs Festival which rotates between Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester Cathedrals www.3choirs.org/
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 The Globe at Hay – the Instutute of Ideas is best summed up by its tagline – ‘think, talk, dance and play' www.globeathay.co.uk
o You may not see any of the Hereford breed of cattle – famous for their chocolate brown and white coats – but a visit to Hereford Market www.herefordmarket.co.uk is a must for anyone interested in the reality of modern farming and excellent bacon butties. Wednesdays are the main days for auctioning farmstock but there are occasional markets on other days too.
o An unexpected and stylish gallery and modern garden at www.monnowvalleyarts.org is just 20 minutes or so away. It hosts frequent showings of well known and local artists
o NGS Gardens…a number of lovely local gardens not normally open to the public fling their garden gates wide for local charities and the NGS scheme… www.ngs.org.uk and the local paper, The Hereford Times www.herefordtimes.com advertises local events too
o 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 Have look at the Visit Herefordshire Churches website 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.
o Weir Gardens is a stunning garden on the banks of the River Wye www.nationaltrust.org.uk
o Begun in the C11 and still home to the Scudamore family, Kentchurch Court is occasionally open and the gardens are a lovely place to wander. www.kentchurchcourt.co.uk
o Wilton Castle at Ross on Wye largely destroyed in 1645 and now extensively restored by the Parslow family. www.wiltoncastle.co.uk
o Cothill Barn is on the route of a footpath and it’s a pleasant walk from there down to Peterchurch with medieval church, local pubs, post office and shop. There are well marked routes in the area – go to www.ramblers.org.uk and put HR2 0RE to find some great walks.
o Don’t forget Herefordshire Walking Festival www.walkingfestival.com in mid June
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.
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.
o For some great walk ideas nearby based on the 150mile circular route, look at www.herefordshiretrail.com
o For cycle hire and guided rides, contact www.droverholidays.co.uk, based in Hay on Wye
o For canoe hire and guided journeys on the River Wye contact www.riverwyecanoehire.com
o Ten Pin Bowling at www.tgsbowling.co.uk in Hereford
o Pony trekking is popular in the Black Mountains and is available at http://www.tregoydriding.co.uk
Eating and Drinking – another Herefordshire speciality
Herefordshire was at the forefront of the local food revolution and has one of the best Food Festivals in early November held in the grounds of the Cathedral. You can find details at www.flavoursofherefordshire.co.uk
We’re also handily placed for the Ludlow Food Festival www.foodfestival.co.uk in early September and Abergavenny www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com in mid September.
Nearby, we have some favourites for the occasional jaunt out but enjoy finding yours too and report back to us. What the ones shown below have in common is excellent, friendly service, a positive outlook on life and taking care of good ingredients to produce tasty meals using, wherever possible, local produce in season.
o The Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch Escley www.thebridgeinnmichaelchurch.co.uk a riverside pub serving big appetite classics including a 16oz steak and Colombian Chicken Casserole; Slow Roasted Lamb with Silly Ewe Cider and Damson Vinegar is our current favourite.
At the foot of the Black Hill is White Haywood Farm Restaurant run by the Goodwin family; try their delicious farmhouse meals, or Thursday night's chip shop night - Pauline is famous for her pies!! www.blackmountainsfarmrestaurant.co.uk
o The Pandy at Dorstone www.pandyinn.co.uk serves tasty daily specials in a beautiful old village pub between here and Hay on Wye – handy!
o A pleasant evening walk from here takes you to Food for Thought, a little bistro in Peterchurch http://www.foodforthought-herefordshire.co.uk
Food and drink to enjoy at home
o Local farmers Mark and Mary Williams have taken diversification to heart making Rowlestone Farmhouse Icecream and running a super café, with woodland walks and play areas. Try the raspberry sorbet - it is fantastic! http://www.rowlestonecourt.co.uk
o Fish and Chips from Marcus at The Stables in Ewyas Harold (019815 240237) is a family favourite. Sample a pint of Herefordshire’s beer - Butty Bach - at the pub/restaurant opposite http://thetemplebarinn.co.uk while you’re waiting
o Gwatkins Cider www.gwatkincider.co.uk/home.html is a must visit for the cider and the characters who make this award winning nectar.
o Vowchurch Village Hall is the venue for a friendly country market on the last Saturday of every month. Get there early (from 10.00) to grab the best local produce and a cup of restorative real coffee
o Our nearest petrol pump is at Locks Garage on the A465 at Allensmore. This legendary store also sells an astonishing range of exotic fruit and veg and pretty much anything else you could possibly need.
o Hopes of Longtown is more than a village shop and post office – this award winning business is the hub of the village. www.hopesoflongtown.co.uk
o Mailes Butchers in Ewyas Harold sells good local meat – try the venison from nearby Kentchurch Court Estate.
o Get to Hay on a Thursday morning for a great market selling organic bread to bric-a-brac and while you're there try the traditional butchers shops for locally produced meat you can trust.
Arthur's Stone on Dorstone Hill
The Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch Escley
Hereford Cider Museum
walks with views
Gwatkins Cider & Perry at one of the many food festivals in the area.
Mark from Rowlestone Farmhouse Icecream
stylish self catering in the borderlands of England and Wales