Bordering Wales and Monmouthshire and just over the Malvern Hills from Worcestershire, Herefordshire can easily rival its neighbours in the beauty stakes. It’s a laid-back kind of place where you’ll find a patchwork of fields and hills dotted with farms, and pretty villages many of which date back to Tudor times. It’s also home to a number of famous beauty spots including the attractive town of Ross-on-Wye, Wye River Valley, the Hereford Cathedral, and a good portion of the very picturesque Malvern Hills. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Herefordshire…
Symonds Yat – a village and popular tourist destination to explore in Herefordshire
Nestled in the Wye Valley, Symonds Yat is an utter delight. There are numerous forest trails to explore in the Forest of Dean. There are several vantage points dotted along most routes where you’ll be met with sweeping vistas of greenery. If you head down into the valley there are a smattering of riverside pubs punctuating the river bank.
There’s plenty of outdoor activities too. The River Wye is relatively clear and shallow around Symonds Yat, providing the perfect place for some kayaking, paddling or maybe just a nice homemade picnic.
Hereford – a beautiful cathedral city world-
renowned for its production of high-quality food and drink
Famous for several things… No not just cows and the SAS. You’ll find something for everyone in Hereford and it’s a very beautiful and interesting place to visit in Herefordshire. It is the seat of the county and is jam-packed with historical buildings and architecture.
If you like impressive buildings with a touch of history, then make your way to the Cathedral and check out the 13th century Mappa Mundi, which gives a detailed picture of how people in medieval times viewed the world around them. Once you’ve had enough culture, take a trip to the cider museum where you’ll be able to try a few samples!
Malvern Hills – a stunning range of hills which is a popular beauty spot in Herefordshire
Depending on where you get to, the Malvern’s offer great views into Herefordshire and beyond. You’ll be able to see Wales, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, and if you really squint you might even be able to spot Oxfordshire.
Due to their geographic location, you’ll be able to look across to the Brecon Beacons to the West and if you turn East, you’ll be staring at the Cotswolds. The hills offer a chance to ‘get out’ regardless of physical ability. There are rolling meadows and gentle slopes. Or if you are a little more energetic some serious hikes up steep-sided crags.
Yarpole – one of the prettiest villages to visit in Herefordshire
If you want to experience a real Herefordshire village vibe, head to Yarpole. It’s not big, but that’s what keeps it quaint and cosy. The first step on your journey should be a visit to Croft Castle. You’ll be able to trace the history of the Crofts all the way back to the arrival of the first Normal settlers and all the way into the 20th century.
As history goes… It’s legit. Once you’ve meandered amongst the gardens, head into Yarpole and check out the oddity that is St Leonards church. It is one of the few surviving examples of a church with a separate bell tower. After you’ve had a little nosy, continue on to The Bell at Yarpole, where you can enjoy the gardens with a foamy pint and some real ‘gastropub’ food.
Ross-on-Wye – a very attractive market town and gateway to the Wye Valley
This historic market town is full of little delights and represents the ideal base to strike out into the surrounding area. It’s rather picturesque and has been used as a set for several productions. In fact, you can take a film tour and see set locations for Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Dr Who. There are galleries, a small museum and if that is just all too much culture for you, then there are plenty of restaurants serving local fayre.
If your small change is burning a hole in your pocket, make your way to the market house where you’ll be able to spend a small fortune on handmade jewellery, wooden bespoke trinkets, and perhaps a nice mug to take home.
Ledbury – a picturesque historic market town which is home to black and white timber-framed houses
Ledbury is just right if you want to experience a village feel, yet not feel too isolated. If you take a walk down the high street you can see Jacobean houses stood shoulder to shoulder with Georgian and even Tudor architecture. Stroll through the cobbled streets, in particular, Church lane. If it’s quiet it will be quite easy to imagine what this town was like 300 years ago… That’s because it is pretty much untouched.
We can’t talk about Ledbury with suggesting you have a look at the Market House. It’s a bit…unique. It is an impressive black and white timber-framed house, suspended above the earth by 16 stout legs. The best bit is that it is still used on a weekend for its original purpose.
Pembridge – one of the prettiest villages to visit in Herefordshire
Pembridge is old. Properly old. It has existed for well over 1000 years. If you decide to grace its streets by foot, then you are in for a treat. It’s literally impossible to turn a corner without seeing a medieval building. If wooden beams, slanty doors, and wonky buildings are your thing then you are in the right place. It may be old, but it’s really beautiful.
If you tire of looking at medieval buildings (how could you?) Then head on up to Westonbury Mill Water Gardens (also mentioned on this list).
Eastnor and Eastnor Castle – a stunning area of Herefordshire to explore
The Malvern Hills? Check. A cute and picturesque village? Check…A castle that looks like something out of a Disney movie? What! Yes indeed, Eastnor Castle is amazing and is still owned by the family who built it. Cool or what? If you decide to pay a visit you’ll be there for the day as there is something for everyone.
Amble around the grounds, pay a visit to the ice cream parlour and then see if you can lose your company in the knight’s maze as you are going to want to take a peek inside the castle. The rooms, in particular, the Great Hall and Drawing Room are simply breath-taking and give a glimpse into both the past and opulence.
Castle Frome – a beautiful and charming place to visit in Herefordshire
Don’t let the name confuse you, it’s actually what this village is called. Or do you also think ‘Manchester’ is only inhabited by males? In fact, the castle part comes from the fact that it was the site of a fortress, and Frome is derived from the Latin word for beautiful. I love your hair it’s so ‘Frome’… yeah, it probably won’t catch on. Anyway, where were we?
Castle Frome has existed since Norman times and is a great place to check out some history. Head to St Michael’s Parish church, there you will be able to see an original and intricate 12th century carved font, of which there are only a handful in the world. You can walk further afield and also explore evidence of Both Norman and even Roman forts in the nearby fields.
Berrington Hall – a pretty country house and landscaped gardens
If you want to indulge your inner Downton Berrington Hall represents the perfect opportunity. From the outside, this gorgeous house, embraced by huge and well-tended gardens, looks rather impressive.
It makes for a great ‘rainy day’ destination, however. Head inside and there are several tours. You can go ‘under the stairs’ and see what life was like as a servant. Or take a tour throughout the entire house and have a peek into family bedrooms and parlours. It’s well worth a visit and a great place to explore in Herefordshire.
Brockhampton Estate – a traditionally farmed estate and medieval manor house to explore in Herefordshire
The National Trust likes to invest in interesting things, and this certainly fits the bill. If you want a real-life story of rags to riches then the ‘farmhouse’ at Brockhampton estate should tickle your fancy. A farmhouse on a moat might seem like an odd idea, but that’s because it was originally constructed as a manor house. At some point, the local lord decided it just wasn’t grand enough so he moved elsewhere and the house fell into disrepair.
Fortunately, the national trust came along to save it, and now you can take a glimpse into the lovingly restored Great Hall. A feature we found super interesting is that the timber used to build the hall probably came from no further than a couple of hundred metres away in the surrounding estate. A very beautiful place to explore in Herefordshire!
Croft Castle – a stunning castle surrounded by historic woodland, farm, and parkland
Another Castle? Indeed, Herefordshire borders Wales and it turns out that back in the day, people used to be petrified of the Welsh. However, the castle you will visit has been upgraded and renovated. No arrow slits and pots of boiling oil here thanks! The good news is that it is a really pleasant way to spend a day out, as it’s now a country mansion.
Step inside its grounds and you’ll get a traditional National trust experience with tours, tea rooms, and an experience that feels like stepping back in time. If you time it right you might be able to snag a ‘behind the scenes’ tour taking you into the attic and the servant quarters.
Queenswood Country Park – said to be the green heart of Herefordshire
Here’s an interesting fact, Queenswood used to be called Kingswood up until the time when ‘Our Lizzie’ settled a crown upon her bonce! The nicest time to visit Queenswood Country Park has to be Autumn, the oak forest surrounding the park is awash with golds, reds and oranges, making it the ideal place for a walk and a few pictures.
There are numerous trail walks for you to follow and indulge in, a few play areas for the kids and the park even includes a Gruffalo trail. See if you can spot him… Oh, and before we forget, be mindful to pay for your parking or the Gruffalo won’t be the only bright green surprise that you get.
Westonbury Mill Water Gardens – an enchanting beauty spot to explore in Herefordshire
If you are in the region of Pembridge then you have Westonbury Mill Water Gardens within throwing distance. Here you will find enchanting gardens full of tinkling streams, colorful mosaics and perhaps a lump of cake washed down with a coffee at the end. The gardens aren’t just your usual well-kempt and trimmed affair.
They are actually a bit messy in parts. We love it and would prefer if you called it eclectic. There is so much to see. One of our favourite follies was the fernery made entirely from wine bottles… but that’s not all. Keep strolling to see things such as the giant cuckoo clock and African hut assembled entirely from local fauna.
Belmont Country Park – a popular spot in Herefordshire for family outingss
If you are the type of person who would rather be outside a city looking in, then this is the place for you. Pick your vantage point wisely and make sure you time it right with the weather, you’ll be able to enjoy great views of the city of Hereford whilst also enjoying the sunshine and delights of wide rolling grassy knolls.
To add more into the mix, there is a sculpture trail, a few lakes, where you can feed the ducks and even a few play areas if you have decided to bring along any smaller bundles of energy.