1. See a Medieval map of the world
Housed in Hereford Cathedral, the Mappa Mundi is an outstanding treasure of the Medieval world. It records how 13th-century scholars interpreted the world in spiritual as well as geographical terms. Drawn on a single sheet of vellum it reflects the thinking of the Medieval church, with Jerusalem at the centre of the world.
2. Walk on Offa’s Dyke
Offa’s Dyke is a linear earthwork which roughly follows the Welsh/English border from the Severn near Chepstow, to Prestatyn on the North coast. The origins of the Dyke are shrouded in mystery so that many of its aspects are speculated upon. Whether it was intended as an agreed boundary, as a defensive structure with long-lost additional fortifications, or for some other use, is not known. Today it provides excellent walking with a long-distance footpath running the entire 177 miles and many circular walks taking in the trail.
3. Visit the other Hampton Court
The Herefordshire Hampton Court has magnificent new gardens set in the grounds of a Medieval castle and surrounded by a thousand acres of parkland. Rescued from neglect in 1994, the gardens have been revived and transformed. Today, water canals, island pavilions, avenues and borders complement the established planting of the earlier eras. The gardens are a peaceful haven but also a place of exploration with a maze, Gothic Tower and secret tunnel to a waterfall.
4. Cycle The Peregrine Path
The Peregrine Path largely follows the River Wye through the upper Wye Gorge between Monmouth and Goodrich passing Symonds Yat where Peregrine Falcons can be spotted. The route is 8 1/2 miles long, of which 3 miles is traffic-free.
5. Get lost in the Hedge Puzzle
The Amazing Hedge Puzzle at Symonds Yat is one of the largest mazes in the UK, comprising six-foot-high, three-foot-wide hedges. You can only exit the maze by finding the centre or going backwards, so allow plenty of time to solve the puzzle!
6. Follow the Cider Route
Throughout Herefordshire there is a strong tradition of farm cider-making. Well over half of the UK’s cider comes from Herefordshire, ranging from small producers through to the widely known brands. The Herefordshire Cider Route is a circular driving route around the cider producers including Weston’s in Much Marcle who offer a fascinating tour of the mill to discover the secrets of traditional cider making.
7. Canoe on the Wye
The Wye is one of the best rivers for canoeing in the UK with over 80 miles of continuous canoeing possible, from the upper reaches of the river above Hay on Wye to below Monmouth. The most popular area for novices is the beautiful stretch between Ross on Wye and Symonds Yat where the river passes through a deeply wooded gorge.
8. Ramble in the Golden Valley
The beautiful Golden Valley is possibly one of the most scenic and unspoilt areas in Britain. The valley is wide and tranquil with gentle wooded, slopes on either side of the River Dore. Quiet lanes, footpaths and bridleways cross patchwork fields to traditional farms and onto the wide-open spaces of the Black Mountains. Interestingly, the name probably came from confusion between the Welsh word dwr for water and the French d’or meaning golden.
9. Take the The Black & White Village Trail
The half-timbered ‘black and white’ buildings of north-west Herefordshire are unrivalled in Britain. The 40-mile circular trail, which can be followed by car or bike, leads west from the ancient town of Leominster, through a rich landscape of orchards, hop fields and distant hills, taking in the most picturesque black and white villages along the way, as well as the little market town of Kington.
10. See the nesting peregrine falcons
Perhaps the most spectacular site in the Forest of Dean is Symonds Yat Rock where the River Wye winds its way around a 500-foot-high limestone outcrop through a deeply wooded gorge. From the top, the views across the Forest, down the gorge and over to the Welsh hills are breath-taking. Look over to the nearby cliffs to spot the nesting area of the peregrine falcons where they hunt and raise their young.
If this inspires you, why not browse our selection of holiday parks and caravan parks in Herefordshire, and see what catches your eye?
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