Herefordshire is a county full of many charms: breath-taking countryside, scrumptious local produce and enough art, history and literature to satisfy even the greatest of culture vultures! From the literary towns of Hay-on-Wye and Ledbury to the vibrant county town of Hereford, here are Herefordshire’s most picturesque market towns and what you need to see and do in each of them.
I have lived in Ledbury for well over ten years now so I may be a little biased, but Ledbury is my favourite market town in Herefordshire! But don’t just take my word for it: Ledbury was recently hailed as one of the top ten places to live in Britain and the best place to live in the Midlands, by the Sunday Times, an award us locals won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.
Ledbury’s iconic black and white grade 1 listed market hall is at the centre of the town and surrounding it, you will find plenty of independent fashion boutiques tucked down a myriad of mews and side streets. Plus, if you’re a lover of all things literary, the town puts on the largest poetry festival in the UK for ten days every July. Top tip: when visiting Ledbury, don’t forget to drive ten minutes out of town to visit Eastnor Castle and the Malvern Hills, two of Herefordshire’s most beautiful sights!
Hay-on-Wye is probably the most famous market town on this list, and while it straddles the border of Wales and Herefordshire, we Herefordians like to claim it as our own! Hay-on-Wye is most famous for being “the town of books” and as soon as you arrive in the town, it’s not hard to see why.
With over 30 antique, specialist and secondhand bookshops, Hay is a treasure-trove for bookworms. Hay Festival is one of the most highly regarded events in the international literary calendar and takes place every May/June, bringing together writers, poets, musicians, politicians, philosophers, comedians, television and radio presenters, and book lovers alike!
P.s. If you want a break from the books, Hay-on-Wye is surrounded by some of the country’s most gorgeous walks so pack your wellies or hiking boots and get walking…
So have you ever visited my home county of Herefordshire? I’d love to hear what you thought of it! Please let me know in the comments below…