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Famed for beef, cider, books, ancient maps and green and pleasant pastures, if you already know Hereford is the holiday destination for you, go direct to our guru's list of the best places to stay in Herefordshire.
The beef is Herefordshire beef, and some of the green is to do with the moist valleys through which rivers wind, supporting the herds. Herefordshire's orchards are also famous for growing fifty per cent of the apples in all British cider - and that's quite a lot of cider. Hereford even has a cider museum. It also has the cathedral, which is where they keep the Mappa Mundi, one of the world's oldest pieces of cartography. And the books are from the Hay on Wye Literary Festival.
But Herefordshire has even more to offer. It's close to the outdoor pleasures of the Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley (Ross on Wye is an ideal base for the stunning Wye Valley), and it's very wealthy in old market towns with beautiful bits and bobs worth exploring. So it's understandably difficult to decide where the best places to stay in Herefordshire might be.
The cathedral isn't just an impressive home for the Mappa Mundi and one of the Magna Cartas, it also has the world's largest Chained Library - yes, books were so precious they had to be chained up. Hereford also has some of the loveliest examples of those half-timbered Tudor and Jacobean buildings, and there's plenty of beautiful country around it to stroll in - especially on the 'Cider Trail'.
- If river views in central Hereford are high on your holiday must-have list then Castle House is one of the best places to stay in Hereford-shire. Right by the cathedral and the remains of Hereford Castle's moat, this regency townhouse has been converted into an elegant hotel. It's also one of the best places to stay in Hereford if you're looking for a wedding venue?
The Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Wye Valley
If you enjoy roving, the Wye Valley is one of the best places to stay in Herefordshire or surrounds. Limestone gorges, dense pockets of woodlands, then green expanses make this countryside as varied as it is beautiful.
- Wilton Court is one of the best places to stay in Herefordshire if you want to explore the Wye Valley. One of the main reasons is that it's right on the banks of the River Wye. Originally an Elizabethan home, this glorious building has also been a Magistrate's Court, before becoming a very comfortable hotel - with an award winning restaurant. Wilton Court is also one of the best places to stay in Hereford if you crave a quiet place to relax, take long strolls and sit in a beautiful garden contemplating the thoughts that the river throws up at you. Bliss.
The Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons are Herefordshire-adjacent, and many of the best places to stay in Hereford are also excellent bases for exploring these peaks and valleys.
- A 17th Century coach inn on the River Monnow, the Bell at Skenfrith has an excellent restaurant and eleven rooms. So it's still a coach house, really. The air is fresh, a lot of the food comes from their own kitchen garden and it's a wonderful gateway to the Brecon Beacons. It's also the best place to stay in Hereford if you're a fisherman - their ghillie can arrange fishing on the Usk, Wye to Monnow. Not forgetting that it's close to the Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club and Celtic Manor - so it's also one of the best places to stay in Hereford for golfers.
Best Hotels in Herefordshire
Brooks Country House 22 rooms from $113Ross on Wye (Nr Ross-on-Wye)
Brooks Country House enjoys a serene countryside setting near Ross on Wye, Herefordshire. This Georgian manor house offers wonderful accommodation combining various original features with contemporary touches. Come back after a day out hiking and unwind in the sauna! A top retreat.Romantic Break - Divine accommodation, a lovely quiet setting and superb cuisine-the ideal choice for a romantic getawayFoodies - Brooks Country House uses local produce to serve up truly wonderful dishesCountry Escape - Feel a million miles away from city life at this tranquil rural spotGreat walks - Head off on long walks through the beautiful surrounding countryside
Verzon 8 rooms from $143Ledbury, Herefordshire
Set in a beautiful country house, transformed into a chic hotel. The rooms are cosy and comfortable with elegant furnishings and tasteful artwork. Downstairs, there's a stylish restaurant with a picturesque veranda for warm weather. Ideal for a weekend away in the countryside.Foodies - Foodie heaven- the farm produces Chase vodka and gin, cattle and pigs, and you can sample it all at the fantastic restaurant.Country Escape - Ideal for a weekend away in a charming Herefordshire country house.Great walks - Work up an appetite while exploring the beautiful surrounding Herefordshire countryside.Local markets - Browse the Ledbury farmers market and pick up some of the best regional produce.Recommended by - Sawdays
Wilton Court 11 rooms from $163Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Country restaurant with rooms on the banks of the River Wye. Wholesome country food, elegant rooms, beautiful garden lawns.Four poster beds - For romantics.Great walks - Good for walkers.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
Castle House 24 rooms from $195Hereford, Herefordshire
Elegant regency townhouse hotel bang in the centre of historic Hereford, a stone's throw from the Cathedral. Classically styled rooms, with suites for families. Excellent restaurant and bistro serving locally sourced produce.Sights nearby - Yards from Hereford CathedralLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Four poster beds - For romantics.