The River Wye and the village of Goodrich, as seen from Symonds Yat Rock, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, England.

The Best Things to do in Herefordshire

Herefordshire brims with beautiful countryside where you can enjoy everything from riverside walks to visiting orchards of cider mills. If it’s historic homes and gardens you crave, there are medieval black and white villages, and heavenly parkland to discover. However, if you’re after an adventure, how about kayaking on the River Wye or a Land Rover Driving Experience in castle grounds?

Discover some of the best things to do in Herefordshire.

An apple orchard with red apples on a summer's day

Quench your thirst at a cider mill

Herefordshire is well known for its orchards and cider making. So, you won’t be far from somewhere to enjoy a tasting of this delicious, thirst-quenching drink.

Either pick one maker, such as Westons Cider, where there is lots to see and do. You can pre-book a tour with an expert who will show you the orchard and how apples are harvested and explain the production process in the 17th-century cider mill. There is also an on-site restaurant, play park and shire horses, making it a surprising family-friendly day out in Herefordshire.

Or if you want to see more, there are three circular Cider Circuits (North, South and West), each one making a good day trip in the car. Each includes small makers, suggestions for walks and ideas for places to eat. Plus, you can purchase bottles of your favourite ciders to sip back at your cottage.

The picturesque village of Eardisland with river running through it on a summer day

Black and White Villages Trail

North Herefordshire has an enchanting collection of ‘black and white villages’ with medieval heritage and pretty, half-timbered buildings. There’s even a dedicated Black and White Villages Trail, which is one of the best things to do in Herefordshire for combining history with scenery.

The trail is about 40 miles in its entirety and follows mainly quiet roads, passing delightful scenery of hopyards, orchards and farms. In the spring, a flurry of apple blossom covers the trees, while autumn is the apple harvest and a particularly good time to see cider being made at the mills.

Highlights along the way include the village of Weobley with its pink and black house, Pembridge with its 16th-century market hall and Eardisland with its old school house. There are plenty of pubs, tea rooms and village shops along the way too.

Kayaking in Herefordshire

Kayaking on the River Wye

One of the best things to do in Herefordshire if you want an adventure is go kayaking. The River Wye is one of the most beautiful places to do so, with local providers offering trips of varying lengths, complete with equipment and tuition.

While there are many places to start your expedition, the area around the village of Symonds Yat is perfect for that ‘get away from it all’ feel. The town of Ross-on-Wye is another good starting point, and a fantastic full day can be spent kayaking from Ross-on-Wye to Symonds Yat.

As you paddle in quiet sections you will have fun and relax, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife – you might be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher or an otter.

the gardens at Hampton Court Castle

Glorious gardens

If you like ambling around gorgeous gardens, Herefordshire has many options for you. Hergest Croft Gardens, open to visitors from April to October, has six separate gardens with more than 5,000 rare and exotic trees and shrubs. Highlights include the UK National Collections of maples, birches and zelkovas.

Then there’s the delightful National Trust Weir Garden, edged by the River Wye where you can discover the parkland’s rich history including the ruins of a Roman bathhouse. Or there are the gardens at Hampton Court Castle, open from spring to autumn.

You can spend hours here as there is lots to see. The Wisteria Garden and the Rose Garden are two seasonal highlights, while there is also a maze, water features, river walks and stunning views of the castle.

The view of Hereford Cathedral on a beautiful summer's day

Hereford Cathedral

Hereford Cathedral is one of the top attractions in the city, not least for its Mappa Mundi and Chained Library Exhibition. The Mappa Mundi is the largest surviving medieval map of the world, while the Chained Library houses hundreds of rare books and manuscripts.

There is also fine architecture, stained glass and ancient artwork to see, and guides are on hand to answer any questions you might have about the cathedral. There are services and organ recitals that you are welcome to attend.

However, Hereford Cathedral also hosts a varied programme of events throughout the year including concerts, art exhibitions and family-friendly activities

The very pretty village of Brockhampton with black and white buildings

Explore National Trust historic homes

If you like wandering around a historic home and catching a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived there, you’ll probably like these two National Trust treasures.

For a grandeur and elegance, head for Berrington Hall. This neoclassical 18th-century mansion features a landscape, including a rare walled garden, designed by Capability Brown. Enjoy walks in the woodland and parkland, while inside the house there are exquisite interiors to admire.

In contrast, Brockhampton is a traditionally farmed estate with a medieval manor house surrounded by a moat. Pretty as a picture, the timber framed manor house is entered through a timber gatehouse. Home to Hereford cattle and acres of orchards, you can enjoy a leisurely walk amongst the apple trees, through the park and into the woods.

Foraging wild garlic in May

Dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, Pensons, near Bromyard, is a highly regarded Michelin-star restaurant. Located on the historic Netherwood Estate, in an idyllic rural setting, it’s an excellent choice for a special lunch or dinner.

Menus celebrate the finest seasonal produce and sustainability plays an important part. Many fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and berries are sourced or foraged from the kitchen garden and the wider Netherwood Estate. They are then turned into imaginative and delicious dishes.

Fancy getting more hands on? Pensons offers a selection of short, bespoke masterclasses at either the restaurant or Netherwood Manor. These are in conjunction with experts in their field and themes include foraging and flower pressing.

Land Rover Driving Experience at Eastnor Castle

Eastnor Castle

Eastnor Castle boasts a stunning setting in the foothills of the Malvern Hills, close to the Cotswolds. A visit to this award-winning attraction is one of the best things to do in Herefordshire. Whilst it is a very impressive 19th-century revival castle, complete with deer park and lake, it is also the family home of the Hervey Bathursts.

Whether you are on a family holiday in Herefordshire, with friends or your other half, there is so much for everyone to see and do. Interiors are lavish and there are magnificent state rooms with exhibits including medieval armour and fine art. There are lakeside walks too and the kids will love the adventure playground, maze and treetop walk.

If all that isn’t enough, how about booking a Land Rover Driving Experience where you can have fun pushing the car to its limits along special trails in the grounds?

country walks

Get walking

Herefordshire has fantastic walking country and the historic market town of Kington that sits near the Welsh border is a great place to start. Walking is one of the best things to do in Herefordshire to immerse yourself in the stunning rural landscapes.

Kington is situated in the Arrow Valley against the backdrop of the Hergest Ridge and from here there is a variety of routes. Many are long distance, so pop a time limit on your walk or embark on a circular section.

Head off on Offa’s Dyke Path, the Herefordshire Trail, the Mortimer Trail or the Wyche Way that all either start, pass through or finish in the town. If you fancy joining a guided walk, Kington Walking Festivals, are held twice a year, usually in April and September.

Two cute and small goats in a field at a farm in summer

Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre

Very popular with young children, the Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre is one of the best things to do in Herefordshire for families. The farm is home to small breeds of sheep, goats, miniature horses and donkeys. Little ones will have lots of fun getting to know them and stroking is encouraged.

There are owls to meet and have photos taken with in the dedicated Owl Garden, plus a waterfowl enclosure with ducks and geese, and gorgeous rabbits and guinea pigs to say ‘hello’ to as well.

With a café too, this is a fantastic educational day out where kids and grown-ups alike can enjoy being outdoors and hanging out with cute creatures.

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