Top places to stay in Herefordshire

Days out, Activity, Destinations

Posted by Ed Roberts on 30th January 2024

Ross-on-Wye as seen from the river with reflections of blue skies

Welcome to our blog about the best places to stay in Herefordshire. You may wonder to yourself, is it worth visiting Herefordshire? Well, we think it is. Rolling green countryside scenery, cultural inspirations, interesting places to eat, and outdoor activities galore; beautiful Herefordshire is a great holiday destination to discover. Located in the Heart of England, Herefordshire is home to popular long-distance walking trails, winding river valleys, ancient castles, and lots of market towns.

It’s easy to plan a holiday break because there are so many things to do in Herefordshire. This guide includes an introduction to the best family-friendly, dog-friendly, historic, and quirkiest places to stay in Herefordshire. It’s a beautiful county with a variety of market towns in Herefordshire to discover. The county is also within driving distance of the Cotswolds , Shropshire, the Brecon Beacons, and South Wales. Read on to find out more about why Herefordshire is a fantastic place to stay in a self-catering holiday cottage. 

We have Herefordshire places to stay to suit everyone, browse our collection of Herefordshire holiday accommodation including dog-friendly Herefordshire properties by clicking on the button below. 

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Beautiful winter's day in suburban Bromyard framed by misty hills

Bromyard | Best place for quirky festivals

Bromyard is locally known as the ‘town of festivals’ and it is a quirky place to stay in Herefordshire. There are roughly ten festivals to visit throughout the year. Chief amongst them, is a Marmalade Festival that centres around everything related to this lovely breakfast preserve. Other festivals include the International Town Criers’ Festival, the Scarecrow Festival, the Speed Festival, Nozstock (which is the summer big stage music event), a sausage and cider event, the Bromyard Gala, a folk music festival, a hops festival, and two Christmas festivals. Virtually all tastes and sensibilities are accounted for in Bromyard.

Bromyard Downs and Bringsty Common are among the best reasons to holiday in Bromard. The Downs offers 500 acres of common land with walking trails and opportunities for horse riding. Also, you can discover the Three Rivers Ride, a 60-mile trail that’s part of the National Bridle Route Network. Cyclists can reach the Brecon Beacons on this trail that follows the Rivers Lugg, Wye, and Usk. Bromyard is a great base for a visit to The Marches, a large area of the England and Wales borderlands that spreads into Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Powys. You can find many peaceful places to fish or go for long strolls in and around the town as well as a handful of interesting shops and museums including the quirky Museum of the Time Machine, which features props from TV’s Doctor Who and Red Dwarf, all which make Bromyard one of the most wonderful yet unusual places to stay in Herefordshire.

Highlights of Bromyard

Bromyard cottages

Hereford Cathedral as seen from the river with town bridge in the foreground

Hereford | Best place for a city break

Hereford is Herefordshire’s only city and it’s a great place to stay for a city break. The city has a great mix of modern shopping highlights and links to England’s religious history. For a glimpse into the city’s fascinating past and to see some of the country’s finest examples of ancient architecture, visit Hereford Cathedral. At the award-winning Mappa Mundi and Chained Library, you’ll find a spectacular medieval map of the world and a collection of intriguing artefacts.

Hereford is also known for its food and drink, chiefly cider and cheeses. For a glimpse into the history of Herefordshire’s favourite drink, pop into the Cider Museum, housed in a former cider factory. Every September, the apple harvest is celebrated with Morris dancing and cider-tasting sessions. Of an evening, you will find lots of restaurants and pubs to dine at, as well as cinemas, theatres and nightclubs. Hereford is the main hub and largest place to stay in Herefordshire for your holiday. 

Highlights of Hereford

  • Hereford Cathedral: The city is home to one of the UK’s most interesting cathedrals – see the Mappa Mundi and the Chain Library  
  • Museum of Cider: Learn all about Herefordshire’s ties to cider 
  • Capler Camp: This Iron Age hillfort is the best place for views near Hereford 
  • Stay nearby: Quercus | sleeps 4 

Hereford cottages

Ledbury high street on a sunny day with clock tower

Ledbury | Best place for historians

Ledbury is at the very edge of the Malvern Hills, perfect for walks and fishing. This Herefordshire market town is also known for its historic architecture, with a high number of black and white timber-framed buildings to view, including the 16-pillar Market House, which is the best of its kind, condition-wise, in the country. Also in town is the impressive 16th-century Butcher Row House Museum with its displays of artefacts from the last few hundred years depicting life in the Ledbury area. During your time in Ledbury, visit The Heritage Centre which is located inside the town’s old boys’ grammar school and is home to touring exhibitions of art and history. 

Perhaps Ledbury’s most famous buildings are the St Katherine’s and the Master’s House, which are very rare surviving examples of a hospital complex with a hall, chapel, master's house, almshouses, and a barn. There are many other buildings to put on your itinerary too, such as St Michael’s and All Angels Church, which dates back to 1140; and Eastnor Castle with its country estate that’s home to deer and an arboretum. If you love fishing, you can find some good local spots along the River Leadon. Also visit Newent Park and Arboretum, Symonds Yat, and the Malverns for day trip which are close to the main towns in Herefordshire.

Highlights of Ledbury

Ledbury cottages

Timber-framed house characteristic of central Leominster

Leominster | Best place for antiques shopping

What is the largest town in Herefordshire? Leominster is the largest town also  known as 'The Town in the Marches', is situated 12 miles north of Hereford with breathtaking views, architectural delights, and stately homes. Pronounced ‘Lerminster’, standing at the confluence of the Rivers Lugg and Kenwater, this delightful Herefordshire town is the county’s largest. Near to the border between Wales and England, Leominster is famed for its variety of antique and vintage shops, offering fantastic market stalls for those afternoons dedicated to picking up a bargain. Gaze at stunning timber-framed buildings, see historic artefacts, visit National Trust houses, or dine at the finest of restaurants. It has a population of around 11,000 and a history that can be traced back to the 7th century.

There are several visitor attractions in and around Leominster, whether you’re interested in history, food, walking, outdoor sports, or enjoying stately homes and gardens. These include the Leominster Museum, the National Trust property Berrington Hall, and Hampton Court Castle Estate with its formal gardens, orangery, walled kitchen garden, and the Magnolia Walk. Foodies should enjoy a tour of the Monkland Cheese Dairy. 

Highlights of Leominster

Leominster cottages

Ross-on-Wye seen from the river with the church spire on the hill

Ross-on-Wye | Best place for walks

What is the prettiest town in Herefordshire? We think Ross-on-Wye is the prettiest. Ross-on-Wye is a pretty market town perched on a sandstone cliff above the River Wye, at the northern edge of the enchanting Forest of Dean. Ross-on-Wye has been hailed as the UK’s first tourist destination. In 1745, a local rector started taking visitors on boat rides on the River Wye and giving tours of the area’s many historic sites. Shortly afterwards, the country’s first guidebook, Observations on the River Wye, was published, and demand grew so quickly that before long, numerous tourist boats were making their way up and down the river. 

Today, visitors still make their way to Ross-on-Wye to enjoy the scenery and explore the town centre’s market square, narrow streets, and independent shops. A short drive from the town will take you to the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) where you’ll discover spectacular views, ancient woodland, and meandering riverside pathways. The area is excellent for canoeing, hiking, cycling, and wild swimming. Also easily reached from Ross-on-Wye, is the Forest of Dean. The forest is crisscrossed by hundreds of hiking trails, where you can walk for miles without seeing another soul. 

Highlights of Ross-on-Wye

Ross-on-Wye cottages

The stunning River Wye at Symonds Yat. High waters cross a small island with winter trees on.

Symonds Yat | Best place for outdoor activities

What is the prettiest part of Herefordshire? We'd choose Symonds Yat. Straddling the River Wye that borders Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, this Forest of Dean village is a popular tourist destination in the Heart of England and is famed for its river scenery and peaceful wooded forestry. The village, which is the prettiest part of Herefordshire, was also a popular holiday destination of the author C.S. Lewis, famed for his Chronicles of Narnia. United only by a small pull ferry, Symonds Yat East is on the Gloucestershire side, and Symonds Yat West is on the Herefordshire side. Visitors come to climb the 300-foot-tall Symonds Yat Rock, a scenic viewpoint that towers over the river. At certain times of year, you can spot peregrine falcons and some other wildlife species.

The spectacular cliff faces make Yat Rock a popular destination for sports climbers. Adventurers also like to canoe down the rapids – you can hire kit out from Monmouth Canoe Centre. Also at Symonds Yat is the aMazing Hedge Puzzle if you want to get lost for a short while; it’s also great fun for family members of any age. Symonds Yat is one of the best dog-friendly places to stay in Herefordshire because there are walking trails galore for you to discover together.  

Highlights of Symonds Yat

Symonds Yat cottages

Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Herefordshire

Now that you have learned all about the best places to stay in Herefordshire in the Heart of England, we hope you’ll be coming to visit sometime soon! Herefordshire, including the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean, offers something for everyone, from the adventurous to those simply looking to relax and unwind. Take a look at our entire collection of Herefordshire cottages by clicking the button below.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.