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Holidays in Kington

Pretty market town that retains its medieval layout and heritage

Kington shops

A pretty market town at the edge of the county of Herefordshire, Kington is a wonderful base to explore the Welsh borderlands and the English countryside. Located just two miles from the border you have the perfect opportunity to tour both countries during your visit. Kington is 19 miles north of Hereford on the banks of the River Arrow, within sight of the reputedly haunted Hergest Ridge. Other towns in Kington’s area include Builth Wells, Presteigne, Leominster and Huntingdon.

Found to the west of Offa’s Dyke, Kington was formerly a part of Wales until the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The town once had a castle but it was destroyed during the Braose Rebellion against King John in the early 1200s. Little remains of the fortress as it was never replaced, but you can still see a rocky outcrop with a few earthworks atop of it.

The town also holds historical interest because the medieval grid street pattern of wide streets and back lanes still exists. Kington hosts around eight annual fairs per year, and maintains an importance as a market town, with a livestock market every Thursday.

Inspiration came to author Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle when he visited the area. On hearing about the haunting of Hergest Ridge by The Black Dog, he wrote the Sherlock Holmes mystery, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. He also applied Devonian folklore to his mystery, as the story would end up being set on Dartmoor.

Visitors to the Kington area will notice the large number of galleries in the town. For a full guide visit the tourist information site.

Kington Museum

Most of them showcase local art and touring exhibitions – Made-in-the-Marches of Herefordshire is a space that presents some of the best on offer. Others of note are the Galanthus, in Wormbridge, and Hereford Art Gallery, one of the larger spaces.

Hereford is the main city in the area and has much to offer visitors. Alongside a varied shopping centre and lots of options for evening entertainment, there is a very wide choice of eateries that includes brand favourites and independents that offer dishes from across the world.

"The legend of the Black Dog is said to have inspired Conan-Doyle's famous tale The Hound of the Baskervilles..."

You can enjoy walks along the River Wye, or get lost in the streets of High Town. Why not take in a show at the Courtyard Theatre? It also has a cinema screen and a café.

Hereford is also a foodie haven; having been at the centre for all the local farming communities, it stands to reason it gets to draw on fresh fruit, veg and meats. Hereford is also known throughout the world for its beef, as well as local ciders, potatoes, soft fruits, juices and locally manufactured crisps, cheese, and real ales.

No visit to Hereford is complete without a trip to the 13th century Mappa Mundi, the largest and oldest textile world map in existence. It is housed inside Hereford Cathedral which is also worth a trip into the city for.

Elsewhere you will find the Cider Museum, where you can see a former factory complete with cellars, and see how the drink is produced.

Doctor Who fans should take an amble over to The Time Machine Museum, which is packed with props from the insanely popular TV series. Also check out their costumes and props from Red Dwarf, Star Wars and the marionette-led sagas from Gerry Anderson.

We have some lovely holiday cottages in and around Kington. Why not visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Kington Castle

Search out the earthworks of the town’s castle, sacked in the 13th century.

Hereford

Take a trip to this grand city full of ancient wonders and modern spectacles. Visit the cathedral to see Mappa Mundi, and take in the Cider Museum.

Offa’s Dyke

There are some splendid local walks along this natural boundary which was once the border between England and Wales.

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