Things to Do in Herefordshire: An Expert Guide
Crammed with countryside and culture, Herefordshire has something for everyone
Set against the Welsh border and surrounded by the Malvern Hills and Brecon Beacons, Herefordshire is a relatively small yet wonderful place. With beautiful countryside, historical sites and unique attractions, there’s a whole range of activities for the entire family to get stuck into. And here at Plum Guide, we've curated this expert guide to inform you of the very best of them. We know exactly where to stay, what to do and what to see (we are travel experts after all), so you can't possibly go wrong. Read on for our trustworthy opinion on the greatest things to do in Herefordshire.
Take a trip to Goodrich Castle
Goodrich Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in England (there are 4,000 of them, apparently). Through an audio guide, discover the castle’s fascinating history, starting from the 11th century and stretching all the way through to its dramatic fall in 1646. Learn about the famous Civil War siege and see the artefacts that were left behind, including cannonballs and Roaring Meg, the only surviving Civil War mortar (no, you can’t fire it). As you walk around the castle, see if you can spot the charmingly named ‘murder holes’ built into the walls, and admire the stained glass window in the chapel. Make sure to climb the battlements for far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside.
Enjoy a tour at Chase Distillery
A gin and vodka distillery tour? Count us in. Nestled in the Herefordshire countryside is Chase Distillery and their award-winning range of gin and vodka. Join an expert tour guide to discover the secrets and skills behind the traditional methods of mashing, fermenting and distilling the field-to-bottle spirits. And before you ask, yes, the tour includes a tutored tasting session with a Chase GB Gin & Tonic and Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic. The family farm also has a shop where you can stock up on your favourite spirits. Additionally, they have gift boxes which make the perfect present for a gin or vodka enthusiast. Or for yourself, of course. We don’t judge.
Venture over the Malvern Hills
If you’re looking to get active (or just need some fresh air after that distillery tour), there’s no better place to be than the Malvern Hills. Covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers plenty to enjoy the outdoors. There are a whole variety of walks ranging from easy to strenuous, taking you through towns, valleys and wildflower meadows. The Malvern Hills are also great for cyclists, with many challenging but rewarding rides, taking you both on-road and off-road across wooded slopes, hilltops and open commons. For the most adventurous, there are hair-raising activities like hang gliding and paragliding, or you can keep it relaxed with a spot of fishing and horse riding. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to reward yourself with a bite of fresh, locally-sourced food from the many small towns and villages dotted around.
Explore Hereford Cathedral
Lovers of grand old buildings rejoice, for Hereford Cathedral is a sight to behold. The cathedral has existed since 1079 and is a treasure trove of various architectural styles, stained glass, and art from different periods. Make sure to visit the Mappa Mundi & Chained Library Exhibition. The Mappa Mundi is the largest medieval world map to survive the test of time, and the Chained Library is home to over 1,500 rare books - including 229 medieval manuscripts. The best way to explore the cathedral’s rich history is on one of the several guided tours. There’s even a tower tour which requires climbing up 218 steps... you can find us in the tea room instead.
Wander through Westonbury Mill Water Gardens
There’s nothing quite like wandering through a peaceful garden, lost in thought. That’s why a trip to Westonbury Mill Water Gardens is one of the most relaxing things to do in Herefordshire. Laid out amongst lush greenery, vibrant blossoms, and a tangle of streams and ponds, this garden is the ideal day out if you’re just looking to unwind. Each corner has a surprise waiting, whether it’s a dome made from 5,000 coloured wine bottles, a stone tower, a water-powered cuckoo clock, or an African summerhouse. Live out your Sound of Music fantasies and embrace your inner Julie Andrews by running through the wildflower meadows, or take a moment to reflect on one of the many benches tucked amongst the greenery. And don't forget your camera for this one - you'll want to revisit your photos every five minutes.
Try something new at Oldfield Forge
If you’re searching for unique things to do in Herefordshire, look no further than Oldfield Forge. This family run blacksmith combines traditional techniques with modern technology to produce first-class bespoke ironmongery. Oldfield Forge holds various experience days where you can try your hand at being a blacksmith for the day - perhaps you'll even find your true calling. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, because you’ll get the whole blacksmith experience from forming red hot metal on the anvil to wielding a hammer. There are all kinds of courses on offer, allowing you to forge wedding rings, decorative swords, axe heads and daggers - all perfectly safe, apparently. There’s something to suit everyone, whether that’s a half day taster, or even a multi day experience if you’re getting carried away (and haven’t been flagged down by health and safety). It's kid-friendly too, so the whole family can join you (if they're invited, of course).