Kington – centre for walking and top for golf
Kington in the North West of Herefordshire, is one of the five market towns of Herefordshire long with Leominster, Bromyard, Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye. Kington, bordering with Powys, Wales exhibits a good mix of architecture and retains an agricultural air with a weekly livestock market close to the town centre.
Aptly named ‘a centre for walking’ it carries Walkers Are Welcome status, hosts its own walking festival Kington Walks in September and sits on the Offa’s Dyke Path, The Mortimer Trail, The Arrow Valley Trail, The Herefordshire Trail and the soon to be launched Wyche Way. Circular walks and those enabling visitors to explore the town are available from the Kington Tourist Information Centre on Church Street.
Highs and lows
The River Arrow flows through the attractive Recreation Ground, home to Kington Cricket Club and venue for many outdoor events. Located on Bradnor Hill (National Trust), Kington Golf Club is England’s highest 18-hole course, playable 12 months of the year. Cloud Nine at The Burton Hotel provides swimming and fitness opportunities. Swimming is also available at the privately run Dunfield House just outside the town. Lady Hawkins’ Leisure Centre also offers many sports facilities. Kington is set in excellent cycling and mountain biking country, taking you along quiet lanes or off road on bridleways such Hergest Ridge to enjoy the best of views across this border region.
Standing high and overlooking the town is the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. Parts of the building are Norman, notably the originally detached tower and the font. The fine stained glass windows and the superb alabaster tomb of Sir Thomas Vaughan and his wife are further points of interest in this peaceful haven.
Inspiration, at every turn in the lane
To the west of the town are the celebrated Hergest Croft Gardens nestling below the stunning views of Hergest Ridge . Four generations of the Banks family have been passionate gardeners for the past 120 years.
Just south of Kington lies the Small Breeds Farm Park & Owl Centre, an exciting day out for children and adults alike. The Owl Garden is home to an extensive collection of owls from across the world, all in an intimate garden setting.
The town has a wealth of individual, independent shops together with supermarkets. The town centre is dominated by the Victorian red brick Market Hall (1885); the clock tower was added in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Close by the award winning Kington Museum has interesting changing displays of local history.
Black and white delight
The Black and White Village Trail starts and finishes in Leominster but can be joined at any point, Kington being one along the route. Taking the trail through north west Herefordshire, you’ll find houses, half-timbered cottages and farmsteads, some of which date back over 600 years. Leaflets giving routes for the Trail by car or bus are available from Tourist Information Centres, you can also view this online here.
The Black & White Village Trail is a motor route through some of the prettiest Herefordshire villages and most beautiful landscape in England. The 40 mile circular trail leads west from the ancient town of Leominster, through a rich landscape of orchards, hopyards and distant hills, taking in the most picturesque black and white villages along the way as well as the little market town of Kington.