Day 1: Historic Wanderings & Contemporary Shopping
Start with a wander around Ledbury's historic streets. The unusual black and white stilted Market House sits in the centre, hosting markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Walk up the cobbled Church Lane behind to see the Butchers Row House Museum, real ale pub, The Prince of Wales and the The Heritage Centre, all houses in beautiful timber-framed buildings.
At the top, you'll find St Michael’s and All Angels Church with its detached bell tower and relics from the Civil War, including musket-ball holes in the door. The church made headlines when a painting of The Last Supper was revealed to have been the work of Titian! Afterwards, find the 16th Century Painted Room where you can view original Elizabethan wall paintings.
Lunch at The Malthouse before mooching around the array of independent shops. Homewares are a particular speciality, from interiors mecca Tinsmiths to the nordic delights of Hus & Hem. Other favourites include Take 4 Gallery, independent bookshops as well as lifestyle stores Ceci Paolo Emporium and Monkleys. In the afternoon, pause for coffee and cake at Pot and Page.
In the evening, treat yourself to a fabulous meal at 33 The Homend (booking necessary, only 12 covers available) or eat at the friendly The Seven Stars.
Day 2: Exploring Eastnor & Colwall
Today you'll walk over to the tiny village of Eastnor. Start the 6km loop just up past the Police Station on the Worcester Road where you'll find the Coneygree Woods. Its 56 hectares are home to over 47 species of tree as well as a host of wild flowers. The view before you make your descent into Eastnor is heavenly.
In the village, make a day of it by visiting the sumptuous Eastnor Castle (April - Sept) with its gorgeous grounds or book a clay modelling workshop at Eastnor Pottery. For an adrenaline adventure, book an off-road experience at the thrilling Land Rover Experience.
Alternatively, complete the loop and lunch at The Ledberry. Chill out in the afternoon or hop on the train to Colwall. It takes only 5 minutes (24 trains per day) to reach this village at the foot of the Malvern Hills. A short walk from the station you'll find Old Court Nurseries & The Picton Garden. Specialising in asters, ferns, succulents and snowdrops, there's colour year round, especially in Autumn as Picton holds the National Collection of Michaelmas Daisies. Before returning, call in at Colwall Park Hotel or Cafe Morso for coffee and cake.
In the evening, eat at The Feathers Hotel, Ledbury's former coaching inn which is brimming with character and always offers a warm welcome.
Day 3: Cycle Cider Country or Visit Hereford City
Today, pick from a day visiting artisan cider producers on bike or travelling to the tiny city of Hereford. Hire two wheels from Ledbury Cycle Hire and follow the Southern Cider Circuit, known as The Red Streak. This 59-mile route visits nearby boutique makers such as Gregg's Pit through to big name brand Westons Cider before crossing the river near Ross-on-Wye.
Alternatively, take the train to Hereford to visit its iconic Cathedral along with the Mappa Mundi, the world's oldest map, and the atmospheric Chained Library. Discover the story of the county's favourite tipple at the Museum of Cider, be transported back to Jacobean times at the Black and White House Museum before sampling the city's thriving foodie scene.
There's lots of fantastic places to eat, including the award-winning The Bookshop and the legendary Beefy Boys, as well as No 9 The Balcony and Sensory & Rye. In the afternoon, make a beeline for the independent boutiques on Church Street and East Street before heading over to the Old Market for more shopping. Return to Ledbury by train to close the weekend and make your journey home.