Immerse yourself in our gorgeous orchard landscapes by booking a ‘Cider Sleepover’. Staying over on a working cider farm, in an idyllic apple orchard, or in a luxurious converted cider press makes for a memorable break and provides an opportunity to find out more about the history of cider making and to meet some passionate producers. Adding in one of our Cider Circuits, a touring route to enjoy by bike or car, a tasting, or an Orchard Bathing session to guarantee a refreshing weekend away. Here are six super ways to get a slice of the action.
Cycle Visit Herefordshire’s New Cider Circuit – Porter’s Perfection
Exploring the spiritual home of apples and cider on two wheels is great fun. In 2020 we launched two Cider Circuits which can be enjoyed by bike or car. The Newton Wonder runs through the north of the county taking in an undulating swathe of orchards studded with the ‘Black and White Villages’, and The Red streak taking in the ancient apple and pear orchards of southern Herefordshire, some of them well over two centuries old. Autumn 2021 sees the launch of the new Porter’s Perfection, the west Circuit which is a rewarding 48.5mile double loop from Dorstone which takes in craft cider makers and historic pubs
Book a Cider Sleepover
Dragon Orchard Retreat in Putley, Ledbury, is a new orchard hideaway which offers glamping in hand crafted yurts or self-catered accommodation in a beautiful studio apartment. The focus is on reconnecting guests with nature and their Orchard Bathing experience, Orchard Poetry Trail and Orchard Tai Chi are all designed to energise and restore. Open until the end of October prices start from £110 per night
The Cider Shack, as featured on the BBC’s My Unique B&B, is one of two new cider sleepover options at Ty Gwyn Holidays, overlooking Pennyland Farm, home to the award-winning Ty Gwyn Cider. Guests can enjoy a free tasting after a day spent exploring the glorious Golden Valley. As well as The Cider Shack there is also the new Arlington Dairy, a beautiful single-story cottage. Two nights in The Cider Shack cost from £240.
The Cider Barn, a five minute drive from Hereford, is a beautifully restored cider barn with a gorgeous swimming pool, hot tub and sauna. Set in stunning Herefordshire countryside the Cider Barn sleeps 14 and is perfect for a big family getaway. A short walk across the orchards takes guests to the Bell at Tillington, a delightful pub perfect for a delicious meal and a refreshing cider! A midweek two night break in October costs from £2325. Holiday properties in Herefordshire (bulmerproperties.co.uk)
The Crown Inn at Woolhope now offers a seven bedroom cider sleepover which can be booked on an exclusive use basis (sleeps 14). Guests can retreat to bed upstairs after indulging in the restaurant and trying a few of their very own King ciders. For 20 years, owner Matt has been championing the pleasures of cider with food and diners are encouraged to try flights of cider with their meals to see how local craft makers are leading the way. Three times winner of Best Cider Pub, The Crown is serious about its cider and serious about taking good care of its guests. A three night weekend stay in September costs from £1824 (based on 14 sharing).
Michelin starred Pensons in Herefordshire has added two courtyard bedrooms so that diners can sleepover. Passionate about local produce, the team grow or forage as many ingredients as they can themselves including apples in their stunning orchards. As well as producing their own apple juice they have recently collaborated with Little Pomona on a Netherwood Estate Reserve cider, making this the only single estate cider from a Michelin starred restaurant made from apples from their own 70 acres of orchards. The new rooms cost from £400 per night for two guests. The £400 includes the five course tasting menu, breakfast and overnight accommodation (drinks not included).
The Orgasmic Cider Company is set in 100 acres of orchards in Eardisley in the north of Herefordshire. Owner Steve Layton invites visitors to check out his lovely farm shop on Fridays and Saturdays from 12-5pm which stocks his delicious award winning Orgasmic Cider and Perry. Rail and cider enthusiasts should also book a stay in his Green Lane Carriage accommodation – a converted vintage train carriage. All aboard! Guided walking orchard tours can also be booked with a two night stay priced from £260.
Orles Barn in the stunning Wye Valley, near to the market town of Ross on Wye, dates back to the 14th century when it was one of a number of farm buildings on the site. The only surviving part of the original structure is the former apple store, and today Orles Barn is a fabulous restaurant with four charming rooms. A stay in Pixie Apple costs from £100 based on two sharing and including breakfast.
Get Back to Nature with Orchard Bathing & A Poetry Walk at Dragon Orchard Retreat
Forest Bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the Japanese practise of spending time surrounded by trees with a practitioner which connects you to the earth to reduce stress and promote wellbeing. The orchard is particular environment which lends itself brilliantly to Forest Bathing and at Dragon Orchard Retreat guests can enjoy this experience in stunning surrounds. Details of a special Orchard Bathing event will be released shortly.
In 2003 the director of the Ledbury Poetry Festival, Charles Bennett, was commissioned by the Arts Council England to compose a collection of poems inspired by walking through Dragon Orchard. The result was the book Orchard Days and the poems can be enjoyed by a marked Orchard Days’ Poetry Walk through the apple trees. Guests can self-guide or book a guided session.
Indulge in a Tour & Tasting
Across Herefordshire there is an army of fabulous cider producers which welcome visitors on tours and tastings. These range from larger operations such as Westons through to more boutique makers like Little Pomona. New for this season include tours at Colcombe House, a family owned estate in Herefordshire, which makes delicious small batched hand crafted cider from their orchards on the banks of the River Wye. Open for visits Monday - Friday 10 - 5pm for Cider Tastings & Local Family Farm Produce Collections.
Take Part in the Big Apple Harvest Event in Much Marcle – 9th and 10th October
The Big Apple Harvestime event is back for 2021 and the programme is packed. Nick Gates, author of ‘Orchard – A Year in England’s Eden’ is leading a wildlife walk around the orchards at Gregg’s Pit and Awnells Farm. Gabe Cook, the Ciderologist, will be shining a light on the contemporary story of cider and its modern renaissance based on his new book ‘Modern British Cider’ published by CAMRA Books, there will be the Big Apple Bike Ride, high altitude tutored cider tastings on the Marcle Ridge and a whole host of other events. Welcome to Big Apple! - The Big Apple Association