Day 1 - Thursday
Thanks to decent rural Wifi and more options for remote working, your long-awaited reunion with friends can start early. Aim to arrive at your accommodation on Thursday evening and you can catch up over dinner before getting your workspace ready for the next day.
Day 2 - Friday
After breakfast* together - imagine pancakes and proper coffee on a sunlit terrace - you’re all set for a day of remote working. Whether this is in your room or at the WorkHereford co-working space in High Town doesn’t really matter. As soon as the clock strikes 5pm, you can hang up your noise-cancelling headphones - you’re officially on holiday. And this holiday starts with a night out in Hereford.
Hereford is a little city with a chilled out after-hours atmosphere, a burgeoning food scene and a bevy of indie bars. Having pre-booked your taxi and agreed the fare in advance, grab dinner at The Yard, an open-air dining space off Aubrey Street. It’s a former car park and gets extra credit for being home to AROT’s Dark Kitchen - a shipping container-turned- kitchen where chef Mike Fullard cooks his British take on Indian flavours.
For after-dinner drinks, the choice is yours - do you want the gentle hubbub of The Barrels; the curated craft beer list of Hereford Beer House; board games and fine cider at Beer On the Wye; or rooftop cocktails at The Left Bank? End the night by the fire pits at De Koffie Pot, and don’t forget to set an alarm for tomorrow.
* If you’re more of a brunch crew, get yourself to Sensory & Rye and NIZI bakery.
Day 3 - Saturday
Spend the morning doing something you won’t soon forget like llama trekking in the shadow of the Black Mountains or axe-throwing at The Viking Games centre. If you want to mess around on the River Wye, take a self-guided canoe trip with Canoe the Wye, try a Stand-Up Paddleboarding lesson or bring your wet-suit and learn how to wild swim with Symonds Yat-based Run-Wild. If living through a global pandemic is character-building enough for you, book something a little more relaxing like half a day horse-trekking or pottery-throwing with Eastnor Pottery near Ledbury.
Having earned it, find refreshment at a proper pub with impressive views. Take your time at The Major’s Arms in Halmond Frome, which is less than a 15-minute drive from Bromyard and under 20-minutes from Ledbury. It’s an unassuming local, sitting halfway up a steep incline where the sunset views are second to none. Alternatively head to the south of the county where a stop at The Saracens Head Inn in Symonds Yat East, bumping up against the Forest of Dean, will reward you with two terraces overlooking the Wye. During the daytime, it’s from here they operate a hand-pulled ferry boat that’ll take you from one side of the river to the other.
Day 4 - Sunday
Today’s the day for a bracing walk in the company of friends. The Roasts & Rambles series, created by Visit Herefordshire, features 10 recommended circular routes which all include a pub stop - the perfect way to round out your weekend reunion.
Head to Hergest Ridge in the north of the county for endless views, interrupted only by the occasional wild pony grazing on common land, followed by lunch at The Stagg Inn at Titley. For a shorter walk explore the Bromyard Downs in the east of the county. After a light bite at the Plough Inn or the Live and Let Live, it is less than 40 minutes to the M5 motorway.
And Finally...The Wizard of the West
Whatever your schedule you'll want to meet The World’s Most Influential Cider Maker aka the Wizard of the West. Herefordshire’s Tom Oliver has been called both and with good reason. The man behind Oliver’s Cider and Perry is lauded worldwide for making fine cider with minimal intervention. He’s an ex-roadie who collaborates with New York hard cider makers Angry Orchard while he’s not tour managing The Proclaimers. So if you’re planning a cider-tasting tour of Herefordshire, schedule a stop at Oliver’s Ocle Pychard farm because it’s from Tom, the Godfather of Cider, that you will learn an awful lot.