This winter, head to Herefordshire for glorious circular walks followed by a delicious pub lunch. Each of our Roasts & Rambles routes is designed take you through amazing landscapes with stunning views. And there's unexpected treats along the way, including wild mountain ponies, romantic castle ruins and ancient caves.
Afterwards, cosy up in one of our country pubs and dig into a well-earned lunch, featuring the best local produce.
1. The one with the wild mountain ponies: Endless views from Hergest Ridge
Trek along the border between England and Wales, through the beautiful moorland of Hergest Ridge. It's a wild open space, drink in the magnificent 360-degree views, which are only interrupted by the occasional grazing wild pony. You'll walk along a favoured section of Offa's Dyke Path, Britain’s longest surviving ancient monument, and also spot a motte and bailey. The circular route starts and finishes in the tiny historic town of Kington with lunch at the nearby foodie favourite, The Stagg Inn.
2. The one which looks our over England & Wales: Adventures on the Border - Cat's Back
The Black Hill or The Cat’s Back is in the Black Mountains. It's known as the Cat’s Back due to the hill resembling the appearance of a hunched, sitting cat. Traversing the border between England and Wales, this is an energetic walk, but you will be rewarded with the most stunning views.
Afterwards, eat a magnificent lunch at The Bulls Head at Craswell which is one of the last unspoiled drovers' inns in England, or dine by the riverside at The Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch Escley, which was named one of the UK's best pubs by The Telegraph.
3. The one with the romantic ruins: Castle & Rolls
A walk to Wigmore Castle, a major centre of power for 500 years and home to the Mortimer family, who dominated this area in medieval times. Now a romantic ruin with amazing views, looked after by English Heritage. Then it's into the woods, known as the Wigmore Rolls, featuring a summit 288 metres high. Later, lunch at the acclaimed Riverside at Aymestrey or the welcoming Castle Inn.
4. The one with the legendary cave: The Wye, Woods & Caves
A gorgeous walk in the Wye Valley which starts in Symonds Yat and follows the River Wye as it carves its way through cliffs and hills on both sides. Trek on through ancient woods, up to the summit to get the heart pumping, before reaching the fabled King Arthur’s Cave which is said to have been occupied 10,000 years ago and counting. Along the way, see the last hand ferry on the Wye and spot the resident peregrine falcons. Finally, enjoy a delicious lunch at The Old Court Hotel or Ye Olde Ferrie Inn.
5. The one with the sacred Neolithic stones: Arthur's Stone & The Golden Valley
Roam the magical Golden Valley and look across to the Black Mountains as you make for the prehistoric Arthur’s Stone, an atmospheric Neolithic burial chamber made of great stone slabs. The tomb has been linked to King Arthur since before the 13th century and also inspired the writings of CS Lewis - just think of the stone table upon which Aslan the Lion is sacrificed. Along the way Merbach Hill offers wonderful views of the River Wye and the Wye Valley. There's great places to eat nearby, including the Bulls Head, the ever delightful Bridge Inn at Michaelchurch Escley, the Temple Bar Inn in Ewyas Harold or the oldest pub in Herefordshire, The Pandy Inn.
6. The one with scenic, challenging hills: The Deer Walk
A beautiful scenic walk near Ledbury, with a couple of strenuous hills to challenge your fitness. The routes takes in the Eastnor Deer Park, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to a herd of red deer. Within the park you'll find the Somers Obelisk, a monument which can be seen for miles around. It's then on to Midsummer Hill which is situated in the Malvern Hills - it's a bit of a climb, but well worth the views. On your return, take in the magical view of Eastnor Castle, a 19th-century mock castle which was built between 1811-1820. Then, tuck into a roast at The Feathers or The Farmers Arms.
7. The one with country churches & pretty bridge: Ramble by the Wye
Admire the River Wye as you step along the riverbank, taking in the countryside’s peace and quiet and stumbling on beautiful churches along the way. This tranquil route takes in the delightful Sellack Suspension Footbridge which was built in 1895 to link the parish churches of Kings Caple and Sellack St. Tysilio's Church. Diners are absolutely spoilt for choice with The Loughpool, New Inn and The Cottage of Content all nearby.
8. The one with the gorgeous black & white houses: Weobley Trail
A short but sweet walk which wanders past beautiful ‘black and white’ half-timbered houses in the picture-perfect village of Weobley before going out into the surrounding green fields for open views. Discover a motte and bailey, the impressive church of St Peter and St Paul and plenty of fantastic traditional Tudor buildings. Afterwards, enjoy dinner at one of the villages renowned local eateries, choosing between Jules Restaurant and Ye Olde Salutation Inn.
9. The one for fairytale feels: Magic in Mortimer Country
A magnificent march across Mortimer Country, complete with a handsome castle, an ancient hill fort, a magical valley and a mischievous woodland sprite…There are big views to be found on this varied walk, but the intimate atmosphere of Fishpool Dingle is a particular delight. Here you’ll find beautiful beech woods and towering Douglas firs, remnants of quarries and lime kilns, a chain of ponds that once provided fish for the castle’s kitchen, and Georgian follies and grottoes. Afterwards, eat an award-winning lunch at The Riverside at Aymestrey.
10. The other one with amazing wild ponies: Garway Hill
The 360 degree views at the top of Garway Hill are outstanding with views to the Malverns and Black Mountains. It's just you … and the wild grazing ponies! It's a glorious spot, you'll feel completely surrounded by countryside and the tranquility of nature. Afterwards, retreat to a fabulous country pub for lunch. We highly recommend The New Inn and The Kilpeck Inn.
11. The city centre one which takes you to orchards: Breinton Springs
This pretty walk from Hereford city centre along the River Wye to Breinton Springs takes you through orchards which are beautiful in all seasons - from blossom and bluebells in the spring to apples in the autumn. Breinton Springs is a gorgeous spot, great for birdwatching, and has a pretty church to visit as well as earthworks which are the remains of Breinton Camp. Return to the city for superlative dining at the award-winning Bookshop, Hereford Bar & Brasserie or Castle House Restaurant.
12. The one with the fossils: Marcle Ridge & Woolhope Dome
The unique local geology has created a soft rolling countryside around Marcle Ridge, but as you gradually ascend the ridge you will see way beyond this to the dramatic Black Mountains in one direction and to the Malvern Hills in the other. Wander through this rich mosaic of ancient oak and mixed woodlands, species-rich hedgerows, wildflower meadows, traditional orchards and streams, all supporting a wealth of wildlife. And look for the fossils formed in the coral seas 400 million years ago. Then retire to The Crown Inn for a slap-up lunch with local cider, including the pub's own home-milled tipple.
13. The one with the wide open views: Jewel in the Downs
A picturesque walk climbing up the Bromyard Downs for impressive views over the town. The Bromyard Downs is 114-hectares of common land grazed by livestock and home to a true abundance of nature. It has long connections with agriculture and you'll see signs of the old drovers' paths that were used to walk livestock to market. Later, kick off your muddy boots and enjoy a well-earned lunch at Three Horsehoes Inn.
14. The one with the aardvark: Leintwardine West
A walk that follows country lanes, criss-crosses open fields and footpaths, with the odd bridge over streams, and into open landscapes with only sheep for company. You'll also pass Aardvark Books & Cafe which a perfect place to pause for a coffee and cake, as well as a peruse of their superb collection of new and used books. Starts and ends at The Lion Leintwardine.
15. The one with the iron age hill fort: Leintwardine East
Soak up the views! Look out to the iron age hill fort of Croft Ambrey to the south, Wales to the west and the Shropshire Hills to the north on this relatively strenuous circular route which starts and finishes at The Lion Leintwardine. It's a charming pub with bars, restaurant and rooms - the ideal place to unwind with a local pint and a delicious roast.