It's hard not to fall for Ledbury's many charms. With its pretty jumble of 17th-century and Georgian architecture, secret alleyways and famous cobbled lane, it's a photographer's dream. And its thriving high street and renowned Ledbury Poetry Festival often see the town top 'Best Places to Live' lists. The local love affair with words has fuelled the works of literary luminaries such as John Masefield, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the so-called 'Dymock Poets' including Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas. Just minutes from the centre, footpaths lead walkers through ancient woods and orchards, up to the heights of Marcle Ridge and the Malverns, and along the long-distance Herefordshire Trail that circuits the county.
Love Your Ledbury Break
Eclectic Shopping, Excellent Eating
Ledbury’s array of independent shops is quite irresistible. Homewares are a particular speciality, from interiors mecca Tinsmiths to the nordic delights of Hus & Hem. Wander around art galleries and bookshops, womenswear boutiques and lifestyle stores. There are plenty of places to refuel during a shopping spree: enjoy al fresco coffees, chic lunches, or a pie and a pint of Ledbury Gold.
History on the Streets
The unusual stilted Market House in the heart of Ledbury, dating from the 17th century, continues to host twice-weekly markets. Tucked away on the opposite side of the High Street is the recently restored Masters House, its Tudor history revealed on an interactive tour. Church Street, a cobbled lane running behind the Market House, is home to the 16th-century Painted Room, the Heritage Centre and the Butcher’s Row Museum. At the end stands St Michael’s and All Angels Church, housing relics from the Civil War; musket-ball holes from that conflict still pepper walls at The Talbot hotel.
Meet the Artisan Makers
The countryside around Ledbury is studded with wonderful wine, gin and cider producers, from big names such as Weston’s and Chase to smaller artisan outfits including Gregg’s Pitt Cider & Perry, Oliver’s Cider & Perry, Little Pomona Cidery, Coddington Vineyard and Frome Valley Vineyard.
Book a tour or tutored tastings to enjoy the flavours of Herefordshire.
Eastnor Castle is simply enchanting – a Georgian interpretation of medieval magnificence, as romantic a recreation as you can imagine. Tour the ornate state rooms, walk around the lake and admire the arboretum.
Children love the rope swings, Knight's Maze, enormous slide, treetop walkway, woodland play area and lots more. There's also a great ice cream parlour and tearoom.
Hellens is one of the oldest dwellings in England, with elements dating back to the 16th century and beyond. Take a guided tour to discover Anne Boleyn's heirlooms, the reputedly haunted bedchamber prepared for Queen Mary Tudor, the panelled Music Room, and paintings by Gainsborough, Van Dyke and Goya.
Stroll around the beautiful gardens before taking refreshments in the wisteria-garlanded tea room.
Newbridge Farm Park
Play on hay bales and rope swings, take a tractor ride, bounce on trampolines and pedal around on mini-tractors: Newbridge Farm Park is a super day out for the whole family. The friendly horses, donkeys and goats love to meet new faces – and to be fed by them, too.