Ledbury's historic streets are lined with brilliant independent shops, plus plenty of places to refuel. The town is surrounded by woods, orchards and hills, with footpaths winding up to the Malvern Hills. Literary luminaries, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning and John Masefield, were enamoured with this beautiful area. And the local love affair with words continues via the international Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Ledbury: The essentials
Wander the historic streets and stroll up tiny alleys to find Ledbury’s irresistable array of independent shops. Homewares are a particular speciality, from interiors mecca Tinsmiths to the nordic delights of Hus & Hem. Mooch around art galleries and bookshops, womenswear boutiques, lifestyle stores and delis. Dotted all around, you'll find plenty of spots for coffee and a bite to eat.
Historical Streets, Close to the Hills
Soak up the town's history and your stroll the streets. See the unusual stilted 17th-century Market House, find out about the Tudor history of the restored Masters House and walk up the cobbles of Church Street, home to the 16th-century Painted Room, the Heritage Centre, the Butcher’s Row Museum and, then, St Michael’s and All Angels Church where a painting by Titian was discovered. The town is surrounded by woods, great for walking, whilst the Malvern Hills and Marcle Ridge are within easy reach for longer hikes.
Big Apple Country
Ledbury is surrounded by orchards which are celebrated twice a year by the fantastic Big Apple festivals. Tours, tastings and orchard walks are also available all year round, at the established Westons Cider as well as at award-winning artisan producer Gregg's Pit. Herefordshire has a growing reputation for wine-making so a trip to nearby Coddington Vineyard is another must.
Ledbury: Plan your trip
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.
Great times to visit
In July: Ledbury Poetry Festival
Come in the first two weeks of July to experience the Ledbury Poetry Festival, which takes place in venues throughout the town and out into the beautiful hills, with the greatest poetic voices from around the world.
In October: Big Apple Harvestime
Early October, the area plays host to a weekend dedicated to celebrating the apple harvest. Visit local orchards and artisan cideries to see, hear and smell cider being made and taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices. The programme includes many events from readings to guided walks.
Herefordshire’s cider is the stuff of legend. Follow the fantastic Cider Circuits to journey through our scenic countryside by bike or car, meeting some of the finest local cider and perry producers en route. The Redstreak circuit takes in Ledbury as well as nearby Westons Cider and Gregg's Pit.