A wealth of antique shops has brought TV stardom to Leominster (pronounced ‘Lemster’) – but this beguiling market town remains charmingly down-to-earth, with its array of vibrant independent shops and blend of medieval, Tudor and Georgian architecture. Lying in the heart of Mortimer Country, the many castles and historic houses in the surrounding countryside are ripe with stories of the area's dramatic past. This Walkers are Welcome town offers easy access to nearby woods and the long-Herefordshire Trail.
Love Your Leominster Break
Beneath medieval overhanging eaves, in Georgian townhouses and under ancient wooden beams, more than 120 antique dealers ply their trade in Leominster. It's an absolute treasure trove! Browse the shops to find all sorts of historic pieces ranging from fine furniture to vintage interiors, barometers to medals. There's also a host of fabulous independent shops, including galleries, a book shop, contemporary womenswear and a super toy shop. Spoiler alert...it's impossible to leave empty-handed!
Rich in History
Tucked away from the main streets you'll come across a couple of historical gems. Grange Court is a timber-framed masterpiece built by the John Abel, the 17th-century craftsman known as the King’s Carpenter. Admire the intricate carvings before popping in to the cafe at this vibrant cultural hub. Another must-see is Leominster Priory Church, a beautiful spot which is home to the last ducking stool used in England. Intended to reprimand Jenny Pipes in 1809, she rose from two dunkings in the river still shouting! The local women's morris-dancing troupe is named in tribute to her.
Walks & Woods
Go for a wander along the pretty circular 4.5km Riverside Walk, following the signs from Corn Square in the town centre. For a longer leg-stretch, take a short drive to the inviting, tree-lined paths of Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum. Delightful in spring with the arrival of the cherry and magnolia blossom, the woodland is also an autumnal favourite, ablaze with rich colours. Families love the Gruffalo Trail whilst the 'Lyrics, Leaves & Lives' audio trail offers a glimpse into the social and natural history of the woodland. There's also an adventure playground and family-run cafe on site.
Explore Near Leominster
Hampton Court Castle
Explore the long, fascinating history of this magnificent castle, dating back to the early 15th century, before wandering around the magnificent gardens, with its maze, grotto and photogenic wisteria arch. There's plenty to entertain children, too, including a playground, tree swings, quirky wooden bridges and a waterfall you can walk behind. Enjoy lunch at The Orangery, overlooking the extensive grounds.
National Trust Croft Castle & Parkland
Discover 1000 years of power, politics and pleasure in an intimate family home. Amble the waymarked trails that stretch for miles, including the path through the magical Fishpool Valley. Visit in spring to admire the dazzling carpet of bluebells. Children can go wild in the brilliant natural play area and get regal in a mini castle.
Stockton Bury Gardens
These delightful four-acre gardens are home to a medieval pigeon house, kitchen garden, water gardens and well-planted borders. Inspired by the floral designs and techniques? Mull your own garden plans over lunch at the café, then pick up the plants you need from the array on sale.
Out and About
Leominster is the ideal starting point for the 40-mile 'Black and White Villages Trail’, linking ten picture-postcard villages packed with historic timber-framed houses. Drive or cycle between them, past hopyards, orchards and beautiful farming country – it’s a small slice of heaven.