Set in the north of Herefordshire, Leominster is best known for its medieval black and white buildings and numerous antique shops – and there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied in this quintessentially English town.
The market town of Leominster is located in beautiful North Herefordshire, at the heart of the Black and White Villages. The town and the surrounding villages make a perfect base for exploring the wonderful rolling hills of The Marches; the border land between England and Wales.
Breath taking views coupled with architectural delights, historic sites, succulent gardens and great hospitality, make this a versatile destination for all.
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and the county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles east of the border with Wales, 24 miles southwest of Worcester, and 23 miles northwest of Gloucester.
With a 7th century Saxon origin, Hereford was extensively developed by the Normans who rebuilt its famous cathedral and the castle, the latter sadly no longer standing. This Wales/England river crossing point (Here-Ford) still has an abundance of stunning half-timbered buildings, together with architectural marvels like The Shire Hall and Town Hall. These sit alongside the modern developments of the Old Market Shopping Centre, Maylords shopping centre and the Courtyard; Herefords Centre for Arts.
Packed with myths and legends, daily guided walks reveal the treasures of Hereford Cathedral, with summer tours of the tower and the cathedral gardens. Wonder at the Mappa Mundi, the world’s leading example of a medieval map and the Chained Library, a unique collection of 1,500 books dating back to the 8th C many with their original security chains. High Town, the original Norman market place for almost 1,000 years, is still the busy retail heart, with weekly and seasonal food, craft and retail markets.
Explore the stunning Jacobean Old House now open as a museum, marvel at the tiny half-timbered former apothecary’s shop up high opposite Boots and for a taste of Victorian trading explore the Butter Market still in the heart of High Town. Don’t miss Hereford’s Independent Quarter centred in quaint cobbled Church Street, Saxon and once Cabbage Lane, it leads to the cathedral and, along with the little streets nearby, is home to a wide selection of small retail shops, eateries and pubs.
The City’s foodie culture is seeing a revolution and including the well-known national chains, also has plenty of independent casual sandwich and coffee stops, gourmet burger bars, tapas, bistros and wine bars, as well as fine dining at beautiful Castle House.
Learn about cider making in the Cider Museum located in the original Bulmer’s factory, once home of the world’s largest cider maker thanks to the abundant Herefordshire apple orchards. The Coningsby Hospital museum, originally a medieval home for old soldiers is said to have inspired the Royal Hospital for Chelsea Pensioners.
A short walk or drive will bring you to the Waterworks Museum, an engineer’s dream, where you will see Victorian methods of supplying water to Hereford City, especially on their regular live steam days.
Hidden away next to the River Wye is Castle Green, an early example of a city park laid out in 1745 on the site of the Norman castle. Join in the regular events that pop-up or stroll on over Victoria Bridge to St George’s Playing Fields and river walk, lovely for a picnic.
Whether you admire the view over the king’s shoulder from the sandstone cliff of Bridgnorth, or stand on the bridge below, (at the height of summer the Severn is almost covered by the flowers of water crowfoot) you won’t have to look far to find a superlative in the Severn Valley.
Bridgnorth was once one of the busiest river ports in Europe, but nowadays, the Severn, clear and unpolluted, is a quiet haven for anglers, walkers and wildlife. The river divides the town into High Town and Low Town, the two being linked by seven sets of ancient donkey steps and a Victorian funicular, the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway.
“If you approach the High Town by the cliff railway you feel you are being lifted up to heaven.” – John Betjeman
The oldest and steepest inland funicular railway makes the heavenly journey at least 150 times a day. In 1892, when it opened, the entrance was watched over by a temperance restaurant and refreshment house.
Just as rewarding for the pilgrim is the ancient Cartway, one of Shropshire’s most interesting streets which leads down to the flower-filled Quayside, the cliffs and caves of Lavington Gardens and on to Severn Park.
Whichever route you choose to the top, you can enjoy King Charles’ ‘finest view’ from Castle Walk, before checking out another of the valley’s superlatives, the Castle Keep that leans at an impossible angle greater than the Tower of Pisa.
History abounds in Bridgnorth. Thomas Telford’s church of St Mary Magdalene sits grandly next door, while the timber-framed Town Hall set on high brick piers, interrupts the traffic flow in the High Street. The redundant but revered St Leonard’s Church set in its own cathedral-like close provides calm away from the hustle and bustle of the town.
The medieval Northgate, which houses the Northgate Museum stands guard at one end of the High Street whilst the Italianate splendour of the New Market Buildings stand at the other.
The historic centre is a shopper’s heaven packed with designer shops, smart new malls and an amazing range of independent retailers. And of course all the bars, cafes, restaurants and you could ever wish for.
Craven Arms is a small quiet, sleepy market town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, on the A49 road and the Welsh Marches railway line, which link it north and south to the larger towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow respectively. The Heart of Wales railway line joins the Welsh Marches line at Craven Arms and the town is served by Craven Arms railway station. The town is enclosed to the north by the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and to the south is the fortified manor house of Stokesay Castle.
There are a number of shops, estate agents, a supermarket, an abattoir and many commercial/light industrial businesses. It is also a visitor destination, being home or nearby to a number of attractions, and being central for visitors to the area of outstanding natural beauty. It describes itself as the “Gateway to the Marches”. Craven Arms is located in South Shropshire on the main A49 Shrewsbury to Ludlow road. The name originates from the 17th century Craven Arms Inn and it was the creation of a major railway junction that stimulated growth of the settlement in Victorian times.
Nearby you will find the stunningly beautiful Stokesay Castle and the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is just a short walk from the town centre.
In the town you will find the quirky, but highly entertaining Museum of Lost Content.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Shropshire Hills are recognised as one of Britain’s finest landscapes. It’s not just the stunning scenery which will captivate you, but the people and places, its history and heritage, the walking and wildlife, food and festivals.
The Shropshire Hills are believed to have the greatest variety of rock types of any comparable sized area in the U.K. But you don’t have to be an expert, just stand on any of the hilltops that surround Church Stretton and admire the view – the rocky Stiperstones, the plateau of the Long Mynd, the craggy volcanic Stretton Hills and Wrekin and the long wooded scarp of Wenlock Edge all have their own distinctive beauty.
History and heritage
The countryside around Church Stretton is steeped in history and folklore. Climb Caer Caradoc and walk the ramparts of this impressive Iron Age hillfort. Another fine example is across the valley – Bodbury Ring on the summit of Bodbury Hill. Sixteen Bronze Age burial mounds can be found on the Long Mynd and the Portway, a 5,000 year old ridgeway was once used by Neolithic traders.
People and places
This is a living and working landscape. Centuries of small scale farming has shaped the countryside and its communities. Church Stretton itself is a bustling market town which holds regular markets and includes many independent shops to browse, town trails to follow and tea shops to enjoy. You’ll also find good country pubs serving great food and ale in the surrounding picturesque villages.
Walking and wildlife
What better way to enjoy the beauty of the area than to go for a walk. Come late summer the Long Mynd is a sea of purple and not to be missed. Along with the heather a variety of other plants flourish here including bilberry (known locally as whinberry). The hilltops are also home to upland birds such as curlew, red grouse and merlin, and you will never be far away from a buzzard circling overhead. Keep your eyes peeled and you will probably see red kite as well.
Food and festival
The area is renowned for its food. Sample the local produce and you’ll see why. Regular farmers markets are held locally or you can buy direct from farm shops. Supporting local producers help to look after this landscape and www.shropshirehills-buylocal.co.uk makes it even easier to search for local produce – so there is no excuse!
A great shopping experience
Church Stretton has great shops, individual, customer friendly, and providing a range of products for locals and visitors alike.
National Trust in Church Stretton
The National Trust visitor centre is half a mile from the town, in Carding Mill Valley. Here you can set off for a walk on the Long Mynd, get a cuppa or shop in the National Trust shop. There is ample charged parking in the valley.
Birthplace of Charles Darwin, Shrewsbury is set amidst the glorious Shropshire countryside near to the Welsh Borders and is one of England’s finest medieval market towns.
The town has over 600 listed buildings including the Castle and the Abbey (home of the fictional Brother Cadfael).
Relax in beautiful Quarry Park or take a boat trip on the River Severn. You will also find a huge variety of things to see and do in the surrounding countryside.
Each year a number of major festivals and special events are held, including the world famous Shrewsbury Flower Show.
The Theatre Severn located at Frankwell Quay, Frankwell, Shrewsbury SY3 8FT is a very popular well visited contemporary riverside theatre with 2 auditoriums staging musicals, drama and live concerts. Worth checking out what’s on as many famous acts and artists have performed at the Theatre Severn.
Spring sees one of the country’s top agricultural shows – the Shropshire County Show.
August bank holiday sees the Shrewsbury Folk Festival, one of the UK’s top folk events.
A number of inside and outside live music concerts with well know artists are organised during the summer months.
The Town boasts plenty of shops, pubs and quality restaurants so there’s something to enjoy for everyone.