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Hereford

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Hereford (Welsh: Henffordd) is an historic cathedral city in England on the river Wye. The county town of Herefordshire, the city lies close to the English border with Wales. A small city (population 55,000), Hereford nonetheless offers a great variety of attractions for the traveller.

Understand

  • 1 Hereford Tourist Information, St Owen's Street (at the Town Hall), ☏ +441432383837. Mo - Sa, 10:00 - 16:00. (updated Oct 2020)

Get in

Herefordshire is a rural county and this is reflected in its transport links to Hereford. Roads from Gloucester or other places tend to be slow and bus transport from neighbouring counties isn't exceptional.

By train

  • 1 Hereford railway station. There are two main rail lines, one north-south, from Manchester to Wales and another branch from LondonOxford, the Cotswolds, via Worcester and finally Hereford. Direct trains from London Paddington take 3:05 to 3:32 hours to reach Hereford. There are five direct trains per day from London to Hereford. There is a more frequent train service from London Paddington to Hereford by taking the express trains heading for Cardiff and changing at Newport onto the line for Hereford. (updated Jan 2021)

By coach

There are daily National Express coaches from BirminghamSheffieldLeedsBradfordGloucesterSwindon, Heathrow Airport and London Victoria.

By plane

Hereford has no civil airport but the city is accessible from BirminghamBristolCardiff, and London Heathrow.

The journey from London 2 Heathrow Airport (LHR IATA) to Hereford by car is 130 mi (210 km) and takes about 3 hr, depending on traffic. To reach Hereford by train, you'll need to travel via London Paddington; journey times are slightly less than 4 hr.

Birmingham Airport (BHX IATA) is 64 mi (103 km) away with a driving time of about 1 hr 40 min. By train, a journey via Birmingham New Street takes just over 2 hr.

Cardiff Airport (CWL IATA) is 70 mi (110 km) away with a driving time of 1 hr 20 min. By train, a journey via Cardiff Central takes around 2 hr.

Bristol Airport (BRS IATA) is 70 mi (110 km) away with a driving time of 1 hr 40 min. Don't use Bristol if you're not hiring a car, as the journey by bus and train to Hereford takes 3 hr.

Get around

By bus

Confusingly, Hereford has three bus termini: one (urban routes) is behind the Tesco supermarket in Bewell Street; one on St Peter’s Square (rural routes); and one behind the former Odeon cinema in Commercial Road (inter-city). Weather protection is barely adequate (no heated waiting rooms) and none have real-time displays. Some county lines depart from outside the Hereford railway station and also stop at the Country Bus Station. Other services depart from the "County Bus Station" (behind the cinema on Commercial road - about 3 minutes walk from the station). City services start from the Shire Hall in St. Peter's Square or the "City Bus Station" at the rear of the Tesco supermarket in Bewell Street.

By bike

In 2019, as part of its Sustainable Transport policy, the council launched its Beryl Bike initiative, providing nearly 200 card-operated bikes, available from 40 pick-up points across the city. These emerald green 3-speed pedal bikes are programmed not to go out of the city centre and users must be under 60.

On foot

With pedestrianised High Town its core, central Hereford is extremely compact and no more than 600 metres across, so walking is the best way to explore it. East of Cathedral Close is Castle Street, with some fine early Georgian town houses, ending at the Victorian Castle House Hotel. North of the Close narrow Church Street is lined with shops (30 indies and not a high street multiple in sight). At the bottom, cross East Street, passing through the pedestrian tunnel known as Cabbage Alley brings you into High Town, where you can check out - and grab a bite to eat or a coffee - in the Victorian Butter Market.

See

  • 1 Hereford Cathedral, 5 College Cloisters, Cathedral Close, HR1 2NG, ☏ +441432374200. The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Ethelbert the King, established in 1079. Taking its cue from Coventry's blitzed and rebuilt cathedral, several modern artistic elements have been introduced into Hereford Cathedral's fabric. The most impressive of these is certainly Simon Beer's 1992 gilded elliptical corona, suspended above the Crossing. Also worth seeking out are Tom Denny's set of four stained glass lights (installed in 2007 in the Audley Chapel) inspired by the writings of the 17th century cleric and metaphysical poet Thomas Traherne.  
    • Mappa mundi (inside the cathedral). A famous medieval map of the world, drawn in the 13th century. (updated May 2018)
    • Chained Library (adjacent to the cathedral). Contains more than 50 volumes published before 1500. £6. (updated Sep 2019)
  • 2 Remains of the Blackfriars Dominican Monastery, Widemarsh Street. Originally founded in the Eign Gate suburb in 1246, and moved to Widemarsh in 1322. Its dissolution took place in 1538 and it was burnt down shortly thereafter. The ruins are surrounded by a rose garden established by the local community in 1964. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 3 Black and White House Museum (Old House), High Town, HR1 2AA, ☏ +441432260694. a remarkably well-preserved example of a 17th century timber-framed building, built in 1621 and used for many purposes over the years, starting life as a butcher's shop and finishing its commercial life in the hands of Lloyds Bank in the late 1920s. Since 1929 it has been a museum.  
  • 4 The Cider Museum, Pomona Place, HR4 0EF, ☏ +441432354207. Mo - Sa, 10:00 - 16:30. Watch how apples are milled and pressed, and how the resulting juice is fermented to produce cider. A centuries-old tradition still alive and developing today. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 5 The Waterworks Museum, Broomy Hill, HR4 0LJ, ☏ +441432357236. Closed until 2021 due to the pandemic. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 6 Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, Broad Street, HR4 9AU, ☏ +441432260692. Housed in a Victorian Neogothic building, open since 1874. The exterior of the building has changed very little, but the museum and gallery have kept up with the times. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 7 Hereford Museum Resource Centre, 58 Friars Street, HR4 0AS, ☏ +44 1432 383383. By appointment only. It houses the majority of the paintings and drawings of Brian Hatton. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 8 Belmont Abbey, Ruckhall Ln, HR2 9RZ, ☏ +441432374747. Su-Su, 06:00 - 21:00. The Grade II*-listed Abbey Church was designed by E. W. Pugin, son of A. W. N. Pugin, and consecrated in 1860.  
  • 9 St Francis Xavier, 19 Broad Street, HR4 9AP, ☏ +441432273485. Roman Catholic church.  
  • 10 All Saints church, High St, HR4 9AA, ☏ +441432370414. A 14th century church, unique in Britain for having an integral galleried cafeteria. There is a rare 17th century bread shelf on one of its walls. Each Sunday, it provided seven free loaves to be taken by seven of the poorest people of the parish. It was extensively restored in 1996. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 11 Stirling Lines, Credenhill (5 mi northwest). The headquarters of the British Army's 22 Special Air Service regiment, named in 1984 after the regiment’s creator, Colonel David Stirling. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 12 Dore Abbey, School Ln, Abbey Dore, HR2 0AA (13 mi southwest), ☏ +441873860644. A 12th century Cistercian abbey. Its name is an archaic spelling of the Welsh word for "water", dŵr.  

Do

  • 1 Hereford Racecourse, A4103, Roman Road HR4 9QU (a mile northwest of town centre). Go to the races, but only in winter as (unusually) it's only a jumps course. (updated Sep 2020)

Formed in 1981, the non-profit-making Guild of Hereford Guides conducts daily walking tours of the city centre (further details from the Tourist Information Centre in the Butter Market). The national Ramblers Association has an active branch in the county.

Buy

  • 1 Old Market Shopping Centre, 22 Garrick Lane. Built on the site of the former Livestock Market, has effectively relocated the commercial epicentre of the city a quarter mile northwards. It comprises a department store, a 6-screen multiplex, a supermarket, 20 retail units and restaurants and a multi-storey car park. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 2 High Town Street Market. every Wednesday. A lively street market in a paved traffic-free area akin to a small Italian town’s piazza - though sadly now dominated by banks and building societies. (updated Oct 2020)
  • 3 Victorian Butter Market, 2 Maylord Street, ☏ +441432270396. Mo-Sa, 08:00-17:00. More than 20 stalls, many selling ethnic cuisine and local produce. (updated Sep 2020)

Eat

  • 1 The Bookshop Restaurant, Aubrey Street, ☏ +44 1432 343443. Opens 09:00. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 2 Simply Thai Kitchen, Widemarsh Street, ☏ +44 1432 508074. Opens 12:00. Small family-run restaurant, serving traditional Thai dishes based on fresh ingredients. (updated Sep 2020)
  • 3 Cotto, 8 Broad Street, ☏ +44 1432 264836. We-Fr 17:00 - 22:00; Sa 12:00 - 15:00, 17:00 - 22:00. Italian restaurant, reported as outstanding. Booking in advance is recommended. (updated Oct 2020)

Drink

  • 1 The Kings Fee, 49–53 Commercial Rd, HR1 2BJ, ☏ +44 1432 373240. Wetherspoons pub. (updated Nov 2017)

Sleep

  • 1 Alberta House B&B, 5-13 Newtown Road, HR4 9LH, ☏ +44 1432 297102. Check-in: 12:00 - 21:00, check-out: 10:30. Pleasant, great value family-run B&B with comfortable rooms and ample private parking. Single from £35, Double from £50, Family from £60 (see website for details). 
  • 2 Castle House Hotel, Castle Street HR1 2NW, ☏ +44 1432 356321. Upscale hotel in Regency villa, great comfort, service and dining. No dogs. B&B double £160. (updated Jun 2020)
  • 3 White House Glamping, White House Farm, How Caple, HR1 4SR, ☏ +44 7849 621669. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 10AM. Family-friendly tipi glamping next to the river Wye. From £99. (updated Apr 2020)
  • The Green Man Inn, Fownhope, ☏ +44 1432 860243. Fownhope is an unspoilt village on the banks of the River Wye. Next door to the hotel is a health spa and leisure centre. (updated Sep 2020)

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