The city of Hereford lies on the River Wye in the county of Herefordshire, England. Hereford is world renowned for the 11th Century Cathedral and the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century. The cathedral is also home to the world's largest surviving Chained Library, which holds over 1,500 books ranging from the 8th century to the 19th century. The town of Hereford offers shopping and culture, heritage and leisure activities with many cafes and pubs and bracing walks by the River Wye.
The old town of Hereford offers shopping and culture, heritage and leisure activities with cafes and pubs for refreshments and bracing walks by the River Wye. Visit High Town and 'The Old House' - a fascinating black and white building open to visitors - the busy shopping centre is also the venue for markets, fairs and events. Or stroll along the delightful thoroughfare known as Church Street, crammed with interesting shops including those specializing in maps, music and jewellery, needlecraft, as well as a range of individual fashion shops. For retail therapy the Maylord Shopping Centre is the best place to go, home to stores such as Topshop, Argos, T K Maxx, Sportsworld and Tie Rack, and if the shopping becomes a bit too much, then you can always stop off for a coffee at Costa. For leisure activities you can find the single-screen Odeon cinema located on Commercial Road.
Hereford Cathedral: The cathedral in Hereford is one of the most spectacular buildings in the city. Located close to the river Wye, the cathedral was originally built as a Saxon building c. 1020 - 1040, but this building was destroyed in 1055 by a Welsh army. During 1107 and 1148, the impressive Norman cathedral was built and much of it survives today.
Tours: The fascinating tours of the cathedral are a must if you are visiting Hereford during the summer months. Tour guides will lead you about the cathedral as you discover the facts and history of the building, ranging from the Saxon times to the present day. The tours run from 11.00am to 2.00pm Monday to Saturday during the summer months. Experienced guides are available for more specific trips about the cathedral, paying detailed attention to its history and architecture.
Exhibition and Library: The Hereford Cathedral Exhibition was officially opened on 3rd May 1996 by HRH Queen Elizabeth II. This impressive exhibition is popular with many visitors who flock to the cathedral each year, mainly for its display of the Mappa Mundi. “Just what is the Mappa Mundi” you might ask. Well, the Hereford Mappa Mundi is a 13th century world map, recording how scholars of the medieval period interpreted the Earth in geographical and spiritual terms. The secrets and facts of this map can be found in the New Library, using models, original artefacts and the latest interactive computer technology.
Chained Library: The cathedral holds the world's largest surviving Chained Library, which holds over 1,500 books ranging from the 8th century to the 19th century.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
The historic city of Hereford offers a wide choice for the walking fraternity. Town trails explore the old city from river to cathedral to museum to castle. Long distance walkers have a choice of following the river bank trail on the Wye Valley Walk or to meander through the borderlands on the Marches Way.
Hereford was founded circa AD 700, becoming the Saxon capital of West Mercia, better known today as Herefordshire and the surrounding area. The cathedral was built between 1015 and 1046, thereby confirming Hereford as a city. Today Hereford is a main trading centre, with traded products including cider, beer, leather goods, poultry, chemicals, nickel alloys and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed.
Hereford Museum and Gallery: The Museum and Gallery attracts visitors from far and wide. You can get hands-on in learning about Herefordshire's history, with the dressing up box, Victorian school desk and archaeological activities. Activities are targeted at all ages, making the museum a huge hit with all the family. For the artistic, the Gallery houses many changing exhibitions of prints, craftwork, photography and paintings, with activities and workshops held throughout the year.
Waterworks Museum: This museum, situated in Hereford itself, is a surprising 150 years old, still with working machinery and social history which tells the story of drinking water supplies. Although it may be a little lost on children, the pumps on display are extremely impressive and several of the machines are the last examples of their kind working anywhere in the world. The gem of the museum however is the triple-expansion steam engine, which stands two floors high and is an incredible spectacle when in operation.
Berrington Hall: This National Trust Property in nearby Leominster (14 miles from Hereford) is a beautiful neo-classical house built in the late 18th century and designed by architect Henry Holland. Inside the interiors include beautifully decorated ceilings and fine furniture, a recently restored bedroom suite and a nursery. The gardens themselves are an attraction of their own, with a recently planted historic orchard and willow tunnel.
Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre: This farm park is located in Kington (20 miles from Hereford) and becomes very popular during the summer months, particularly with children. It is home to a delightful collection of rare, miniature and unusual animals and birds, including the mischievous pygmy goats, the Dexter cattle, alpacas, and the world's smallest breed of sheep, the Ouessant. The miniature horses and donkeys cannot be forgotten either, having had many TV appearances over the years. The Pet Animal House displays the smaller animals, such as guinea pigs, mice, chinchillas, rabbits and chipmunks, and if you're wondering where the poultry are, the waterfowl enclosure is home to many wonderful ducks, geese and swans. The Owl Centre houses the finest display of owls in Britain. The centre has been designed and planted to create a garden setting, allowing visitors a rare opportunity to observe all kinds of British owls as well as many more spectacular examples from around the world.
Amazing Hedge Puzzle: This 'amazing' attraction in Ross-on-Wye (15 miles) is fun for all the family! Wind your way around this huge maze, meeting many dead ends and coming face to face with tall hedges along the way. It is the perfect place to play games such as hide and seek and Tag, even if you're stuck playing them for hours.
Accommodation and Services
Hereford offers a wide range of accommodation from luxury hotels to bed and breakfasts. Self catering and holiday cottage accommodation can also be found in Hereford and the outlying community. Click on the side-bar to book accommodation online.