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Home | Guidebooks | Ledbury

A visitor’s guidebook to Ledbury

Ledbury, Bolthole Retreats

About Ledbury

Lying to the west of the undulating Malvern Hills, Ledbury is a delightfully vibrant, and happily twee-free, market town packed with independent boutiques, restaurants, antique emporiums, and art galleries. With origins that can be traced back to AD 690, this is a town where the history is evident at every turn. Timber-framed buildings line the streets, and in the centre of town stands the Grade I listed Market Hall. With a 50-year build that started in 1617, today it is one of the finest examples of a stilted timber-framed building in England. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, you can still find a bustling market being held between the pillars.

Not only is Ledbury home to Eastnor Castle and several festivals, including the world-famous Ledbury Poetry Festival, but it is also perfectly placed for exploring some of the UK’s most incredibly beautiful natural areas including the Cotswolds, Wye Valley and Symonds Yat, the Forest of Dean, and the ever-present Malvern Hills.

Our top 10 things to do in Ledbury

1. Eastnor Castle
2. Hellens Manor
3. Newbridge Farm Park
4. Chase Distillery
5. Parish Church of St Michaels and All Angels
6. 16th Century Painted Room
7. Canwood Gallery and Sculpture Park
8. Malvern Hills
9. Wye Valley and Symonds Yat
10. Weston’s Cider Mill

Things to do in Ledbury on a rainy day

Chase Distillery
16th century Painted Room
Butcher Row House Museum
Hellens Manor
Eastnor Pottery and The Flying Potter
Ledbury Heritage Centre
Hereford Museum and Art Gallery
Glazydayz Pottery and Painting Studio

Art and culture in Ledbury

16th century Painted Room
Found in one of the oldest timber houses in the town, the 16th century Painted Room is a wonderful discovery made in the late 1980s. During the Elizabethan era, it became fashionable with the merchant gentry to recreate in paint the fine leather wall hangings and tapestries found in the homes of the aristocracy. These examples date to 1560 and are amongst the best surviving illustrations found.

Butchers Row House Museum
The Butchers Row House Museum sits in a row of 15 houses, which ran along the middle of what is now the high street. The museum contains many local items of interest including a collection of musical instruments and replica pieces of the armour worn during the 1645 Battle of Ledbury.

Canwood Gallery and Sculpture Park
19-minutes from Ledbury
Established to exhibit thought-provoking art amid the beautiful Herefordshire countryside that people could enjoy for free, the Canwood Gallery features work by an array of artists, and there’s a sculpture park with impressive pieces to enjoy.

Ledbury Heritage Centre
Lying on the narrow cobbled lane that leads from the high street to the church, the Heritage Centre is the perfect place to find out more about Ledbury’s past, in particular the stories behind the town’s wealth of historic buildings.

Weavers Art Gallery
The Weavers Gallery is situated in the heart of historic Ledbury and throughout the year hosts a varied programme of exhibitions and by local makers and artists. The gallery features a wide range of exhibits but has a particularly strong focus on textile art.

Events in Ledbury

Eastnor Chillifest
Tingle the taste buds and test your nerve at the Eastnor Chillifest. This annual event is an homage to all things chilli, and a great weekend for the whole family. There’s plenty of live music, food stalls, entertainment, and a children’s cookery school. For those who are brave enough there is also the chilli eating competition.

Hay Festival
Regarded as one of the best literary festivals in the world, the original Hay festival was dreamed up around a kitchen table in 1987. Now operating across the globe, the festival in the book-lovers town of Hay remains the pinnacle for book lovers and showcases a diverse wealth of authors from all genres through talks and interactive events.

Ledbury Poetry Festival
Founded in 1996 by a group of locals, passionate about poetry, the Ledbury Poetry Festival is now one of the biggest dedicated poetry festivals in the UK. Featuring poets from across the globe this 10 day event celebrates the best in poetry for lovers of the genre both new and old.

Family-friendly activities in Ledbury

Eastnor Castle
7-minutes from Ledbury
This magical, fairy tale castle lies at the foot of the Malvern Hills and is filled with excitement and adventure for the whole family. Alongside the adventure playground and woodland play area, younger visitors can follow the treetop walkway, rope swing route, and navigate their way around the Knight’s Maze.

Equestrian Centre at Holme Lacy
7-minutes from Ledbury
Introduce your children to the thrill of horse riding at this BHS approved riding school. Welcoming riders of all ages, your child will be paired with a horse that is right in size and ability to ensure a fun time is had. There’s also excellent hacking, a cross country course, and an indoor school.

The perfect paint-your-own pot fun. With plenty of parking and lots of space, this is a fun way to spend a few hours fuelling their creativity. With more than 300 pieces of blank pottery to choose from, there’s something for all including figurines, bowls, plates, jugs, and plates.

Ice Quest Malvern
25-minutes from Ledbury
With ice skating, laser quest and escape rooms, Ice Quest Malvern is a great entertainment space for the whole family. There are skating sessions to suit all ages including disco nights as well as quieter family sessions for families with toddlers. Laser Quest is a high-tech version of tag meets hide-and-seek. Points are scored by zapping the sensors on your opponent’s jacket.

Newbridge Farm Park
7-minutes from Ledbury
Newbridge Farm Park is a delightful, play-based, family-run attraction close to Ledbury. Let the kids run off steam in the adventure playground, on the swings and zipwire or on the giant sand pits. There are tractor rides and a go kart track and various events happening throughout the year. Please be aware there are no animals.

Food and drink in Ledbury

Perfect for: lunch, brunch, snack, afternoon tea
As depicted by the name, Choccotastic is a palace for all things chocolate. This chocolate shop-come-tearoom sells handmade, Belgian chocolate from the heart of Ledbury. After a browse in the shop enjoy refreshments in the tearoom, and yes chocolate does feature heavily on the menu.

Farmer’s Arms
8-minutes from Ledbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner
The Farmer’s Arms is a family run country pub and kitchen with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and they are dog-friendly too. The menu features home cooked local produce and regularly rotating guest ales.

Handley Organics
Perfect for: snacks
Set on the high street in Ledbury, Handley Organics is a local organic shop and café. They sell a range of local, organic produce and dry goods. Additionally, upstairs there is a little café with locally produced cakes and pastries and homemade soups and salads.

Olive Tree
Perfect for: dinner, takeaway
Offering an extensive menu of traditional Italian classics including pizza and pasta, the Olive Tree is a warm and welcoming restaurant set within a 16th century building in the heart of Ledbury.

Malthouse Café and Gallery
Perfect for: snacks, light lunch, takeaway
The Malthouse Café lies hidden away in the cobbled streets of Ledbury and is full of character. Giving a new role to an ancient Tudor building, this popular café is perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea and a light lunch. They have a pretty and enclosed garden at the rear and booking is recommended.

Prince of Wales
Perfect for: dinner
If you are looking for a traditional pub where the beer is as important, if not more so, than the food, then the Prince of Wales is the perfect choice. Renowned for their selection of real ales, this black and white pub on the cobblestones of Church Lane is warm and welcoming with excellent beer, live music sessions and a simple and well-priced pie menu.  

15-minutes from Ledbury
Perfect for: snacks, light lunches, teas, and coffee
Tucked into the Malvern Hills, perfect for walkers and cyclists but also within a short stroll of a car park, Ruffz is a tiny kiosk serving hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes and soup and ice cream. They open on Saturdays and Sundays, and sometimes during the week too, but it’s best to give them a call first to check.

Saracens Head
30-minutes from Ledbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner
With a picture-perfect location on the banks of the River Wye, there has been an inn on this site for hundreds of years. Call in for lunch on the riverside terrace or enjoy a relaxed evening meal in the informal dining room. The bar area is dog-friendly too.

Perfect for: dinner, takeaway
Something of a Ledbury institution, Sitara is a highly regarded Indian restaurant on the high street. They offer an extensive menu of Indian classics including seafood, goat and vegetarian, and the service is excellent.

The Chase Inn
12-minutes from Ledbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner
This cosy, dog-friendly pub is perfectly placed for a refreshment stop, whilst exploring the Malvern Hills. The simple menu features sandwiches, ciabattas, and pub classics. If the weather is kind, the terraced rear garden offers stunning, far-reaching views.  

The Feathers
Perfect for: afternoon tea, dinner
Housed within the most iconic building in Ledbury, the restaurant at the Feathers offers a superb menu of seasonal dishes and traditional classics. Pre-booking is necessary for the restaurant, however walk-in diners are welcome in the bar. Their afternoon tea is worth setting an hour or so aside for.

The Ledberry
Perfect for: brunch, lunch
Tucked away in Ledbury, the Ledberry is a little hidden gem. With a boutique on the first floor and a delightful café on the ground floor, this is a place for sunny brunches, lazy coffee and cake, and a sneaky cocktail if the mood takes you.

The Oak Inn
8-minutes from Ledbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner
The Oak Inn is a quintessentially English pub filled with character. There are four dining areas including the bar, the garden room, the snug and the main restaurant. Dogs are welcome in all spaces except for the restaurant. The menu features local producers and sustainable fisheries and daily specials.

The Scrumpy House
10-minutes from Ledbury.
Perfect for: lunch, dinner
Set within the confines of the iconic Weston’s Cider Mill, the Scrumpy House is open for lunch Monday – Sunday with one evening known as Scrumpy Thursday. There’s a sandwich menu, a more substantial a la carte menu, and vegan options too.

The Slip Tavern
10-minutes from Ledbury
Perfect for: lunch, dinner
With a name like The Slip and an address on Watery Lane, you would expect this friendly village pub to be on the waterfront. It isn’t, but don’t let that stop you from seeking it out. It’s a little off the beaten track but offers a welcoming atmosphere and really good pub grub.

Outdoor activities in Ledbury

Cider Circuits – The Redstreak
Known as the rightful home of apples and cider, in Herefordshire you are never far from an orchard. This is the south circuit option, out of three Herefordshire cider trails that wind through ancient apple and pear orchards, some over 200 years old. This is also a designated cycle trail for those who prefer to explore on two wheels.

Coddington’s Vineyard
14-minutes from Ledbury
Set in peaceful Herefordshire countryside, Coddington’s Vineyard is a delightful, family run estate producing a selection of boutique white wines from around 2,300 vines. Book a tour of the vineyards and tastings before settling down and enjoying a cheese platter in the beautiful gardens.

Eastnor Castle
7-minutes from Ledbury
Surrounded by a beautiful deer park at the foot of the rolling Malvern Hills, Eastnor Castle is a great day out for the whole family. Explore the state rooms within the castle and discover the magnificent grounds at your leisure. Follow set trails or wander wherever your fancy takes you around the cool waters of the lake and though the spectacular arboretum.

Weston’s Cider Mill
10-minutes from Ledbury
Located in the village of Much Markle, the roots of this popular cider-maker go back to 1880. Take a tour of the Cider Mill, see the craft of cider making from apple blossom to bottle and let little ones run off steam in the play park. You can also see the resident shire horses, the gentle giants of the workforce now happily retired from their cider-making days.

Wyedean Canoe & Adventure Centre
30-minutes from Ledbury
Enjoy fun-filled days on the River Wye with kayaking, canoes, stand up paddle boards and raft building. With fully trained instructors on hand, this enjoyable experience is suitable for all abilities. Or you can hire canoes by the hour and explore under your own steam.

Shopping in Ledbury

Hay Wine
Stocking more than 1,200 wines, whiskies, spirits and of course cider and perries, Hay Wine is a family owned and independent wine merchants. They specialise in working with small producers who are dedicated to creating vibrant wines with personality.  

Hus & Hem
Meaning house and home in Swedish, Hus and Hem is a treasure trove of fabulous Scandi design. With a huge range of soft furnishings, accessories, clothing, and children’s play, this is a wonderful space for a browse.

Ledbury Country Market
Run by members and volunteers selling homemade, home grown, and handmade local produce every Friday morning, this is a great spot to pick up lots of lovely treats.

Tusk Collection
Tusk Collection is a family-run lifestyle and clothing shop on the high street in Ledbury. The thoughtfully curated collection of candles, bags, baskets and accessories, clothing and home and garden items make this a popular spot in the town.

Sightseeing in Ledbury

British Camp
8-minutes from Ledbury
British Camp is an Iron Age hill fort which sits perched atop the Herefordshire Beacon in the Malvern Hills. Thought to have been first constructed more than 3,500 years ago, this ancient hill fort offers magnificent views of 12 surrounding counties.   

Eastnor Castle
7-minutes from Ledbury
Surrounded by a beautiful deer park at the foot of the rolling Malvern Hills, Eastnor Castle is a great day out for the whole family. Explore the state rooms within the castle and discover the magnificent grounds at your leisure. Follow set trails or wander wherever your fancy takes you around the cool waters of the lake and though the spectacular arboretum.

Goodrich Castle
26-minutes from Ledbury
Perched above the River Wye, Goodrich Castle is one the best preserved medieval castles in England. There has been a castle here since the 11th century, however much of what remains today dates from the late 13th century.

Hellens Manor
11-minutes from Ledbury
Hellens Manor is a living monument to England’s past. This lovely, historic house includes a haunted bed chamber prepared for Queen Mary Tudor, heirlooms of Anne Boleyn, and paintings by legendary artists such as Gainsborough, Goya and Van Dyke.

Hereford Cathedral
25-minutes from Ledbury
Home to the Mappa Mundi, Magna Carta and the unique Chained Library, which is the largest, surviving example of its kind, Hereford Cathedral is a wonderful place to spend a few hours.

Walks in Ledbury

Visitors are completely spoilt for choice when it comes to walking. There are footpaths and trails throughout the local area including the Malvern’s, along Offa’s Dyke, and the stunning Wye Valley. The Herefordshire Trail is a 150-mile route linking the five market towns of Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Leominster, and Bromyard. There are also some superb circular walks.

For more information about walking and cycling, take a look at our Walking and Cycling Guides online.

Wellbeing and beauty in Ledbury

The Malvern Spa
22-minutes from Ledbury
Malvern Spa offers an extensive range of treatments along with an indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Relax and enjoy a little pampering with their menu of massages, body treatments and facials.

Wye Valley Spa
28-minutes from Ledbury
The Wye Valley Spa is a unique, alfresco spa sitting within four acres in the heart of the Wye Valley. They offer a wide range of treatments and therapies along with a seasonal swimming pool, a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. The spa is a ‘ladies only’ sanctuary although they do also run monthly couples days. Hen parties etc are welcome for exclusive use by prior arrangement.

Wildlife and gardens in Ledbury

Little Malvern Court & Gardens
10-minutes from Ledbury
Attached to a former Benedictine Priory, this beautiful 10-acre garden has wonderful views over the Severn Valley. There is much to explore including a chain of lakes, which were once fish ponds for the monks, magnificent cedar trees and a fine collection of old-fashioned roses.

Ralph Court Gardens
30-minutes from Ledbury
Take a horticultural journey around the world as you discover the twelve gardens at Ralph Court. Family-themed gardens include an Italian piazza, African jungle, the dragon pool, and Alice in Wonderland.

The Picton Garden & Old Court Nurseries
12-minutes from Ledbury
Nestled into the slopes of the Malvern Hills, this small family-run plant nursery has been a specialist in Michaelmas daisies since 1906 and holds a collection of more than 430 varieties. These can be seen, along many other species of herbaceous plants, in the Picton Garden.

The Weir Garden
35-minutes from Ledbury
Bordering the River Wye, the Weir Garden lies within peaceful Herefordshire countryside and is managed in a very natural way to create a safe habitat for local wildlife. There’s a grassy orchard, three-sided walled garden, and impressive glasshouse to explore too.

Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo
25-minutes from Ledbury
Walk with tropical butterflies from around the world and discover their lives in glorious technicolour; it’s also wonderful for photographers. Here at the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo, they are passionate about butterfly conservation and support methods across the world to ensure illegal farming is prevented.

Please Note: Information correct at time of publishing. Please check the destination/attraction direct website before visiting to confirm opening hours and visitor details.

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