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Home | Guidebooks | Ledbury

A Visitor’s Guidebook to Ledbury

Bustling and vibrant, Ledbury is a market town with a unique feel. Its little alleyways off the High Street are crammed full of enticing and distinctive boutiques, independent shops, restaurants and cafes, and antique and art galleries. The town is renowned for its cobbled streets and timber-framed buildings, most notably the Grade 1-Listed Market Hall at the centre of the town. Reportedly designed by King James I’s carpenter, John Abel, building work on Market Hall started in 1617 and took around 50 years to complete. It is one of the finest examples in England of a timber-framed building and still hosts markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Ledbury is ideally situated to explore some of the UK’s most stunning natural areas, including the Cotswolds, the Wye Valley and Symonds Yat, the Malvern Hills, the Forest of Dean and the Black Mountains. All these areas provide the perfect opportunity to get outside and walk, run, cycle, kayak, fish, play golf or go climbing.  

For culture vultures there’s plenty to choose from too, with a wealth of National Trust properties and historic buildings nearby, such as Hellens Manor and Eastnor Castle.

And if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, Ledbury is host to several festivals, including the Chilli Festival and the world-renowned Ledbury Poetry Festival. The latter was developed from the town’s close links with famous poets, including Victorian poet Elizabeth Barratt-Browning (who was from Hope End on the outskirts of Ledbury),  John Masefield Poet Laureate – 1930 to 1967- (who was born in the town in 1878); and William Wordsworth whose 1835 sonnet St. Catherine of Ledbury, concerns a local noblewoman called Catherine and begins, “When … Ledbury bells broke forth in concert”.

Eastnor Castle

A fairy-tale Georgian castle dramatically situated in the foothills of the Malverns. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and surrounded by a deer park, a mature arboretum and lake, Eastnor Castle boasts beautifully restored interiors containing medieval armour, tapestries and Italian furniture and fine art.

Croft Castle – National Trust

Croft Castle sits deep in the heart of Herefordshire countryside surrounded by 1500 acres of historic woodland, farm and parkland. Home to the Croft family for nearly 1000 years, this castle has many powerful stories to uncover.

Hellens House

Described by Country Living as “The jewel in the crown of Herefordshire homes”, Hellens Manor is a Tudor/Jacobean home in the nearby village of Much Markle, with art, furniture, grounds and gardens to explore. The gardens are dog friendly and have a labyrinth, wildflower meadow, woods and donkeys. Opening times vary, please check the website.

Hergest Croft Gardens

Hergest Croft Gardens lies in the heart of the Welsh Marches. Set in 70 acres, the Gardens are internationally renowned with a spectacular collection of trees and shrubs as well as gorgeous flower borders and an old-fashioned kitchen garden.

Brobury House Gardens

Brobury House Gardens were originally laid out in the 1880s when the house was built. The setting, on the banks of the River Wye by Bredwardine Bridge, was the perfect site for a terraced Victorian garden.

The Picton Garden & Old Court Nurseries

Home of the Plant Heritage National Collection of Autumn Flowering Asters.  

The Weir Garden

The Weir Garden is an unusual and stunning garden of four hectares (ten acres) with sweeping views along the River Wye and Herefordshire countryside.

Frome Valley Vineyard

Wine has been produced in Herefordshire since Medieval times. Visit its modern-day production here.

Visitors to Ledbury are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking, with paths and trails throughout the local area and further afield, including in the Malverns, along Offa’s Dyke and the stunning Wye Valley, and there are at least three walking festivals every year.

The Herefordshire Trail

A 150-mile route that links the five market towns of Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Leominster and Bromyard, along with some of the picturesque villages and hamlets for which Herefordshire is renowned.

The Wye Valley Walk

Runnning for 136 miles from Plynlimon in mid-Wales (near the source of the River Wye) to Chepstow in Monmouthshire (where the Wye joins the Severn Estuary). The walk enters Herefordshire at Hay-on-Wye and leaves the county after 57 miles, just north of Monmouth. It is a clearly waymarked walk, following the route of the river, either along riverside paths or in wooded sections, giving excellent views of the Wye valley from the surrounding hills. 

You can find some great circular walks in Herefordshire.

Ledbury is an ideal base for all levels of cyclists and has:

  • Rural area with rolling fields, cider orchards, and panoramic views.
  • Flat routes for families – and challenging hills for enthusiasts.
  • An outstanding network of quiet Herefordshire lanes.
  • Maps of cycling routes on country lanes, and mountain bike routes on bridleways.

You can download maps from ‘Come Cycling Ledbury’. If you can’t bring your own bike, you can hire one at Ledbury Cycle Hire

Cider Route

To celebrate cider and the local producers, Visit Herefordshire has created the Cider Route, a driving tour of cider producers within Herefordshire and the Wye Valley that road cyclist would enjoy too.

Herefordshire and the surrounding counties have a wide range of festivals, from cider festivals and fairs to the Hay Literary Festival. Here are three of the best:

Ledbury Poetry Festival

Taking place over 10 days every July, The Ledbury Poetry Festival has become the leading poetry festival in the UK, featuring poets from all over the world. Visit the festival and enjoy readings, performances, films, workshops and more.

The Eastnor ChiliFest

Taking place at Eastnor Castle in May, featuring everything chilli plus HOT tasty food, cocktails, beer and local cider!

Hay Literary Festival

The world-renowned literary festival draws crowds from all over the world, making it pretty difficult to find accommodation in Hay, but if you have transport, Ledbury is ideal, just 35 miles away.

Malvern Spa

The Malvern offers an extensive range of luxurious spa treatments delivered in beautiful treatment rooms by qualified and experienced therapists. The spa also has a 35°c 20-metre, indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool.

Chase Distillery

The Chase family have a passion for farming, we grow potatoes and apples which they distil into their range of spirits, including Chase GB Gin and Chase Potato Vodka. Take a tour of the distilleries, sample and buy from the Chase shop.

The Cider Museum, Hereford

Set in an 1887 cider factory, the museum reveals cider’s 400-year-long history and is the site of the original Bulmer’s cider empire.

Ledbury and the surrounding area have a very wide choice of eateries, catering to all budgets. A ‘Quick Guide’ to more than 20 establishments is provided at our Ledbury properties. 

However, we particularly recommend the following:

Bakeries & Snacks

Mrs Muffins Tea Shop

Market House Café

The Scrumpy House at Weston’s Cider (Much Markle)

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

The Feathers Hotel – lunch, dinner, bar snacks

Olive Tree – Italian food – lunch, dinner

33 The Homend – lunch and dinner – specialises in seafood

The Malthouse Cafe and Gallery – breakfast, lunch and cream tea

Verzon in nearby Trumpet – breakfast, lunch, cream tea and dinner

Takeaways & Late Dining

Sitara – Indian restaurant and takeaway

Café 21

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