Information for Group visitors to Herefordshire
INFORMATION FOR GROUP ORGANISERS AND COACH OPERATORS
Since tourism began in the dramatic Wye Valley over two hundred years ago, visitors have continued to seek out this little known corner of England. The charming town of Ross on Wye was the first tourist resort in this pocket of beauty and relaxation but explore a little further north and you will find a whole county of unspoilt landscape, historic castles and estates and wholesome food and drink; in short, the rural England many people thought had vanished forever.
Herefordshire stretches for around forty miles from end to end in any direction and is so concentrated with unique scenery and interesting visitor attractions that it is easy to forget that, in Hereford itself, you are still within sixty miles of Birmingham or Cardiff. The border landscape has provided the county with many interesting stories to tell, whilst the fertile plains surrounding the river Wye have enabled huge growth in the food and drink sector; Herefordshire is after all the natural home of cider and Hereford beef, as well as boasting the first pub in the country to be awarded a Michelin star.
The ancient city of Hereford lies at the heart of the county and its Cathedral is home to the world famous Mappa Mundi, the oldest map of the world of its kind in existence. Visitors can enjoy exploring the busy shopping centre or take refreshments in the many cafes. Meanwhile, a half hour drive will take you to any of the five market towns, of Bromyard, Kington, Ledbury, Hay on Wye, Leominster and Ross on Wye, all of which have a unique character, whether it be in their medieval alleys, antique shops, tea-rooms or folk museums.
The countryside is, however, the jewel in Herefordshire’s crown and groups are repeatedly drawn to the Black and White Village Trail, a 40 mile route in the northwest of the county that explores eight rustic villages full of appealing half-timbered cottages and houses, for which the county is renowned. Castles and stately homes are dotted about the landscape as well as many wonderful gardens, whilst the fertile countryside has been ideal for raising a wide range of natural and organic food products, and many businesses welcome groups to tour their premises before offering samples.
The Rural Concierge kiosk in Hereford, will work with group organisers and coach operators to discuss driving routes, pre book any parking and to help book suitable accommodation and places of interest for your group to visit. Why not pre book a ‘Herefordshire Host’ who will provide your group with a warm and friendly welcome to the area and will advise your customers on the best places to visit to make the most of their trip.
Tailor-made itineraries can also be drawn up with the theme of your visit in mind and arrangements made with local cafés and visitor attractions so that no effort is spared to promote the enjoyment of your customers.
Herefordshire has so much to offer that individually themed itineraries often work best, providing a reason to return at a later date and sample the county at another time of year and with a different focus. A garden tour in early summer could take in Herefordshire’s own Hampton Court Gardens, the charming Westonbury Mill Water Garden and the venerable shrubberies of Hergest Croft. For heritage lovers, Goodrich Castle provides a glimpse of border warfare whilst Eastnor Castle displays the lavish mock-gothic style of the early 19th century. Alternatively, your group could make a festive pantomime and shopping visit to the City of Hereford itself, also enjoying the Cathedral and its treasures before touring each of the market towns, exploring their unique shops for more unusual gifts, and enjoying lunch in cafés where quality is paramount. However, whatever your group’s interests, pre booking is strongly recommended on your tour, to ensure that all facilities are available on the day to make your visit a successful one.
Drop-off points for coaches in each town are conveniently situated close to the main shops and attractions, whilst coach parks are all within an easy walk of cafés and leisure facilities. In Hereford, the primary drop-off point is outside the Cathedral itself and its Cloisters Café particularly welcomes drivers to rest within its walls, whilst in Leominster a large parking area is situated on the edge of the town centre, providing very easy access to the shops and cafés. Around the county, more informal arrangements enable drivers to pick and choose suitable parking spots according to the needs of their group and its interests. Queenswood Country Park offers a 67 acre arboretum with an impressive viewpoint as well as a parking bay, toilets and café. Many of the villages along the Black and White Village Trail also have a full range of amenities as well as suitable free parking places, and local tearooms and pubs will, with prior notice, provide refreshments for larger groups.
Group Organisers and Coach Operators are warmly recommended to contact the Rural Concierge kiosk in Hereford in order to discuss itineraries, driving routes and other requirements as well as details of drop-off points and parking facilities on the contact details below.
Hereford Butter Market
Hereford High Town
Hereford HR1 2AA
Tel: 01432 370514 or 07966 378170
Information for Group visitors to Herefordshire