(No title)

Wye ValleyLOCATION

The cottage is ideally placed in the corner of four counties, and only 4 miles from an M50 junction, to give easy access to a host of activities to suit all tastes and ages. We are always ready to help with advice and suggested routes if they are needed.  The picture shows The Wye  from The Yat Rock, before it cuts through the dramatic sandstone cliffs on the way to Chepstow.
The Brecon Beacons, the Malvern Hills and the Royal Forest of Dean are all within easy reach, as are the pretty villages of the North Cotswolds. The cities of Hereford, Worcester, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Monmouth and Ludlow surround us.
Information on what sights and activities are available are supplied in abundance in the cottage, as well as maps. The Cheltenham Spring Racing Festival begins the season. The Three Choirs Music Festival and Hay on Wye Literary Festival take place in the Summer, and the fabulous Abergavenny Food Festival arrives in the Autumn.

divider

Castles & Churches

CASTLES & HISTORY

The countryside abounds with abbeys, castles and the three cathedrals of Hereford with the Mappa Mundi Exhibition, Gloucester and Worcester are all within easy reach.
Tintern Abbey is a huge and dramatic victim of the Dissolution, standing in a curve of the Wye where its monks once tended the huge flocks of sheep, whose wool made the Abbey so rich.  Tewkesbury Abbey, a magnificent Norman monastic church of Wars of the Roses fame, was bought by the  people after the monks were forced to vacate and is still a much-loved parish church, larger than many of our cathedrals.The course of English  history was changed on Tewkesbury’s Bloody Meadow., where the battle is re-enacted once a year.  From the town it is an easy distance to lovely Broadway’s , mellow stone cottages and the delights of  lovely National Trust manor houses,   gardens, such as Hidcote, and the many private gardens open in the summer to the public for a brief chance to see them at their best.
Fairy tale Castell Coch was built by the Marquis of Bute who built Cardiff docks as a wedding present for his wife and looks as if it has walked off a stage set. Fantastic wall painting inside; Lovely picnics in the grounds. The castle stands high above the M4 and can easily  be combined with a visit to nearby Tredegar House, owned by the National Trust.
Eastnor Castle near pretty Ledbury, is a  neo-medieval  castle, in a lovely setting  in a fold of the Malvern Hills. A wonderful place to take children and the Pugin interiors are special.Those old enough to remember The Pallisers on TV will recognise these grounds.
Croft Castle in North Herefordshire and Berkeley Castle are still lived in by their families, and both are open to the public until winter sets in. . Edward 11 was murdered at magnificent Berkeley Castle and you can still see his dungeon. Both give fascinating days out, as does Warwick Castle, driving north up the M5.
Goodrich and Raglan Castles were damaged in the Civil War, but have wonderful locations and atmosphere.
The Black Mountain, a visit to nearby Hay on Wye ‘the book town’, magnificent views from a walk along a section of Offa’s Dyke, over the border Marches to Wales,  are all part an fascinating day out in the wilder country adjoining Herefordshire. Some lovely churches to see on the drive through the gorgeous Golden Valley up to Hay, and the drive from Hay Bluff taking you down  the Ewyas Valley , past the dramatic ruins of Llanthony Abbey to rejoin civilisation.The route is given in detail in the cottage.

divider

Wye Valley WalkWALKING

The Wye Valley walk runs within 400 yards of the cottage. A long distance walk stretching from Hereford to Chepstow, it follows the course of the River Wye, including some dramatic viewpoints along the way. Local walks can include part of the Walk. We can arrange transport by car back to your own vehicle for the most intrepid of walkers., with sufficient warning.  The walking is easy where the AONB officers have seen to the restoration of much of the riverside walkway to an even sandy surface.
The Malvern Hills , Brecon Beacons and the Royal Forest of Dean all have some superb well-marked walks. Guide books, maps and suggested routes are available in the cottage.

divider

SPORT

Golf is available at the South Hereford course, near  Ross and Chepstow, or if you want to try a Ryder Cup course, at Celtic Manor just before you reach Newport on the A40.
Fishing can be booked locally for those who wish to try their hand in different waters. Contact us to provide literature for you.
A hard tennis court hard tennis court is available at reasonable cost at Brockhampton, 1 mile away. Remember to bring your own rackets and tennis balls.

 

divider

RACING

Cheltenham and Chepstow provide superb National Hunt Racing. The Cheltenham racecourse is close to the exit from the M5 and a quick and easy journey from How Caple.  As we are so close to the Gloucestershire boundary and on the racecourse side of Cheltenham, the M50, then M5, make a quick and easy approach, remote from the jammed up  Cheltenham traffic.

divider

CANOEING

There are two canoe hire and Instruction centres close to the cottage. Details are advertised in the cottage.

divider

CYCLING

The roads are undulating in Herefordshire , so most like to cycle on the superb cycle trackways in the Royal Forest of Dean; very safe for children as  no motorised traffic is allowed on these cycleways.

divider

WildlifeANIMALS & WILDLIFE

Shortwood Farm, near Bromyard, introduces small children to farm animals, lambs, piglets and chicks, or learn to milk a cow.
On the edge of The Royal Forest of Dean, near Cliffords Mesne is a fascinating Birds of Prey Centre; see and learn about raptors, such as eagles and hawks and many sorts of owls.  Walks abound in the Forest and the Dean Heritage Centre tells you its fascinating history as one of England’s great oak forests.The Speech House Hotel has a lovely new conservatory and an ancient Court Room used for the Verderer’s meetings., when not in use as the hotel dining room.
Spend time with our own Miniature Donkeys , which originate from Sardinia, taken there as pack animals by the Romans, used on the farms afterwards, and rescued from neglect, hauling bricks in the early 1900s by two Americans. Delightful, friendly little animals who love being groomed by visitors.They work hard for churches and charities and are a gentle introduction to equines for small children.  Five of our originals came from Texas and Ohio.
Walk quietly by the River Wye and hope to see an otter, or a leaping salmon.
Symonds Yat has one of  the best view points overlooking the Wye, after a walk up to The Rock . Peregrine falcons nest on the sandstone cliffs., carefully guarded by RSPB volunteers until their young are fledged. Canoe hire can be had on the East side and there are good pubs over-looking the Yat for the less energetic.

divider

PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Pub restaurants make very good use of our excellent locally-farmed produce. We have so many it is hard to single them out. Our local is The Moody Cow in Upton Bishop 2 miles away where a most friendly welcome awaits for visitors and residents alike and a well-cooked menu too.
The Mill Race in Walford, just on the other side of Ross has a board with a fantastic list of local suppliers and their menu is excellent. The Cottage of Content and The New Harp Inn in Hoarwithy are quintessential English country pubs providing the well-cooked food demanded by every self-respecting Herefordian.
A long list of recommended places to eat is available in the cottage.  Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are well-known for the excellence of their farm produce and all our local restaurants make good use if it. The Farmer’s Markets are another good source of supplies.

divider

THEATRE

Malvern has an excellent theatre with a busy programme through the year of visiting plays and musicals, often prior to London or fresh from the London stage. A good cinema too in the same complex at The Winter Gardens. A favourite night out.
Stratford on Avon and the Royal Shakespeare Theatres are just over an hour away. So much to see in the lovely town including the birthplace of The Bard; it is an excellent full day out with the chance of a first rate production to watch at the end of it.

divider

SHOPPING

The Promenade in Cheltenham is a shoppers’ delight, and in a different way so is Gloucester Quays, a retail outlet built into the reclaimed docks at Gloucester. Go on a steamer trip down the Sharpness Canal if you are weary of the shops.
Ledbury is a fascinating unspoilt small market town with unusual shops, some tucked away in ancient alleyways. Wonderful butchers here from which to buy the best meat that Hereford can produce.The nearest village shop is three miles away in Fownhope. Here you can get almost everything you need and there is a Post Office as well.