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Property & Places - Herefordshire

16 August 2022

By Emily Davies

The last two years have seen a significant number of people sell their central London homes and seek an alternative lifestyle in the countryside. With hybrid working here to stay (BBC), having grown up in the depths of rural Herefordshire, I sympathise with those making the hasty escape for more space and a slower pace of life.

The border county of Herefordshire still remains somewhat of an undiscovered gem. Often confused with the highly sought-after Home Counties location Hertfordshire, my friends, family and I often settle for the simpler description of ‘near Wales’ when trying to explain where we are from.

Despite this, Herefordshire holds a unique and rich history. The Mappa Mundi - the most complete medieval map still in existence - is located in Hereford’s impressive cathedral; The Hereford is one of the  oldest British native breeds of cattle with their distinctive red coat and white faces, and in 1992, Hereford United set a record for the Football League (with four players sent off in a single match).

What’s more, as a result of fertile land and arable climate, farming expertise here have produced some of the nations’ favourite cupboard brands. Tyrrells crisps are made from the counties’ finest potatoes; the blackcurrants grown here are used in Ribena;  the cider orchards of Herefordshire produce more than half of the UK’s cider - including Bulmer’s and Weston’s - whilst Chase Distillery, home to award winning vodka and gin, is also tucked away in the picturesque landscape.

Nevertheless, alongside the modest city at the heart of the county, the county is also home to a collection of characterful market towns. Data from The Pret Index suggests, with fewer people travelling into Britain’s large cities,  people are looking to spend more time in historic market towns that offer shopping, leisure and dining experiences on a smaller scale, whilst offering picturesque surroundings.

Named one of the best places to live in the UK 2020 by The Times, the old market town of Ledbury is one of my favourite places here. Full of charm, the poetry town is surrounded by woods, orchards and hills, inspiring the likes of  Elizabeth Barrett Browning and John Masefield, who were enamoured with the area. With its cobbled alleys, timber-framed high street and iconic market house in the town centre, the selection of independent cafes, which are constantly brimming with locals, and the queue outside the butchers on an mid-week afternoon, perfectly highlight the relaxing yet spirited lifestyle on offer.

Following the rise of hybrid working, properties further outside of London are increasingly more desirable. Boasting a rich history and offeing uninterrupted views across its picturesque landscape, there’s a unique lifestyle to discover in the beautiful border county of Herefordshire.