Summer starts here: Your new weekly guide to Britain

British breaks: Herefordshire
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The Independent Travel

Get out and about in the UK with our new weekly guide to summer in the British countryside. This week, Herefordshire.

What's on

Step out for the Herefordshire Walking Festival from 13 to 21 June, now in its eighth year. Hardy trekkers and Sunday strollers will find something to suit from more than 60 guided walks across the county. Limber up for the Mortimer Trail, a three-day hike from Kington to Ludlow, or Learn from the Experts, picking up tips on subjects such as ornothology, architecture and photography literally on the hoof.

The Ledbury Poetry Festival, the largest of its kind in the UK, takes place from 3 to 12 July, with readings from poets including Roger McGough and Ruth Padel, as well as other performances, exhibitions and workshops designed for all the family to enjoy.

David Byrne, Brian Appleton (aka Graham Fellows) and the Art Car Boot Fair are typical of the eclectic mix featured in the left-field bill of music, comedy and contemporary arts at this year's Big Chill festival, at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in the Malvern Hills, from 7 to 9 August.

Hereford Cathedral provides the impressive setting for a major exhibition of the Magna Carta and Mappa Mundi to entertain history buffs throughout June, July and August. From 8 to 15 August, the Three Choirs Festival unites choristers from Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester cathedrals to raise the roof with a little help from international artistes and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

See the sights

The timber-framed buildings in the north-west of the county are the focus of the self-guided Black & White Village Trail. The 40-mile circular route starts and finishes in the ancient market town of Leominster, calling at pretty villages such as Eardisland along the way, as well as attractions including Burton Court, an 18th-century house with a neo-Tudor façade design by Clough Williams-Ellis. If you want a little more detail on what you're seeing, local tourist offices sell a special audio car tour. Walking and cycling versions of the trail are also available, while some of the destinations on the trail can be reached on local transport. Look out too for a new separate leaflet on the county's churches, which offers a little more detail on their history and heritage.

The Herefordshire Cider Route provides a guide to the county's famous tipple, with a useful map revealing where to find the local cider-makers to learn more about the drink's history and production, and, of course, sample a glass. A special leaflet for cyclists features two routes to follow.

Discover the area's best pubs, top restaurants and favourite farm shops and markets by picking up a copy of the Flavours of Herefordshire booklet, which changes each year to highlight the winners of the county's annual competition for food and drink producers and providers.

Further information

For more suggestions and accommodation ideas, go to