Exploring hidden gems of the Wye Valley

With English Tourism Week upon us (18 to 27 March) we thought it only fitting to highlight the best of Ross-on-Wye and where to explore and seek out those hidden gems in the surrounding countryside if you’re visiting for the weekend or longer.

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Herefordshire, Ross-on-Wye stands as a testament to England’s rural charm and historical significance. Surrounded by the idyllic Herefordshire countryside, our pretty market town offers a huge range of attractions and activities for tourists seeking a wellbeing retreat away from bustling city life.

Referred to as the Gateway to the Wye Valley, Ross-on-Wye boasts stunning panoramic views of the River Wye and the surrounding hills, making it a magnet for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Visitors can embark on leisurely walks along the Wye Valley Walk, which stretches for 136 miles, winding through picturesque villages, lush woodlands and verdant meadows. The town’s iconic Prospect viewpoint adjacent to St Mary’s Church provides a breathtaking panorama of the meandering river below, framed by woodland, wildlife and rolling hills, making it a perfect spot for budding photographers.

For history buffs, Ross-on-Wye offers a glimpse into its rich heritage through its historic landmarks and impressive architectural structures. The 13th century St Mary’s Church, with its striking spire dominating the skyline, stands as a testament to the town’s medieval past. Meanwhile, the Market House in the town centre, a distinctive sandstone building dating back to the 17th century, serves as a focal point for the town’s vibrant market culture, where visitors can shop for local produce at the weekly markets or browse the huge range of independent shops taking in The Vintage & Design Trail.

Venturing beyond Ross-on-Wye, the wider region of Herefordshire is worth taking time to explore with its wealth of attractions, activities, walking routes and tours. History comes alive at the imposing Hereford Cathedral, renowned for its medieval architecture and the Mappa Mundi, one of the oldest surviving maps of the world. Nearby, the tranquil grounds of Berrington Hall, a Georgian mansion surrounded by Capability Brown-designed gardens, offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the English gentry.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy some time out for wellbeing and relaxation amongst the vast landscapes of Herefordshire, dotted with charming villages, orchards and vineyards. The Herefordshire Cider Route presents a delightful journey through picturesque orchards, where visitors can sample traditional cider and perry, while The Herefordshire Trail offers scenic drives through rolling hills and rural hamlets, providing an authentic taste of English countryside life.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Herefordshire’s countryside provides ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, and fishing. The Black Mountains and the Malvern Hills, both within easy reach, offer breathtaking vistas and challenging trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Alternatively, a leisurely canoe trip along the River Wye allows visitors to soak in the tranquillity of the countryside while enjoying picturesque views of ancient castles, including Wilton and Goodrich, and wooded hillsides.

Food lovers are spoilt for choice in Herefordshire, with its rich agricultural heritage and abundance of local produce, and many Michelin or AA star restaurants tucked away in picturesque rural settings. From traditional pubs serving hearty pub grub to fine dining establishments showcasing the best of seasonal ingredients, visitors can indulge in a gastronomic journey that celebrates the region’s culinary heritage.

For more activities and ideas visit our See & Do page here.