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Bridge over the River Wye, Hereford

For a city break in England with a distinctly rural flavour, consider beautiful Hereford for your next weekend getaway. Located in the county of Herefordshire, on the Welsh border, the cathedral city of Hereford sits on the River Wye and is brimming with some of the finest produce that Britain has to offer. If you like a drop of cider to wash down a juicy slab of steak, you are in the right place.

Book hotels in Hereford to explore the rich and jigsaw-like history of this ancient city; a former Saxon capital, Hereford hosts a fascinating architectural jumble of Victorian gothic homes, timber-framed Jacobean buildings, and a Normal cathedral, all dotted among the remains of a medieval layout.

There are a small number of Hereford hotels based around the historic heart of the city, though hotels are mostly scattered around the city, its suburbs and the surrounding countryside. Breaks in Hereford are about mixing the conveniences of urban life with the pleasures of life in the country. This means that you are able to book hotels that are surrounded by hills and fields, as well as those in the midst of the city action with restaurants and bars on the doorstep.

While hotels are in short supply, charm and welcoming hospitality are most definitely not, and many hotels in Hereford are located within attractive old buildings that used to have a life as pubs, inns and the homes of the wealthy.

There's also a couple of good-value chain hotels, which offer everything needed for a decent night's sleep such as Travelodge and Premier Inn.

Look in the villages around Hereford for luxury country hotels, many of which offer excellent spa treatments. Fresh air, idyllic pastoral scenery and a soothing massage: what more could you need for a relaxing weekend break? Brecon is just one hour away, so if you fancy hopping in the car and visiting somewhere else, then nearby Wales could offer more to your trip.

Top five attractions

Hereford Cathedral

The home of Mappa Mundi, an 800-year-old medieval map of the world and regarded as one of England's great treasures.

Cider Museum

Learn about the history of cider making, see the apples being pressed, then taste the results. Open 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. Watch out for the Cidermaking Festival in October.

The Old House

A distinctive black and white half-timbered building in the middle of town which is now a museum dedicated to its Jacobean roots.

Belmont Abbey

This working monastery sits proudly on high ground overlooking Hereford and the Black Mountains in nearby Wales. Visitors are welcome and private tours can even be arranged by appointment. Guided visits are also hosted by monks during regular open days.

St John Medieval Museum and Coningsby Hospital

A former monastery and hospital for ex-servicemen, this site in Widemarsh Street is a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Events

Hay International Literature Festival; May/June: Thousands of visitors pour into the tiny Herefordshire town of Hay-on-Wye for this 10-day book festival. Arguably one of the biggest literary events in the world, it attracts some of the most famous authors alive.

Herefordshire Raft Race; June: Starting in Hay-on-Wye, this annual raft race travels through Hereford as competitors race along the Wye for 70 miles over three days to raise money for charity.

Herefordshire Country Fair; August: Hampton Court Castle and Gardens host this celebration of the county's proud countryside with fabulous displays of show jumping, fishing, clay shooting and an abundance of attractions for all the family.