Nestled between the Wye Valley and the border of Wales lies Herefordshire’s idyllic Golden Valley. Edged by the dramatic slopes of the Golden Valley this enchanting rural landscape provides a haven of peace and tranquillity for all who visit this emerald wilderness.
As it winds its way through the sheltered mountain sides and past the banks of the River Dore, The Golden Valley leads towards a cluster of time-forgotten villages, unspoilt countryside and a wealth of fabulous country pubs, restaurants, shops and a beautiful collection of chocolate box cottages.
Steeped in beauty and history, The Golden Valley makes a wonderful holiday destination during every season, due to the abundance of fantastic things to see, do and explore in the area.
Just a short drive away from the famous market town of Hay-on-Wye, endearingly known as the ‘town of books’ and within close proximity of many other equally stunning towns and villages, The Golden Valley provides a superb base to explore the wider area.
Hidden within the rugged terrain you will stumble across plenty of historical points of interest including ancient ruins such as Arthur's Stone, the oldest man-made structure in Herefordshire. This intriguing glimpse into Wale’s rich past, which sits prominently above The Golden Valley itself is a Neolithic burial chamber with direct links to King Arthur. According to legend, it was here that Arthur slew a giant who left the impression of his elbows on one of the stones as he fell. If this ancient monument has left you wanting more, head to Dore Abbey, a gorgeous church created from a historic Cistercian Monastery.
The beauty of this picturesque location, is its ability to combine sight-seeing and cultural discoveries with fantastic opportunities for adventure and activity! The gently rolling countryside is a haven for walkers - around every corner a mosaic of inviting patchwork fields will come into sight. Whether you are looking for a mild amble through the shaded woodlands, picnic in tow or you are seeking more of a challenging hike through the unsteady and wild landscapes you will discover a trail just perfect for you. With seven free Nature Trust walks to choose from you can embark on a different route every day of your holiday!
Walking is thirsty work I hear you say! Well no need to fret, as Herefordshire boasts its very own Cider Route. Showcasing one of the very best local produces the region has to offer – cider, this 20 mile track which can be walked, however best experienced by bicycle, will transport you along peaceful winding lanes through one of the UK’s finest cider-growing areas. This delightfully unique route allows you to see, hear and smell the glorious countryside with a whistle stop tour. You will soon discover how much of a strong part of Herefordshire’s proud heritage cider is, with an abundance of pubs and restaurants serving it up along the way in a rich variety of colours, flavours and strengths.
For the adrenaline seekers out there, The Golden Valleys exciting landscapes will not disappoint, the striking rock faces and River Wye rapids provide ample opportunity to get outdoors and try something new! Any glimpse of white water is going to attract those with the thrills and spills of adventure activities and The Golden Valley certainly isn’t shy of showcasing just that. Encompassing everything from rock climbing and caving to open canoeing and abseiling, it’s almost impossible to list all of the activities on offer.
Next stop is to explore the taste of The Golden Valley. There are a number of great places to dine to choose between, with most sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients locally. From traditional cosy pubs to luxurious restaurants, foodies enthuse about the quality of the produce which can be found in the region. To indulge in some fine country fare, make The Temple Bar Inn your first port of call. Nestled in the heart of the charming village Ewyas Harold, just a stone’s throw from the Black Mountain, there is no better place to enjoy a pint of real ale and a mouth-watering meal from their tantalising menu, boasting dishes such as Kentchurch venison and Aged rib eye steak – a true country lover’s dream. For something a bit more exotic, head to New Jasmine House where you can feast your eyes, and tease your stomach with every kind of Chinese delicacy you can imagine.
For sweet toothed individuals, The Mill Tea Room is the perfect eatery to refuel with the homemade cake and hot cocoa kind! The Golden Valley is not only blessed with breath-taking countryside, it is also a prime location for entertaining families due to the fabulous selection of attractions orientated perfectly at those with little legs. Being located in the centre of Herefordshire, you will find yourself submerged into a world of boutique lined black and white market towns, fairy-tale castles and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
For an utterly unique experience, a day out at Golden Valley Llamas is a must. Excite children by giving them the responsibility of catching, haltering, grooming and walking their very own llama through wide open fields and farmland, or beyond into the glorious Herefordshire countryside.
Kentchurch Court, nestling under Garway Hill is considered to be one of the most important historic houses in the UK. This intriguing house dates back to the 14th century and makes for a fascinating visit. Surrounded by the most beautiful landscapes, you will be greeted by a stunning rhododendron wood, snow drops, wild daffodils, bluebells and maples when in season, walled gardens boasting the most beautiful spectrum of colours, vegetable patches, ancient trees and parkland home to 250 fallow deer.
Be sure to also check The Golden Valley’s events calendar upon visiting as there are festivals and celebrations to excite every passion and awaken every sense. You can find everything going on in the Golden Valley and surrounding Herefordshire at Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire.
After all that exploring, why not take a step back and head into the hills with a flask of tea and a blanket, sit among the flowers, listen to the birds chirping high in the treetops and get lost in a good book.
Whether you choose to stay in a bohemian yurt, a secluded cottage or a quirky shepherd hut, our collection of properties in the Golden Valley can assure you a world away holiday in wales.
If you are looking for something a little bit different whilst still exuding luxury, Top of Lane Cottage will be sure to delight you. This 16th century stone cottage is an idyllic slice of country life sitting within 580 acres of National Trust land, providing endless walks and trails straight from the doorstep. Snuggle up next to the open fire while you enjoy the rustic interior and admire the stunning views over the Brecon Beacons.