green and lush turning up to once a hen house

A mere two and half hours from London, once a hen house is set in a rural environment, tucked away for a peaceful, relaxing break, yet an ideal location to explore all that the surrounding counties have to offer.

Ledbury is a busy market town with a wealth of individual shops and twice weekly markets. Its black and white architecture attracts visitors all year round and in July it holds the largest poetry festival in the country.

mown path through the clover field
View of Eastnor Castle

Close by is the romantic Eastnor Castle with its beautiful grounds and deer park, and events held from Easter until the end of September.

The Three Counties showground at Malvern holds the popular RHS Spring Garden Show in May and the Royal Three Counties Show in June.

Cheltenham, famous for the National Hunt Race week in March and beautiful Regency architecture is only a half hour’s drive away. It also holds a jazz, science, music and world-renowned literature festival.

Both Gloucester and Hereford Cathedrals are well worth visiting; Gloucester is one of the finest medieval buildings in the country and the burial place of royalty, and Hereford Cathedral is home to the Mappa Mundi.

Cheltenham literature festival arch
Close up of a field of wild daffodils

The International Centre for Birds of Prey in nearby Newent is the oldest centre in the world dedicated to birds of prey. Here you can see the birds up close and witness the spectacle of them flying. Newent, famous for its wild daffodils, which grow in abundance in the surrounding woods and meadows, also holds an annual onion festival in September. Newent is also home to the award-winning Three Choirs Vineyard, nestled in glorious Gloucestershire countryside it is well worth taking a tour, sampling the wines and enjoying lunch or dinner in the brasserie. 

View from the Three Choirs Vineyard
Sunset view at once a hen house

During October the area around Much Marcle celebrates the English apple. Farms and cider mills are opened up and you can sample the delights of this delicious fruit including of course the scrumptious ciders and perrys associated with Herefordshire.

Theatre goers have the choice of Malvern and the Everyman in Cheltenham, and Hellens Manor outside Ledbury holds classical events in a magical environment.

Freshly picked cider apples in autumn
View of the River Wye

There is plenty for walkers to enjoy in the area; the Malvern Hills with over 3,000 acres in which to walk and views across to the Severn Valley and Black Mountains on a clear day. May Hill with its distinctive summit of pine trees planted in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, and miles of footpaths through the beautiful Leadon Valley.

For the more adventurous there is canoeing down the River Wye at Symonds Yat and from here you can explore the Forest of Dean.

View from top of the Malverns