Herefordshire - The undiscovered gem

Herefordshire has a number of bustling Market Towns - all individual with a character of their own. The quaint rural villages are an ideal place to potter, browse, explore and sample traditional Herefordshire hospitality. You will find a wealth of quirky independent shops and specialist retailers just waiting to welcome you, while the indoor and outdoor markets and specialist farmers markets are always a real attraction for visitors and groups.

When it comes to things to do you're spoilt for choice in Herefordshire with a stunning natural backdrop it is the perfect place to be at one with the outdoors. The region's art and culture are enough to keep even the most literary scholars happy and there's more history than you can shake a medieval stick at.

Steeped in tradition, the county is blessed with some of the finest unspoilt countryside in England, a wealth of fine market towns and a collection of varied landscapes which are home to wooded hills and gentle river valleys. Add a favourable climate and it all makes for a perfect destination for garden lovers and those with an interest in visiting historic homes and heritage sites.

From privately owned properties to those under the care of bodies such as The National Trust and English Heritage, many of the gardens and historic properties open to visitors in Herefordshire offer a unique glimpse and insight into the county's past. For lovers of gardens and architecture, the range of properties will appeal to all tastes.

Stretching over four acres, The Laskett Gardens are the private creation of the historian, writer and diarist Sir Roy Strong and his late wife, the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman.

since 1945. What makes this garden unique is that for over thirty years its makers wove the story of their marriage and their lives into its very fabric. The result is over 20 different and contrasting rooms, including a rose garden, a knot garden, an orchard, a pleached lime avenue, parterres as well as a kitchen garden.

Other great attractions to visit include Hergest Croft. Established over 100 years ago, it is a proverbial garden for all seasons with 50 acres of magnificent trees, shrubs, azaleas and rhododendrons. There are over 5,000 rare shrubs and trees and over 60 Champion trees, plus 30 foot high rhododendrons in Park Wood. The azaleas in the Azalea Garden are nothing short of spectacular in spring, plus there is the large Kitchen Garden which contains the long colourful herbaceous borders, the Rose Garden, Spring Borders and a host of unusual vegetables.

These are just a sample of the riches Herefordshire has to offer for the garden and heritage visitor across all the seasons. It is every bit a county well worth discovering with so many great properties to seek out and explore.

You will find Gardens are in abundance in Herefordshire, and it's no surprise as one of the most rural counties in England!