Today we returned from a lovely week away in Herefordshire. We stayed in a beautifully converted barn in a small hamlet about six miles from Hereford and close to the Welsh border. Each day we were out and about enjoying the beauty of local area which means that each day we spent around 4-6 hours on our feet. This is not a complaint just an observation, spending so much time walking and standing has resulted in very achy feet!
Herefordshire and beyond has some absolutely stunning scenery, beautiful churches, parks and gardens and is quiet in a non-touristy way. Even at Symonds Yat Rock, which is a big tourist attraction, we didn’t feel crowded, gazing down over the valley watching canoeists on the River Wye below was calming, and transported my mind to a place of tranquillity.
For me the highlight of the week was Abergavenny, a Welsh market town at the foot of the Black Mountain range, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with the River Usk bordering the Southern edge of the town. Abergavenny is a picture postcard town, with its narrow streets, beautiful buildings, public gardens, riverside walks and castle there’s a very traditional feel to the town. The castle ruins are situated on a hill from which there are beautiful views across the rooftops to the mountains.
There is a small museum in the castle grounds which houses a range of archaeological finds together with more recent historical displays such as an Anderson Shelter from WW2. The museum gallery hosts a range of exhibitions throughout the year and, for me, the current display was simply perfect. Based on ‘The Magic Lamp’ written by poet and novelist Ben Okri to accompany illustrations by Rosemary Clunie, the display showcased Rosemary’s amazing artwork alongside Ben’s quotes from ‘The Magic Lamp’. I was so entranced by the exhibition that I purchased the book which is quite breathtakingly beautiful and will hopefully inspire my own writing.
Another highlight of Abergavenny was the Tithe Barn, situated next to the church this barn has been recently renovated and is home to the Abergavenny tapestry, a stunning piece which took six years to complete from concept, through design, to stitching. The tapestry includes the landscape and history of the town and was commissioned to mark the millennium.