Herefordshire's unspoilt countryside and ‘black and white’ villages make it a rural idyll.
Where is Herefordshire?
The county is home to Wye Valley and Malvern Hills, both Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s also within easy reach of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Living in Herefordshire: what to expect
Large swathes of Herefordshire consist of prized Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making walking, cycling and riding popular activities.
Business is predominantly agricultural and the area is famed for its cider and other natural produce. There are regular farmers' markets held in historic market halls throughout the county.
Hereford itself is undergoing significant regeneration, and it already has a brand new shopping and leisure centre.
Schools in Herefordshire are another selling point. The best schools include Bosbury Church of England Primary School, which received an 'Outstanding' rating at its last inspection.
Top places to start your property search
Hereford: The county town has a range of property dating back to the Victorian times. The sought-after Hafod Road is lined with grand properties with bay windows, gabled roofs and neat front gardens, while Aylestone Hill has substantial houses with up to eight bedrooms, high ceilings and elaborate cornicing.
For semi-detached homes built in the 1920-50s, check out roads around the train station, such as Moreland Avenue.
Luxury riverside apartments are also available. Fryers Gate on Greyfriars Avenue has two-bedroom flats with enviable views over the River Wye.
Search the centre for modern semis, detached homes and terraces in new estates including Morgans Orchard.
And find stone-built cottages further out of the town – have a look at those on Newbury Lane.
Leominster: This market town in the heart of the Herefordshire Marches is full of old English charm. Look at South Street and Church Street for Georgian-fronted townhouses and Edwardian semis, some of which are Grade II-listed.
Try roads such as Mortimer Street and Pump Piece for substantial semis and terraces.
Ledbury: The Homend is one of the key streets to consider if you want a period home in this town. It boasts townhouses built in the 1800s, many of which have spacious rear gardens, and listed cottages.
Alternatively, look to the south of the town for semi-detached homes from the 1950-70s. Modern detached properties with garages are also available on quiet cul-de-sacs such as Hazle Close.
Ross-on-Wye: Consider Over Ross Street if you’re after a substantial mid-20th century semi-detached or terraced home with a view, or the edge of town for a five-bedroom Edwardian detached property set in landscaped grounds.
There are three-bedroom townhouses with long, narrow gardens, large fireplaces and high ceilings on Palmerston Road.
Bromyard: Charming period cottages, some of which are built from stone, are located on Tower Hill. Character features include exposed beams and stonework as well as feature fireplaces.
Georgian-fronted townhouses can also be found here and on Pump Street.
If you'd prefer something more modern, contemporary detached houses with double garages line roads such as Stonehill Drive and Sherford Street.
Villages: Herefordshire is full of attractive ‘black and white’ villages, so-called because of their many timbered houses, some dating back to medieval times. They include Dilwyn, Weobley, Eadisley, Lyonshall and Eardisland.
Best ways to get around Herefordshire
By rail: Herefordshire is well connected to the rest of the West Midlands and Wales. There are train stations at Hereford, Leominster, Colwall and Ledbury.
A journey from Hereford to London Paddington takes three hours. Meanwhile, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly can be reached in one hour and 30 minutes and two hours and 30 minutes respectively.
Stations at Knighton and Bucknell are served by Heart of Wales, which links Craven Arms to Llanelli.
By car: The only motorway that runs through the county – on the southern edge - is the M50. This route links to the M5, which connects the south west of England with Birmingham.
Another major route is the A49, which runs north to south through the centre of Herefordshire, connecting Ross-on-Wye with Shropshire.
By air: The closest airports are Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. Birmingham International can be reached in one hour 40 minutes by car and has flights to both domestic and international destinations.
Best things to do in Herefordshire
History: If you're looking for things to do in Herefordshire, put a visit to Arthur's Stone, a Neolithic burial chamber made of stone slabs, on the list. Legend says that King Arthur slew a giant here, leaving an imprint of his elbows on the stone as he fell.
Hereford Cathedral is a popular attraction. Tour the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library exhibitions and see the largest surviving map of the world made during the medieval period.
Cultural: There’s a lively calendar of festivals. It includes the Bromyard Folk Festival, which is held every September. It has been running for half a century and features traditional music, song and dance.
The Courtyard Centre for the Arts is Herefordshire's cultural centre point. Its main theatre seats 436 and has a programme of theatre, dance, music, film, comedy and visual arts.
Outdoors: The eight-mile ridge of the Malvern Hills has plenty of walking routes. The highest point is Worcestershire Beacon, where you can enjoy panoramic views on a clear day.
The Wye Valley's woodland, fields and river make it the perfect setting for walking, canoeing and riding as well as climbing and caving.
Another unspoilt area is the so-called Mortimer Country. Explore the area on the Mortimer Trail, which covers 30 miles from Kington all the way to Ludlow in Shropshire.
Alternatively, follow the Black and White Village Trail, which starts and ends in Leominster. It takes in hills, orchards and villages filled with half-timbered cottages.
Shopping: The winding streets of Herefordshire’s market towns are lined with independent and specialist shops. Look for boutiques on Hereford’s Church Street and antique stores in Leominster.
Markets are another common fixture. Check out Hereford's Butter Market for stalls selling dairy products, vegetables, fruit, meat and clothes.
For high street brands, such as Laura Ashley and The Body Shop, head to the Maylord Shopping Centre, a covered arcade in Hereford.
Alternatively, visit the newly-constructed Old Market, which has 18 major brands including H&M, Next and Waitrose as well as a selection of chain restaurants.
Food and drink: Sample some of the area's best cider at Gwatkin Cider Company in Abbeydore. It's been making award-winning cider and perry for decades and sells its products in its own farm shop.
The best places to eat in Herefordshire include traditional pubs, such as The Cottage of Content in Carey. It serves dishes that celebrate local produce, such as griddled Hereford beef steak with brandy and pink peppercorn sauce, alongside its real ales.
Leominster Priory dates back to the mid-12th century and boasts a unique tower, with work from throughout the ages. It's also home to England's last-used ducking stool.
5 reasons to live in Herefordshire
Home to the Wye Valley and Malvern Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Affordable house prices
Attractive period architecture including 'black and white' houses
Transport links to London and major regional cities
There are plenty of reasons to move to Herefordshire – what are yours? Share them in the comments below...