Last year, I made the mistake of moving to this miserable, isolated midden to live with my girlfriend. Situated in the arse-end of nowhere, the roads surrounding the town are slow, which is a shame as whenever I drive out of Hereford, I am inevitably in a hurry. The town has very little to it, with some very poor shopping facilities, especially for a town (sorry, city...) of it's size.
It's a typical old town, with a quaint cathedral and pretty buildings. However, to be brutally honest, at the tender age of 23, such sights do not thrill me. Perhaps once one has reached a certain age, Hereford isn't such a bad place to live, but at my time of life, Hereford only served to depress me.
On the plus side, there are some very good watering holes, but then that's unsurprising given that in my 9 months there, Hereford appeared to be a town full of alcoholics! I was shocked having moved down from the Southeast that the vast majority of Hereford either smoked, drank on a daily basis, or was addicted to another illegal substance. Perhaps this is demonstrative of the lack of things to do.
The isolated nature of the town also means there is very little work, meaning there is a high number of unemployment. Indeed, I found it impossible to find decent work in the region, which prompted myself and my girlfriend to return to the southeast, where we both quickly fell into much more exciting, better paid jobs and our quality of life improved tenfold!
Now, I visit Hereford every few months, and this is by far a much nicer perspective from which to see the town. As a visitor, I do not feel trapped, isolated from civilisation. Indeed, I still enjoy the occasional night out there, and the scenery is certainly different to what I am used to on a daily basis in Sussex. However, I will never return to Hereford as a full-time resident. I feel almost apologetic that this review is so damning, as I remember my fondness towards Hereford when I first moved there. However, if you are young, ambitious and enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle, Hereford is to be avoided at all costs!
Hereford is a town that is good to grow up in, and great to grow old in. But trust me, when you hit 18 you need to get the hell out. Having grown up there myself, and witnessed my parents grow old there, I feel I am qualified to make this distinction.
There is no doubt that Hereford is a very pretty city. The cathedral and surrounding area is stunning, as is the river Wye which winds its way through the centre of town. Taking a stroll along here on a nice summers evening is an experience that can match the best offered by most cities. There is also a fair amount of history to be seen, especially the Mappa Mundi, the first ever map of the world. The modern visitor centre set up to house this is definitely worth a visit. There are also various bits and bobs dotted around town, such as the Black and White house and associated museum in the city centre. In short, Hereford is a lovely place to spend a weekend's vacation.
But that is also where the problem lies. Because when the weekend is over, what the hell are you supposed to do then? The town centre itself has a fairly rag tag selection of shops including most of the big chains (boots, whsmith etc). But beyond that, options are very limited, unless of course you like supermarkets, because the place is replete with them. There were seven at the last count, big ones as well, which must be some sort of record for a town of only 50,000. In the evenings your choice of activity is largely limited to the one screen cinema or the American themed bowling ally near the train station. Although there are a lot of pubs to choose from, few are what you would describe as welcoming places. The less said about the choice of clubs the better.
But Hereford does have one saving grace - the countryside. Get out of the city and you will find yourself in some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Whether you like hills, forests, river valleys or parkland its all available here. It is also littered with history, with castles (especially the highly recommended Goodrich Castle) and stately homes dotting the fields and a great selection of activities (from canoeing, to rock climbing, to pony trekking) to take part in. I would also recommend a visit to one of the county's cider mills (Weston's is particularly good) to sample some of the region's most famous tipple. Although you could find yourself getting bored in Hereford city within a handful of days, you could spend months exploring all the things to do across the county. There can be few things better in life that finding a small country pub, and relaxing with a pint of Herefordshire cider after a hard days walking.
In short, as a visitor to the city, make sure you don't limit yourself to the town itself, although I have no doubt you could have a perfectly lovely long weekend just doing that. If you are planning to live there, its a great place to bring up a family, and I would imagine a great place to retire to. If you do live there now, I'd suggest you get out and see the world before you stay too long and grow sick of the place. You will appreciate it a whole lot more as a place to return to in order get away from the chaos of a big city.
Hereford, what can I say? I take a slightly different view to most, as I am at uni there so spend half my time there, half of it in Essex.
Hereford is a beautiful town, the buildings of the town centre all old and higgledy-piggeldy, often you look up to see stunning black and white wooden beams, then look down to find it's the façade for a WHSmiths of something else equally odd. Thanks to the recession, many of the shops in Hereford have shut, so the town centre isn't exactly buzzing. The biggest department store is Marks and Spencer's, and aside from the odd quirky (but expensive!) jewellery shop there's little to get excited about here. Its certainly not a town for big shoppers, there's a disproportionately large amount of pound shops for the town square and the monthly antiques fair really is the only thing worth while about it.
The green space in Hereford is lovely, one of the nice things about Hereford compared to other towns (I refuse to call it a city, it's just too small) is the ease with which you can get somewhere seemingly cut off from the more urbanised areas. You can go for a stroll along the river Wye or up to Churchill gardens, a wonderful green area that's perfect for an impromptu picnic overlooking the town. However, if you're interested more in an active nightlife then you are likely to be disappointed.
Though having a bizarre concentration of pubs, the nightlife in Hereford is notoriously poor. One or two nightclubs are dotted around, though for the most part these are fairly grotty and unattractive. On a similar note the cinema is...well, barely worthy of the title. There's an Odeon in Hereford town centre with just a single screen, a tiny, sticky, dirty lobby and a selection of films that are at least 5 months out of step with the rest of the country. Though there's the courtyard theatre also, which shows a variety of mainstream and independent films, it still adheres to the same time warp principal as the Odeon, leaving you with a depressing wait for any new releases.
But moving on, let's talk supermarkets. There's a Tesco, abominably small and poorly stocked, but not far away are much larger ASDA and Sainsburys which are a lifesaver if you want to buy anything other than discounted Polish specialities that seem to be in strange abundance in the titchy Tesco. There's also a LIDL and Aldi, all within walking distance of one another which is great for bargain hunters and students alike.
Hereford is a lovely place to live, quiet and secluded but sometimes it can feel a little like you're living in an episode of Heartbeat. I expect that owning a car would make it more tolerable, but young people beware, it can be just a little claustraphobic.
So far Hereford is where I have spent all of my live as I have been born and bred here and so have quite an informed opinion of the place. It lies about 13 miles east of the Welsh boarder and is the capital of Herefordshire, with a population of around 65,000 now and is the most populous city in the county.
However this clearly does not mean it is a significantly large settlement, as it only just counts as a city due to its cathedral, and is the smallest city in England. This size aspect of Hereford means it is a decent place to bring up children with the security and safety of a smaller town but a moderate amount of variety and activity too. But once one reaches a more independent age, realisation sets in that it is a relatively dull place to live, with many people of the younger generations possessing small town attitudes and a severe shortage of ambition, of whom will happily coast along doing relatively little with their lives. For those who wish to gain a little more in life it has become necessary to move away from Hereford to a larger city with high potential.
On the upside Hereford is great for tourism boasting rich history as it dates back to the Roman age whereby the name originates with "here" standing for river and "ford" meaning crossing in Latin. Of which refers to the bridging over the river Wye. Hereford then ranges on with more history, with landmarks such as its Cathedral and in it the Mappa Mundi, an attraction of the highest order in Hereford. Hereford is worth a visit if you are interested in this sort of history, or if you originate from a place that lacks it.
The recession has meant the closing of several businesses and the city is struggling to cope with major trading posts such as the cattle market being closed. However Hereford holds a strong military importance with the SAS camp just outside and there still has a relatively strong economy in this area.
Overall I can see the attraction for people like American tourists, however I cannot wait to leave.
I was born in Brecon and brought up on the Welsh Border, however, I went to school in Hereford and the only bus that went through my village on a weekend was to Hereford so that's where I (mis)spent my youth.
When I mention Hereford to my military friends, their first thought is the SAS, then they say "Give me six" which is a reference to the myth that inbreeding is common in that part of the world, it's rubbish, everyone knows the Forest Of Dean is where the pointy heads really live.
I live in the South of England now and I have to say, I miss Hereford.
I miss the amazing scenery and greenery. It is just unrivalled. The River Wye runs right through the town and if you're lucky you will see Kingfishers, Salmon, Cormorants, Swans, Geese and as many ducks as you like. Moorhens are also common.
You can see the Black Mountains from town and just a little bit further away are the Brecon Beacons. If you go East, the Malvern Hills are not far either.
The town itself changes every time I go home. It's been a victim of the "crunch" just like anywhere else in the UK. The saddest losses are of Chadds-the department store next to McDonalds, and the Cattle Market.
Chadds was an independent Department store where you could honestly buy anything. When I was younger I always wanted my wedding list there but then I realised that the stuff was all a little bit 80's. My parents got lots of their furniture from there and the quality is fab.
The Cattle Market!!! I think it's only moved to the other side of town but my word. Right on the ring road, every Wednesday, you could buy sheep, cows, ducks, eggs (with or without ducklings/chicks in), pigs, straw, hay, you name it. It was ace to see the farmers wives and families come into town in their best togs for their only day off the farm in months (my parents are farmers so I'm not having a pop at anyone!!). A real blast from the past.
Just down from the cattle market is Edgar St, the football ground. When I was at school, Hereford Utd Played Spurs in the FA cup, everyone went mad! If you had the day off school that day, you may as well have assassinated the pope-you were in trouble!
There are three main state secondary schools in the town, St Mary's (Roman Catholic) Bishop's (CoE) and Aylestone (the one for the heathens). The Cathedral School is the private one. The state schools don't have sixth forms so most people went to Hereford VI form college.
A recent article in the Telegraph showed how well this college compares to other sixth forms nationwide. Let me tell you it does very well. I hated school but loved it there-a much better preparation for Uni than the private version.
When I finally did go to Uni, I would get the train home, one of my best memories of that time was when me and mum were running late for the train and my dad was in town, he stood on the platform and chatted to the train driver about engineering stuff (wankles and the like) to delay him so I didn't miss the train!!
It has a leisure centre which is just next to the racecourse, a swimming pool (25m and leisure pool) stacks of playing fields and a number of Golf Courses scattered around the place.
I would recommend taking a holiday in or around Hereford, not only because the city is lovely but because within 30min drive are literally hundreds of activities to do or place to visit. Outdoor pursuits are massive in this part of the world so if that's your thing you will be a pig in muck.
Seeing as no-one else mentioned the former RAF camp I thought I'd give an insiders perspective on it.
I spent 22 weeks here in 1990 doing my trade training as a clerk (Pers Admin) for the Royal Air Force. It initially sounded like a really long time. It passed incredibly quickly though. Finally escaping to my real unit (RAF High Wycombe & Headquarters Strike Command which is now know as HQAir) in November of 1990. I spent my first two weeks waiting for my course to start, one of which was spent on Poole Flight (normally doing shitty jobs, but we had a decent SNCO so we did some quite good stuff - no real hard work).
Poole Flight is where you are if you aren't on a training course. Wearing mostly greens (combat jacket, trousers, beret & boots) because you're doing what they call "gash" (rubbish) jobs. I was there at the time with one other girl clerk and a bunch of suppliers, we got to know our way around the camp and generally had a good laugh. What you've just read is unusual. Normally clerks and suppliers did NOT mix at Hereford. It's an unwritten Law.
They ate in different places, they lived in different blocks. They trained on opposite ends of the camp. We got our training in nice warm office buildings, they got lumbered with crappy wooden huts circa 1943. The devil could freeze to death in one of those huts.
Anyway, I digress. The 1st week was pretty casual, helping prepare one of the blocks for a bunch of YTS kids (I think they were the last YTS intake the RAF ever had), also doing another block for a bunch of space cadets (how we in the RAF commonly refer to CCF people). During that week we went to RAF Morton On Lug and did some shell collection, picking up used rounds (this was a total skive) there, because it had just been used for MFT/ Military Field Training (Where we learn how react in a war enviroment without getting killed).
The trip back was us generally behaving like a bunch of 10 year olds, waving at motorists out of the back of the wagon (one of those 3 ton green jobs used for ferrying troops about),and being totally insane. Holding up signs saying "I am being kidnapped!". Having a pee over the tailgate whilst driving down the motorway. See what I mean? And we were the people defending the country getting paid off your taxes!
In the 2nd week I did guard duty which wasn't too bad. Doing vehicle checks and passes on the main gate (got to meet some SAS guys who came in to play rugger against the station team, they just look like ordinary people - sorry to ruin the illusion for most people who think they all would look like Sean Bean!).
Vehicle checks were a bitch, it was hot and we were wearing flak jackets, these restrict movement at the waist so it makes bending over to check under a car very hard. During that week I got bit by a dog whilst checking passes. I'll explain.
It's the 7am - 9am stint on the main gate. Everyone that comes in gets their pass checked unless they have a special sticker in the front window or it's an RAF vehicle. I'm checking them through like a demon then I check my watch, it's 8.35am. Next! In comes a guy, stops like a nice person. Opens his window and reaches the pass out ever so slightly. Ok, I'd better mention I'm wearing my green wooly gloves because it's a tadge on the cold side at that time in the morning, the sun is just coming up so it hasn't taken the edge off the rather cold over night tempreture yet.
I put my hand a fraction inside the window and what happens next happens so quickly it's unreal. MUNCH! Some yappy dog has just attached itself to my damn hand and won't let go. In the background I just heard the armed guard cock his weapon (I think!). The owner blokey is hitting the dog over the head to make it let me go.
I say as calmly as i can under the circumstances "Excuse me sir, I think you'd better make the dog let go as my friend over there is about to shoot either you or the dog". This isn't a threat to him, merely a statement of fact to give the chap a reality check about what just occurred. The damn mutt finally lets my hand go and dives into the back seat.
I get the guy to pull over for a vehicle check and radio the Guard Commander. I take off my glove and there's a mark, I had to be taken off the gate and ferried over to the medical centre in the Station Guard Force land rover for a tetanus jab. The bloke got to work late as the vehicle checkers went over his motor with a fine tooth comb.
He was still there when I got back, the Guard Commander went over "to have a word". Turns out he was done for damage to government property (ie - me!) and had his permission to bring his dog to work removed. At the end of the week we had an exciting incident. A real bomb!
A couple of the supply lads on Poole flight were on the station golf course digging a new bunker. One of them find something metal, kicks the dirt off it - deems it to be dull and kicks it off into the middle distance. 20 minutes later his mate goes to check it out, wipes it clean and discovers the red writing on it which reads LIVE in 3 inch high letters.
It turns out this thing is a 9 inch WW2 mortar bomb and it's real! We had to do perimeter guard to move people back then we had to go to our proper station on the Sergeants Mess gate. This gate links the back of the camp to the married quarters so our orders are no-one comes in until it's blown up.
The nearest anti-bomb people are the SAS who leg it over in a van as it's a good chance to practice what they do best - blow stuff up. They dump 20 tons of sand on it and do a controlled explosion. Instant bunker!
It was pretty insane that day. After that week I started my clerk course and we just struggled along. Learn, remember and drink in the NAAFI once a week.
We also had PT (which I quite enjoyed), and on the hottest day of that year (1990) we did our course aero run, 1.5 miles to be run as fast as possible. I ran an all time personal best of 8 mins 35 secs, beating a female cross country runner into 2nd place.
That time went on the top 50 all time bests on the PT board. When that board was moved to Halton I'm fairly certain my name was still on it. The board was retired so my name would still be on it today! And the fine tradition of the Chip Van after the NAAFI bop. Chips with red sauce, brown sauce or salad cream.
The maddest thing about RAF Hereford was the Feral Cats.
RAF Hereford has this underfloor heating system so there are underground pipes everywhere. The rats and mice get in these tunnels where the pipes are so the station brought in cats. Which bred. We used to chase these cats when we were drunk, chucking apples at them.
That was another thing about the camp. The apple trees. Once a year Bulmers (the cider people) ask people stationed on the unit to volunteer to pick apples, payment being a tour of the cider factory. NEVER mention free alcohol to forces people, we love the stuff! I was there and how so!
We spent a day chucking apples into baskets and got our tour of the cider factory along with a rather extended tasting session as the bloke with us was afraid to tell us to stop drinking (There were 50 of us!), so we got mashed. The great thing is there is a bus stop right opposite the cider factory so we came out afterwards, staggered over a rather busy road and waited for the bus to ferry us home.
I had anticipated being drunk so I had told everyone to have the right money in their pocket. The bus rolls up, we pay, sit down, then be quiet and get back to camp and roll through the gates whammed - much to the disgust of the gate guards. (Like we cared!)
Hereford is also on the flight path for many training jets doing low flying training over the Black Hills and the Welsh mountains. Most people were annoyed when they flew over, it always reminded me why I joined as we used to have a saying - Jet Noise, the true sound of freedom. I finally escaped Hereford in November of 1990.
We were all convinced we were going right out of Hereford straight off to the Gulf War which was just about to start. Many mad and crazy times were had there, through real extremes of weather. I was the fittest and fastest I've ever been when I was there, I ran religiously.
We spent money like water, overdrawn was a way of life. We lived in a room that had between 10 and 24 people in dependant of time of year. We gambled money we didn't have, we jumped on each others beds after coming back from nights on the beer in The Crystal Rooms also known as soggy carpet central (what's heavy and sounds like nylon? Pile ON!).
We almost set fire to the door after the "spider incident" (don't ask!). We constantly got turfed out of the block by the Station Guard Force (claiming they found the front door unsecure). We spent our spare time trying to stay sane and doing our ironing.
Odd free evenings watching videos in the station cinema. Computer club in a wooden hut. The NAAFI and it's video jukebox almost perpetually playing "Heart Of Stone" and "If I could Turn Back Time" by Cher. (Thank you to Cher for keeping my libido in check and keeping bits of my body sane.)
Being shouted at for not marching to work, dinner and anywhere else whilst in uniform. Being made to parade at stupid hours in the morning because some fools didn't want to wake up the guards so they climbed the fence then got caught. Opening room windows in the middle of the night for people running from the WRAF block to escape the station guard force then pretending to be asleep and denying you ever opened any windows.
Falling up the little grassy hill outside the block because we were too bilnd drunk to make it and too tired to walk over the path which was an extra 11 feet and 2 minutes that you could have been spending in bed and trying not to get caught being on the grass.
Falling into the broken parts of the paved-over under-camp heating system and only not breaking any limbs because you were so completely smashed out of your brain. Loosing stupid amounts of money at the Hereford Horse races. Trying to find a Tom's Cab at the train station because it was driven by a RAF guy moonlighting for the extra money and he did us cheap fares all the time.
Having to clean the station jet whilst on Duty Airman (the station mascot jet), I cut my damn hand doing that! Doing key orderly in the Admin building (going round checking all doors and windows are secure). Having to do the Battle of Britain parade in Hereford town and then freezing to death on a cold wooden pew in Hereford cathedral. Being banned from the Kerrys Arms in Hereford for fighting, fighting, swearing and more fighting. Catching buses from the Sainsburys terminus.
All clerk and supply training are now done at RAF Halton. The camp was sold to the army, the SAS use it for training now.
I went back there in the middle of 1994 for a computer course. The place was half empty as the camp was winding down due to the fact is was about to be closed and all training moved to Halton. It felt like a ghost of it's former self.
I half expected to see all the people I'd been with there previously, though weirdly enough the only other guy on my course had been there at the same time as me so we spent the whole time remembering the past.
Mad times all fondly remembered.
(this article was originally written by me on H2G2)
There are only one or two treasures left in this country of ours. Over the last 30 years, great swathes of our beautiful landscape have been carved up to pander to the whims of the internal combustion engine with its proliferation and to those of the planners who seem to think that everyone wants concrete. There is, in fact, one county in my view that would appear to have shunned the advances, if you really want to call them that, of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is a county with an overall population of 170000 people, and is principally made up of 5 market towns and 1 city. None of the market towns has a population of greater than 10000 and the city itself is small at around 65,000 people. The county only has four railway stations. I myself live in one of the market towns, but I have grown to love the city, mainly because it is a vibrant hub but is not garish in its demeanour. The county is Herefordshire, and the city, unsurprisingly enough, is Hereford. Location ======= Herefordshire, I am pleased to say, is still a relatively unspoilt, mainly agricultural county. A lot of people do not know where it is, and confuse it with Hertfordshire! If you locate Bristol on a map, and follow it up until you reach Birmingham, you've gone too far! Find Worcester, and then follow the map west through Bromyard to Leominster (where I live), and then go 12 miles south, and you reach Hereford. As you approach Hereford from the north, it creeps up on you- none of this miles and miles of suburbia, thankee. You reach the Holmer roundabout and see the racecourse, and then the town stretches out for a little way, and if you are lucky you can make out the cathedral, for it is one of England's smaller ones. History ====== Hereford has, by its geographical setting, been a focus of struggle over the years. On numerous occasions it became a Welsh town, and then once again a part of England. Its setting on the River Wye gives it a most gl
orious setting and, of course, river transport used to be all important. The city walls do still, in part, exist. Hereford is also home to the world's first bowling green (whoopee-do I must say) and a very nice cathedral. The cathedral has been extensively rebuilt over the centuries, particularly when one side collapsed in the 19th century! Things to See =========== The most famous thing is the cathedral, and the most famous thing in the cathedral is Mappa Mundi. The Mappa Mundi is a representation of knowledge that existed about the world in the 12th century. Jerusalem (centre for religion) is in the middle and the whole world stretches out around it, with some very intersting creatures like mandrakes in the world. If you get the chance then do go and see it- it's truly an education, along with its exhibition. The cathedral is also home to the chained library-hundreds of ancient books and documents all chained up as they would have been centuries ago! The main shopping area is called High Town, and this is aprecint with coffee shops and the usual congregation of emporia. I noticed that they've now got an Ann Summers! Firstly I don't know what the natives will make of it and secondly, I haven't drummed up the courage to go in there! There are a number of nice places to eat, but my favourite is Cafe Marches, which is behind Chadd's Department store. It is a no-nonsense cafe that primarily does wholefood. A slice of quiche and two large portions of salad is generally £2.99, and a large mug of coffee £1.05, and I think it's bloody good value. Out and About from Hereford ====================== I had better take this in compass directions. North- The town of Leominster and the Queenswood Country park, an arboretum on Dinmore Hill and very nice for a walk. Ludlow is 12 miles further north and is famed for its plethora of Michelin stars. South- Ross on Wye, a very scenic market town, and Symo
nds Yat (really beautiful) is near that. East- Ledbury, home of poet laureate John Masefield, and then on to Worcester (get some decent cricket in!) West- off to Wales in the form of Brecon, but don't forget to stop off at Hay on Wye, the world-famous town of books. The Black and White Villages tour is to be recommended if you just want a gentle scenic drive. In Conclusion =========== Well, I moved here because I love it. Please come and visit Hereford and the county, you really will like it. Don't fele that you have to move here, though, because we are quite happy with a small population! Neil March 21st 2004, in the Marches
After looking around the site I came across a section about Hereford and thought it might be a good chance to tell you something about the place I live. I have lived in the Hereford area for about eight years and I never thought I'd settle anywhere after living in a caravan and moving around, but hereford has captured my heart. It's a friendly place with some really good people. A lot calmer than the north where I was born and there's so much to do here that it's hard to get bored. I think when you come from another area your more prone to exploring whats around you so here we go on a tour of my Hereford. Housing --------- First of all the first thing to know about somewhere new is the facility for housing. If your going to settle somewhere then it's nice to have somewhere to live. The price range for a house in the hereford area is anything from £79,000 for a one bedroomed flat to £145,000 and above for a three bedroomed house. It's not cheap to buy around here but once you have your foot on the property ladder I think that it's worth the investment as there's so much to do and lots of places to visit and take part in. If like me you can't afford to buy there are a couple of housing offices which have nice properties to rent, the waiting lists don't seem to be to long here but that depends on the individuals circumstances and the point system which is in place. Although there is a nationwide transfer scheme so that you can swap your house with someone else, which is how I ended up here in this lovery three bedroomed, rural council house. Schools --------- Once you are in the area, the next thing to scout out is the schools. There are lots to choose from, in Hereford. Depending on the age of your child the infant/junior/senior schools have good reputations. There is a choice of around sixty schools in Hereford, some primary others senior schools. Busses
run to and from school and are free if your either on family tax credit or unemployed. A lot of the local village schools also team up with the nearest senior school to hold joint concerts and fundraising events. You can get involved with the Parent Teachers Association for more of a say at school and to help out with new idea's and fundraising events. There is a sixth form college and an art and technology college to if your interested in furthering your education. You can take NVQ's, A levels and study during the day or at evening classes. Jobs. ------ Hereford has lots to offer in the way of employment whether your qualified or not there's always a way to make a few quid. The cities job centre has all the latest advertisements as well as the local weekly news papers. Training is offered with lots of the jobs on offer and there's a wide range of employment area's to go into. In Hereford there are lots of places to eat out so the catering business always has vacancies, especially if your prepared to travel. Carers are always needed in hereford and the rates of pay are extremly good to, sometimes as much as £6.20 an hour. Of course there's other employment if your self employed , fruit picking on the farms is always an option for the spring and summer months, starting with the hop tying, moving on to the strawberries, raspberies, beans, potatoes and apples. This is how we ended up living around here, being seasonal workers in this area untill we settled. This sort of work is good fun and with the chance to meet lots of different people from all walks of life and different countries too. There is always lots of canvassing jobs advertised in the papers too, betterware, kleeneasy, windows ect. If none of this suits you then you can always go onto a training course either with a placement or at the college. Luckily I have lived here nearly eight years and so far have never b
een unemployed. Entertainment. --------------- So we have houses, schools, places to work, now what's there to do around here I hear you ask. Well, for one thing there is a nice Cinema which always has up to date films and new releases showing. Sometimes the queues go right down the street for the more popular new releases, like when Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings came out but most times it has plenty of room to seat people for the showings. The cinema will cost you around a fiver to get in and has refreshments in the interval like all other cinema's. If you like a flutter then Hereford has it's own racecourse. This is the more exciting day out, at the christmas holidays they have boxing day races and races on the bank holidays. They hold family days and weekend races. You don't have to spend loads of money either as it's just as good if your betting a pound than it is betting lots more. You still get the thrill of the race if your horse is in the lead. It will cost you from £15 pounds each upwards to get in for the day depending on which event you go to and the rest you spend if any is up to you when your in there. They have a bar and food on site, so the day can be very enjoyable. Swimming is also an excellent way to keep yourself occupied and hereford has it's own pool with a water slide to keep the kids entertaimed for hours. There's a local radio station Wyvern to listen too if you just want to relax at home, they hold lots of competitions and even give out car stickers in the high town. You can always get through to reqiuest one of your favorite tracks and they usually have what you ask for. There's also a leisure centre which holds music gigs and theatre venue's as well as the gym, squash, table tennis, badmington and other indoor game facilities. Not to mention all the exercise classes available, like aerobics, ti-chi, yoga ect. My daughter even got to se
e the band Weetus before they were too well known and the gig wasn't sold out. She had a wicked time and has been to see other bands there too. Football is also another favorite entertainment thing and hereford has it's own team and football pitch. I'm not a follower of football but I am told they are not a bad team and have lots of fans. There is also a bowling alley if you get fed up of the other places to go. Nightlife. --------- Hereford has some great night life, depending on what you like to do for your nights out. The Crystal Rooms had a great reputation for being a good dance music club. They regularly held the Naughty but Nice venues.There were two dance floors, upstairs varied between garage or drum and bass while downstairs on the sunken dance floor was for house and trance. People came from all over to have a good night out here. Unfortunately it had to close down, but there are other clubs just as entertaining. The jail house is another night club which boasts good attendance, this is a newer club which has lots of drum and bass, it also specialises in big named djs and promotes hip hop. Well worth checking out Now if your just up for a fun night out then Time or Play are the place's to go, it has loads of drinks promotions and is a hit with the students. it holds promotion nights, chart nights and always seems to have lots of people heading that way on a friday and saturday night. Local papers. -------------- We have the Hereford Times which comes out every Thursday and is full of information about the area's around here. You can look at the classified, what's on, carsales and lots more. The free paper is the Admag which comes out every wednesday, this is also handy to read if your looking for what's on or a good bargain or even a job. Historical buildings. -------------------- This is where you could be at your hearts content if your into this sort
of thing. I won't go into too much detail about these places otherwise I'd be here all night. If you like to go looking at castles then Wigmore Castle is a must. Pembroke village is a loverly quiet place with lots of old black and white houses steeped in history another place to check out. Dinemore Manor has just had a revamp and is open for visitors, they hold events days out for all the family and at easter they have an easter egg hunt, which is always good fun. There's Eastnor castle and Goodrich Castle too. Hereford Cathedral is deffinately a good place to go with the Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library top on the things to see. Berrington Hall is owned by the national trust but is open to the public and is a nice day out. Kinnersley Castle is also good for a visit. Kilpeck church is a must to go to this church is small and very memoroble, the carvings on the door and outside the building will leave you with a lasting impression. There are lots of other historical towns around hereford to keep you occupied for weeks, the black and white trail is famous around the world. Places to visit. ---------------- As well as visiting all the national trust places of historical interest, there's also the fun things to do, with plenty of pubs and clubs to visit you have to also remember you are in Cider Country. Bulmers make cider here and you can go and spend the day looking around on one of their tours. There are working farms which are open to the public too here you can feed animals, ride horses and donkeys as well as seeing the old cider presses at work. There is are lots of places to walk to in Hereford, there is a special piece of land at the top of Dinemoor hill where there is a cafe and a few walkways which take you through paths of every tree you can imagine, donated from people all over the world. from monkey trees to Sycamores they are all here. If your into gardens Din
emoor manor has a beautiful one, with a 1,000 year old yew tree. Other gardens to visit are How capel, Abbey Dore Court and Hergest Croft. Hay-on Wye is world famous for all it's book shops and if like me you love to read then a day here is just not enough. So that's just a taster. Now for food. Places to eat out ------------------ As well as the usual fast food places, Pitza Hut and McDonalds, Hereford has some great places to eat. The Hungry Horse on grandstand road will serve you with the biggest steak you can eat. They are a popular choice at a reasonable price. The Three Elms pub on Three Elms Road is one of my favorite places to go, they are children friendly and the food has always been very good and served with polite and friendly staff. Another good place it the Wetherspoons which though the food is down to earth and cheap it is none the less a nice friendly place to eat out in Hereford. If your looking for some top quisine though the only place to go is the Five Bridges near Bishops Frome, this food is excellent. Although your going to pay that little bit extra this alacarte food but it is to die for. I would highly recommend you visit this eating resturant if your visiting Hereford and want a relaxing friendly service. Hotels/Guest houses Little Marcle Court in Ledbury has good reports. The Five Bridges also have their own holiday apartment to be rented but you'd have to book. The Falcon Hotel in Bromyard is a nice black and white building and it's not to far from Hereford town if you have a car. The food has good reports too. These are only a few of the places which I have personally visited so can recommend, you can get brochures for a more wider range of choices. Annual Events -------------- The Folk Festival in Bromyard is held every year, people come from all over the world to take part, dress up and sing oldy worldy music in the pubs and at
the playing fields. From moriss dancing to singing it always packs the place out. 4th and 5th September this year. Bonfire Nights see the annual show at Malvern where a huge pyrotechnic display set to music is held, this is spectacular and the kids love it. They have a fair to keep them occupied untill the show starts and food on site. Hereford also hold a fireworks display at the racecourse. Bromyard Gala is also a hit for it's steam engine attractions, they hold it over the weekend and people camp on the gala fields, to take in the shows each day and walk around the market stalls which vary from tat to homemade produce. There's also a medieval fair which is held each year but the venue changes to different area's of Hereford, still it's good fun as they have re-enactments of past battles. So there's plenty to do around here. Other events. Bootsales are started every year as soon as the weather comes nice, there's both indoor and outdoor sales every saturday and sunday, from Hereford, Leominster to Ledbury there's lots of them. The market is on every week at Hereford as well as plenty of auctions to visit, both car and household. Funraising events are held each year, either advertised in the local paper or on radio. Some are for charities others for schools. Art exibitions and music festivals are also held in the Hereford area. Web sites about Hereford. This is hereford.co.uk Any-web.co.uk --type in Hereford www.artsview.org.uk/pages/herefordshire.html I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writting it. This is my Hereford and I love it.
I don't want to be perceived as one of theses "churners" but I have to admit that since joining dooyoo a week ago I have written quite a few opinions. In fact this is my second opinion today (not in this category mind, that would just be silly) And I am sorry if I am a churner- I only found out what they are today. There are a couple of reasons why I just had to write about this particular subject, in particular the fact that I can't believe dooyoo have even mentioned little 'ol Hereford and the fact that I live there and the clubs are absolutely rubbish. There are 4 main clubs in Hereford. All of these clubs have one thing in common and that is the sheer lack of activity, but because you should avoid these clubs for their individual reasons I have listed them below in order of greatness. 1. The best club,and biggest in my opinion is the Crystal Rooms. It has quite a lot of regular famous guest dj?s including Judge Jules, John 00fleming, Lisa Lashes and Boy George. The downside to this place, depending on your personal preferences is that its either full of pill heads, or on saturdays, even worst, cheesy music. At this point I would like to say, if any of you are from Hereford, don't kill me next time you are in town, I just don?t think much of the club scene around 'ere. OK Bo'? By the way, the drinks cost about £2.40 and water cost more. I have had my mobile and wallet stolen from me here. 2. At second place we have the Jail house. This could well be a prison for underage scateboarders. Here they sometimes have good music, live DJ's and cheap vodka- but that's about it really. There is a grotty little place where you can sit down and have a rest here. A tiny little dance floor is good enough as hardly anybody is brave enough to have a dance. When I was a young boy, I thought it was great- then I hit puberty. Oh yeah, I had my wallet stolen from here also. 3. Play.Really cheesy music an
d extremely expensive drinks. I brought 3 double vodkas and it came to about £12. In the Jailhouse you could get that for £3. They even have a cash machine in the club, which is strange for such a small one. They do have a nice outside bit now, but it doesn't make up for the place witch is covered with tacky little dancing cages and has a tiny dance floor. 4. Eros, formally know as Marylins ,the worst of them all. Cheese city. I cannot even justify writing more than that on the matter because it is just sooooooo bad. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. There you have it. Sorry to moan and all that. These please should be avoided, unless you live in Hereford then there really isn't much else, except from the Barrels which is a really good pub. There also also a Pub-Club thing called Manhattens which has free pool and cheap drinks, but is full of Goths. Take your pick. The town as a whole is a really nice place, and I love it. Most of the people are the nicest you will ever meet, it's just that because there isn't much of a night life here, which is frustrating for us young'ns that some people get a bit aggressive when drunk.
We moved to Hereford, about 1 1/2 hours South West of Birmingham by car, nearly 2 years ago when my husband got a new job. We moved from another city, Manchester, and yet how different the two cities are. Hereford is classed as a city by nature of the fact that it has a Cathedral, which I must say is splendid, if you are visiting Hereford it is well worth a visit, apart from a lovely interior the Cathedral also houses a chained library and the Mappa Mundi. You have to pay to visit the library and Mappa Mundi but entry to the Cathedral is free. On fair days you can also go up the tower, I haven’t been because I have a young daughter, however my husband has and he says that the views are amazing however it is not for the faint hearted as there are a lot of steps. Hereford is a market town and the market site is still in regular use. On Wednesdays and Saturdays livestock is brought in from all over the county, there is also a section which sells food, clothing etc. This is all open to the public and well worth a visit. Hereford is very small by comparison to many cities however the town centre is quite attractive and there are quite a few old buildings as well as some remains of the old city wall from when it had a castle. Unfortunately the castle has long gone but there is a very nice park where it once stood. As for shopping there are all the usual shops such as M&S, Boots etc however most of them are quite small scale in keeping with the town. There are a few developments of DIY shops etc just outside town but none of these are massive. There are also a number of designer shops. Hereford is in the midst of some lovely countryside, and has more orchards than any other UK county hence one of the largest local industries, cider making, Bulmers Cider have their base here. There are some very good schools in the area and the Cathedral has both a junior and senior school which have some very attractive medieval b
uildings. Road links to the area are quite good and you are in Wales within 15 minutes, Cardiff is about 30 miles away. There are also some good hotels, some of which are very up market and others which are good quality at a reasonable price such as Travel Inn. A farmers market has just started and is open one Thursday a month in the town centre with products being sold by the farmers directly to the public. A good place to go for organic meats, cheeses etc. House prices in the area are quite reasonable, obviously there are certain areas which are more expensive than others but they are much better than we had imagined considering the area. Hereford is a very pleasant place to live however if you want a busy city with a hectic night life etc it may not be the place for you. It is however a nice place to raise a family.