There are many fun things to do in Ledbury including the charming town centre, the many historic buildings and plenty of art galleries. At first glance, the charming town of Ledbury, in the region of Herefordshire, is captivating almost immediately from its aesthetically pleasing image. Still, this vibrant market town will surprise you even more if you look beneath the surface because it has some fun events, wineries and nearby castles to discover. It's the perfect place for the whole family.
Spend hours wandering around the narrow streets filled with timber-framed houses. Take a stroll in the Ledbury park or visit the Ledbury library located in the Master's house.
Love the countryside? Then you will want to see the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire canal, a rural course for 34 miles (ca. 55 km) through the stunning countryside.
Ledbury dates back to AD 690, so as you can imagine, this West Midlands town has many stories to uncover and historical sights to behold, making it a top choice for any travel enthusiast. Throughout the years, this town has been the birthplace of many notable people, including Richard Ashcroft, Elizabeth Hurley and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
The town has attracted many tourists to its warm and welcoming atmosphere, and has been home to some marvellous historical findings, such as the Roman settlement near the Ledbury viaduct. It's definitely a town you'll want to visit and discover.
Here are the most exciting things to do in Ledbury you're going to love.
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Ledbury Market House
Ledbury Market Hall is one of the highlights of this quaint little town that cannot be overlooked, and paying a visit here is of the best things to do in Ledbury. The building dates back to 1617 and was initially created in a stunning Tudor Style design, with an open lower area to hold markets and a first floor that stored grain. Today, it is used today mainly as a venue for events. This unique building stands out as historically significant and has been the heart of the town for centuries, making it a grade I listed building. You will undoubtedly want to have your camera at the ready when you feast your eyes on this stunning building.
Situated between St Michael and All Angels Church (also worth a look) and Ledbury Market House, Church Lane is a stunningly picturesque cobblestoned laneway worthy of your time. Not only is the alleyway a treat to the eyes, but it is best to take your time walking down here to take in all the notable timber-framed buildings situated along each side.
Most famously, you will spot a few of our top choices from this list, such as Butcher Row House Museum and the 16th Century Painted Room, which are both fantastic places to see – but more on that later. So, grab a coffee, and take it step by step, stopping to take photos and breathe in the beauty of this iconic street.
Just a seven-minute drive from Ledbury, you will arrive at Eastnor Castle, one of our top picks for things to do in Ledbury. This Georgian Gothic Revival Castle was built between 1811 and 1820 and had a prime spot alongside Eastnor lake.
The owners still live in a small section of this epic castle, yet they invite visitors to explore the historic state rooms at certain times of the year, during which a tour can be taken. Take a look at the old on-site flour mill, one of the oldest in the county, which is undoubtedly a bonus, but believe us when we say the castle's interior, exterior, and gardens will capture your attention from the get-go.
Butcher Row House Museum
Located along one of our favourite spots in the town, Church Lane, you will come across Butcher Row House Museum, which we encourage you to discover. Take a step back in time by surrounding yourself with memorabilia of times past, located in this house, one of fifteen houses on High Street, many of which were historically trading as butchers.
While the other places were mostly demolished, this house was restored and taken to its new home on Church Lane and turned into a free museum that caters to all the history buffs. Spend time marvelling at the old relics and soak up the old-time atmosphere in this timber-framed survivor.
16th Century Painted Room
One of the best things to do in Ledbury and one of the most exciting and intriguing things to see is the 16th Century Painted Room. This is no ordinary-painted room, you know, it is, in fact, one of the best examples of Elizabethan Wall Paintings to be discovered, and it was discovered by pure chance.
As a group of builders began renovating, what is said to be one of the oldest timber houses in Ledbury, they discovered old paintings behind each strip of wallpaper they peeled back – which led to further investigation. The rest of the paper took four months to carefully peel back, revealing biblical text and design that date back to 1560-1570, a sight you need to behold when in Ledbury.
Hike the Malvern Hills
Around fifteen minutes by car from Ledbury, you will come to an area of outstanding natural beauty – yes, it is formally known by this name, as are many other magical places around the country. This is a fantastic area for hikers, hill walkers and nature lovers to escape into the countryside to absorb the fresh country air and witness sweeping views of the surrounding hills.
These hills are renowned for their spring water, so be sure to get your hands on this while in the area. Taking a sip of this spring water while hiking here is one of the best things to do in Ledbury.
Well, we told you that a trip to Ledbury would cater to all travellers, and this is the spot which will intrigue wine enthusiasts. Coddington Vineyard is a family-run vineyard notable for its white wine production and stunning location. If you have yet to try English wine, visiting this vineyard is a must.
You can take an in-depth tour of the area and sample some of their award-winning blends, and they even offer outstanding accommodation options if you fancy a night or two of relaxation and wine among the vines. If you are just out for the day, be sure to book a garden table where you can avail of meat and cheese platters next to your specially selected wine.
If it's exquisite estates you're after, then make your way ten minutes away from Ledbury, towards Hellens Manor, a traditional Herefordshire home. This Tudor/Jacobean home is open for guided tours from April to October, and this is one of the top things to do in Ledbury, undoubtedly.
Suppose you are after a glorious day out and want to enjoy the sunshine. Why not take advantage of the free admission to their well-manicured gardens – open Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, which welcome you and your furry friends for an outdoors picnic? The informative guided tour will show you some of Anne Boleyn's heirlooms, as well as a variety of famous paintings, historic furniture and marvellous tapestries. Don't miss a cup of tea at the end of it all at their on-site tearooms!
Ledbury Poetry Festival
The town of Ledbury has literature running through its very core, so it is no wonder they have their very own Ledbury Poetry Festival, which hosts international poets in various settings around the town. To avoid missing out on this popular event, be there for the first two weeks of July when poetic voices from all over the globe will captivate you with their words in venues around town and high up into the country hills.
Given that Ledbury was the birthplace of notable poets such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and John Masefield, you can imagine just how significant this cultural and literary event is, which makes it one of the top things to do in Ledbury.
Go Cider Tasting
Calling all cider lovers, Ledbury is home to some of the best cider around, and if you are privy to a glass of the good stuff, then you won't want to miss a wander around some of the best orchards such as Weston's Cider Mill and Greggs Pit. To make this experience even better, plan it, so you are here in early October when the apple harvest is in full swing, and you can avail yourself of many events, from guided walks to readings and cider tastings galore. The area is well known for its variety of apples, apple juices and artisan ciders, so this is an experience not to be missed if you consider yourself a connoisseur of local specialities.
Visit the Heritage Centre
If there is one place we suggest you start your Ledbury discovery, it is at the Ledbury Heritage Centre on Church Lane, which is housed in the Old Grammar School. Here you will get a taste of what history awaits you by checking out the museum about the backstory of the town's iconic timber buildings.
After reading about these stories, you can genuinely appreciate what you are witnessing as you stroll around this quaint market town, so this is one of the best things to do in Ledbury if you ask us. Not only is the Heritage Centre free to visit, but there are activities for the youngsters with you, as well as plenty of knowledgeable locals more than willing to offer up points of interest and advice if needed.
See the Newbridge Farm Park
This is the ideal place for the whole family. Take the bumpy tractor ride and spend time with animals. There's basically lots of play for the young and old. Once you play and take the pony and unicorn rides, relax with a picnic in one of the many picnic benches scattered throughout. There are lots of public transport option to get there and plenty of free parking spots on site.
Much Marcle Walk
Much Marcle walk is a circular walk of 4.5 miles (ca. 7 km). It's the ideal hike on a clear day as you can see the hump backed shaped of the Malvern Hills, the Bredon Hill and north Cotswold Hills as well as the Wye Valley. On the West you can see the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons.
There are inns in nearby Much Marcle, Woolhope and Fownhope. There is also a visitor centre at Weston's Cider in Much Marcle.
St Bartholomew's Church
St Bartholomew’s dates from the 13th century and is of considerable architectural interest. The church sits in a picturesque churchyard on the banks of the River Dore. Some of the oldest parts of the church are of Norman origin. Make sure to see the 3 light windows, which are a style particular to the county.
The church contains several important monuments, including the tomb of Blanch Mortimer, the Lady Grandison, the youngest daughter of the infamous Roger Mortimer.
How to get to Ledbury
It's one thing giving you all this great information about the best things to do in Ledbury, but we should probably explain how best to get there in the first place.
Ledbury railway station directly services Hereford, Birmingham, Oxford, Worcester, and London Paddington.
The roads through Ledbury are the A449, the A417, and the M50 motorway, making it easy to get to and from Ledbury by car.
If you are taking the bus to Ledbury, note that the bus service is operated by DRM Bus and First Worcestershire.
Where to stay in Ledbury
Whether you are travelling solo, with your family or with your dog, there are many great accommodation options around the Herefordshire area. From yurts to B&Bs and hotels to luxury farm stays, you could have a different experience every time you return to Ledbury just by switching up your accommodation.
Here are our top picks for staying in Ledbury.
If you fancy staying in the heart of Ledbury, just steps from Ledbury Market House, look no further than the 4* Talbot Hotel. Not only will you be staying in a cosy 16th Century timber building, but you will have a typical English pub right on your doorstep, perfect for a pint or some pub grub. Not to mention that this ultra-welcoming hotel offers dog-friendly rooms, and the pub area is also dog-friendly if you have a dog in tow. Book your room at Talbot Hotel.
If it's a countryside retreat you are after, close to famous attractions and just an hour from Ledbury, why not opt for some posh B&B in Ledbury? Here you can get set up in the historical accommodation, and try en exceptional breakfast first thing in the morning. For an unforgettable stay in Herefordshire, this cannot be overlooked. Book your stay at Harlequin B&B Ledbury.
Located in the majestic Malvern Hills close to Ledbury, this hotel is an excellent choice for those who want to indulge in delicious food and be close to endless nature trails and historical sites. In addition, this dog-friendly hotel provides complimentary breakfast with most rooms, serves up locally sourced produce all day long and boasts an ideal location for those looking for relaxation. Book your stay at the Malvern Hills Hotel.