With a population of less than 200 people per square mile, Herefordshire is one of the least populated counties in England, and with over 5000 farms one of its most rural. It is celebrated for its Hereford cows and cider producing orchards. The county has a long and rich history of cider and perry production. Great Britain produces around 130,000,000 gallons of cider per year, half of which is produced here. Herefordshire has around 3000 apple and pear orchards, covering over 9000 acres, more than any other county in UK. Its cider and perry production is protected under European law, sharing the same status as French Champagne.
The Black Mountain ranges of Wales border the south-west corner of the county, with many picturesque valleys between, the widest and most scenic is the Golden Valley. Rising majestically over Herefordshire, in the east, are the Malvern Hills, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ONB). The River Wye, England's fifth longest river, winds its way across the county from Plynlimon in Wales to the Severn Estuary. It is largely unpolluted and is considered to one of the best rivers for salmon fishing in Britain, outside of Scotland. Herefordshire's many scenic villages are filled with 16 and 17th century timber framed houses, many of which can be viewed on the popular 40 mile Black & White Village Trail.
'The copse-checkered slopes of rolling Hereford, white with the blossom of apples.'
Hereford - distance from London: 140 miles (225 km)
Black Mountains, 2306 feet
Frome, Lugg, Teme, Wye
Cider and Perry - the staple beverages of the county.
Herefordshire Cider Cake - spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon.
First recorded in 1038 as Herefordscir. It is derived from the Old English term for an army ford (a ford wide enough for an army to cross).
During the Battle of Mortimer's Cross (February 1460), an astronomical phenomenon of three suns appeared in the sky. This was Edward's first battle in the War of the Roses over Jasper, Earl of Pembroke and James, Earl of Wiltshire and it was this mystical omen that helped Edward encourage his troops to victory. The 'Sun in Splendour' as it was later known, became one of his favourite and most famous badges.