Given the job of protecting the English from the Welsh since the 7th century, Hereford has long been an important town both strategically and economically. The town boasts some magnificent architecture, priceless treasures and great entertainment venues.
Hereford has the distinction of having been the site of two cathedrals, although the first one was razed by a horde of angry Welsh in 1055 and subsequently a second cathedral was constructed just north of the River Wye in the late 11th century. The cathedral is a stunning example of eclectic architectural styles, the result of every bishop over the centuries having added something to the original Norman design. Highlights include remnants of the Norman west tower and nave, the 13th century north transept and the 14th century main tower.
Hereford’s other most prized symbol is a medieval map of the world, dating from the 13th century. Known as Mappa Mundi, the city considered selling this treasure in the 1980s; however, the map is now housed in the New Library, which also contains the equally priceless Chained Library, a collection of hundreds of books and manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 18th centuries. Elsewhere in the city you can see several magnificent Georgian buildings such as the Old House as well as spend some time at the acclaimed City Museum and Art Gallery.
Hereford has a wealth of fine dining establishments as well as a vibrant nightlife scene. International as well as local cuisine is on offer and the selection of cafes, pubs, bars and clubs rivals that of neighboring Birmingham. All major high street labels can be found at the specialty stores around the city and at the Maylord Orchards shopping center, while more unusual items can be found in the central High Town district. Hereford is famous for its cider and lovers of this beverage should head for the Cider Museum and King Offa Distillery for some tastings, while for those seeking some outdoor recreation, the nearby Malvern Hills offer plenty of opportunities for rambling, hiking, cycling and camping.