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Herefordshire Area Guide

Hereford Town Hall, Herefordshire Image courtesy of Flickr user Brian Clift

Herefordshire is a rural county in the West Midlands. It shares a border with Wales, and the largest employment sectors are agriculture, manufacturing and services.

Herefordshire is a unitary county, so it is not broken into districts like other counties. The biggest areas in Herefordshire include Hereford, the county town and the only city in the county. Other towns include Leominster, Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Kington and Bromyard. Leominster sits between the River Lugg and its tributary the River Kenwater, and Ross-on-Wye is just to the northern edge of the Forest of Dean. Ledbury and Bromyard are filled with timber-framed buildings. Kington is to the west of Offa's Dyke, which marked the border between the Anglican kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys in the 8th century.

Demographics

The county is home to about 183,600 people, and it has a population which is older than the national rates. About 17% are aged 15 and younger, and around 21.5% of the population is aged 65 and over. By comparison, in England, just under 19% of the population is aged 15 and younger, and over 16% of the population is aged 65 and over.

Herefordshire has relatively low unemployment rates. Only 2.5% of the Herefordshire population claimed Job Seekers Allowance, compared to 4.7% across the West Midlands and 3.8% in England.

Herefordshire does not have much in the way of ethnic diversity. Just over 97% of the population identifies their ethnic background as white.

Education

Primary schools in Herefordshire are largely rated 'satisfactory' or 'good' by Ofsted, but there are some 'outstanding' schools. Amongst these are Pencombe Church of England Primary School in Bromyard and Marlbrook Primary School in Hereford.

Secondary schools in Herefordshire are more likely to be rated 'good' or 'outstanding', though there are a fair number of schools rated 'satisfactory'. Amongst the 'outstanding' primary schools are St Mary's Roman Catholic High School in Hereford and Fairfield High School near Hereford.

Further education institutions include the Hereford College of Arts, Herefordshire College of Technology (which includes the National School of Blacksmithing), Earl Mortimer College and the Royal National College for the Blind.

Transport

The M50 runs through the county, linking it to Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Many roads that link north and south Wales run through Herefordshire, as the terrain in mid Wales is very hilly and hard to cross on the ground. Roads that do this include the A465 and the A49.

Similarly, lines like the Welsh Marches Railway Line connect north and south Wales, Herefordshire and Manchester. The Cotswold Line links Hereford to Worcester, and there are through services to Oxford, London and Birmingham.

Amenities and Shopping

Herefordshire's rural nature means there is a smaller number of amenities and shopping available, but there is still plenty to do, especially in Hereford.

Museums and galleries

The Hereford Museum and Art Gallery has exhibits on local history and art, and the Cider Museum Hereford explores the history of cider making.

In the 19th century, the Eastnor Castle was built, and it now is a gallery and historic house. The Time Machine Museum of Science Fiction in Bromyard has an extensive collection of time machines and exhibitions on Doctor Who, Star Wars, Red Dwarf and Thunderbirds.

Theatres

Most of Herefordshire's towns have a theatre. The Courtyard Centre for the Arts is Hereford's main theatre. Ledbury has the Market Theatre, and the Phoenix Theatre is in Ross-on-Wye. In Bromyard is the Conquest Theatre.

Sport

Hereford United F.C. play in the Conference National League, having been relegated in 2012. Herefordshire County Cricket Club represent the county in the Minor Counties Championship.

Shopping

The Hop Pocket Shopping Village in Bishop's Frome is a collection of independent shops offering local cider and produce, clothes, homewares, antiques, musical instruments and more. The Maylord Shopping Centre has almost 40 shops and cafes, including Laura Ashley, TK Maxx and Topshop. Hereford also has a market space in the city centre which hosts both local produce markets and antiques and collectibles markets.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.