Places of interest, grouped by town, village or locality, that could be included on a day’s bike ride from Malvern, but some more so than others (depending on fitness, electric assistance etc.). The info and web links below should give you some idea of what might be worth a visit. Ordnance Survey grid references are given in italics for some and we try to highlight refreshment possibilities that are most of interest to the hungry/thirsty cyclist.
- Acton Beauchamp
- Bishops Frome SO663485
- Black and White Village Trail
- Bosbury and Coddington
- Brockhampton SO594322
- Bromyard SO653548
- Fownhope SO580345
- Much Marcle
- Woolhope Dome
- Further Afield
St Giles Church has part of 8th/9th century preaching cross re-used as tower doorway lintel (pic) – apparently pretty unique in Herefordshire. Some more pics on Herefordshire Historic Churches Trust website.
Bishops Frome SO663485
Abbotts Living Wood SO672480 Runs courses in green woodwork, pole-lathe turning and chairmaking. Also publishes books on the subject.
Majors Arms pub (technically Halmonds Frome) near the bottom of the climb up Fromes Hill from Bishops Frome direction. Real ale and stunning views, check for food availability. 01531 640261.
There are two pubs in the centre of Bishops Frome, the Chase Inn overlooking the green (phone 01885 490561) and the Green Dragon just round the corner. Both provide food – but on weekdays Green Dragon is only open in the evening. The Chase also has accommodation – Facebook page.
Black and White Village Trail
This is taking you out of the immediate Malvern cycling area, but worth planning a trip this way (north west of Hereford). Can take in Weobley, Eardisland, Pembridge, Eardisley, Dilwyn, and Lyonshall, which are all pretty villages. There is a published Cider Cycling Route which takes in much of this – obtain from Herefordshire Tourist Information (note: it’s not the Ledbury one!).
Book: Black and White Village Trail (part of Family Walks series) Scarthin Books, ISBN 0 907758 47 9.
The Black and White Trail website has some information and pictures on the trail. Download the Black & White Villages Leisure Cycle Ride (9 or 15 miles) as a pdf, 580KB from Herefordshire Council site. A car -based tour leaflet from Leominster Tourism website has some useful info.
Eardisland Visitor info on community site. Flower festival in late May. Tea room behind the church, phone 01544 388226. Also The Dancing Tree farm shop and tea room SO432591(Wed to Sun) a mile to the east, phone 01544 388764.
Monkland Cheese Dairy could be fitted in a tour. Cafe open most of the year, shut Sundays mid October to Easter. The Pleck, Monkland, HR6 9DB, phone 01568 720307.
Dunkertons Organic Cider, SO393569. The cider shop is now open for tastings and sales at the weekend only – most operations have moved to Cheltenham. Phone 01544 388653.
Pembridge itself is an interesting ‘black and white’ town, most famous for the free-standing belltower (mainly 17th century but some dates back to 12th). See Mediaeval Pembridge. Visitor Centre in East St, phone 01533 388761. Old Chapel Gallery for contemporary arts and crafts.
Jules Bistro (at the top of the ‘square’) is a good place to eat. Jules himself is always happy to see cyclists partaking in his cooking – see pic on CycleTrail album.
Bosbury and Coddington
Bosbury Church has a detached tower which, as with some others in border country e.g. Garway, “appears to have been built as a refuge during Welsh incursions” (from church website). The Bell pub is opposite (info on village website).
Coddington Church has some pleasant views to the west (if the hedges aren’t too high). Off the beaten track and a good place for a break when out cycling.
Bringsty Common is to the east of Bromyard.
The Live and Let Live is the pub in the middle of Bringsty Common (SO700548). Food and local real ales, phone 01886 821462. It is possible to get there (on foot or cycle) from the minor road running from Linley Green to Sapey Bridge (via SO697541), but requires some off-road navigation.
The Garden at The Bannut has knot and heather gardens. May be closed – check Facebook page.
Brockhampton Estate (National Trust, SO682546, right) includes Lower Brockhampton House, a 14th century moated manor house (pic is of gatehouse). There’s 1700 acres of parkland and traditionally farmed land. Has tea room by car park – to get to it you may need to pay for entry.
Not the Brockhampton mentioned under Bringsty!
Brockhampton Church (All Saints), built 1902 but looks much older, is in the Arts and Crafts style (architect William Lethaby) with many interesting features. Worth a detour. Our picture of tapestries. Church website has history, photos and more.
A town big enough to have a variety of pubs and tea rooms. Has community website.
Teddy bear museum and collectors shop. Also original Thunderbird and Stingray puppets, and a dalek. At east end of Broad St (12 The Square), phone 01885 488329.
Rowden Mill station SO628565 (right): in private hands, has a small collection of carriages and a loco. There is also Bromyard & Linton Light Railway to the east of the town.
Bromyard & District Local History Society. Has a research room open to the public, in Sherford St. Also produces various publications.
The Saxon church at Edvin Loach (SO663584), 4 miles north of Bromyard, is worth a short detour. (English Heritage).
Tourist Information Centre in Cruxwell Street, phone 01432 260280.
Just over the Hills and next train stop from Great Malvern (and down the road from West Malvern). See Eat and Drink page for refreshment stops.
Picton Garden/Old Court Nurseries is the home of Michaelmas Daisies (Asters) National Collection, and is also the birthplace of modern Asters.
See Caves Folly Nurseries for organically grown and peat free plants.
Known for the Dymock Poets. The display in the church is very informative and is worth setting aside some time to take in. Updated 2008 with some great additional material (right: small extract from previous version). There are walks based around the Poets – ask at local Tourist Info Centres. The University of Gloucestershire’s Gloucestershire Poets, Writers and Artists Collection archive includes the Dymock Poets. Ledbury’s Poetry Festival will often feature material. Also see Friends of the Dymock Poets. The John Masefield cycle trail has an option to take in Dymock, which we would recommend.
Dymock village website (not working at Dec. 2020) did have some history and copies of Poets walks. The village pub, The Beauchamp Arms, was saved by the parish council purchasing it. Dymock is also part of ‘daffodil country’ (see Kempley).
Book: The Dymock Poets by Sean Street, Seren Books, ISBN 1854111213. Buy from Amazon.co.uk.
Eastnor Castle – a Victorian construction. Estate has an arboretum with cedars and redwoods, 22 acre lake, woodland walks and hosts various events. Check on website for grounds/castle opening hours (generally not autumn/winter). Also camping/caravan site, but own toilet required. Tea room – only available when castle/grounds open?
The Woodshed refreshment kiosk (new 2021) at Eastnor Deer Park is just off the A438, opposite the castle main gates. Take-away hot and cold drinks, ice creams, locally-made cakes and light snacks. Plenty of outdoor tables. Card payment only.
Eastnor Pottery Workshops for adults and children as well as ceramics to view and buy.
Roger Oates Design Studio shop for ‘soft modern’ living.
Don’t get lost in the infamous ‘Gorsley triangle’ of roads!
Orchard Coffee House, new refreshment stop autumn 2020, has been created by Gorsley Baptist Church, open Tues-Fri to 5pm, Sat to 1pm. Community Shop and Post Office is next door. HR9 7SE.
While not much further west than Fownhope, this is a little far for a leisure cycle from Malvern. Italianate church is worth a visit (see parish church website), and the roads near the river are attractive.
The New Harp Inn is now a bit of a gastro-pub but there are cheaper bar snacks available and good choice of beers and cider. A little way north, at Carey, is the Cottage of Content pub with good food (SO564310). Phone 01432 840242. Trivia note: this pub, originally built in 1485, ‘inspired’ the miniature Lilliput Lane model The Tap House. Just south of Hoarwithy is Sellack and the Loughpool Inn near the Picts Cross crossroads – providing bar snacks and (not cheap) restaurant – plenty of reviews on TripAdvisor.
St Mary’s (Kempley Old Church) SO670312. English Heritage – open 1st March to 31st October, 10am to 6pm. The ‘oldest timber roof in Britain’ according to info in the church – see Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory report (under Historic Doors). Plus ‘superb wall paintings from the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries’ – see left, and another pic. See Flickr for other people’s photos. The ‘new’ church (St Edwards) is also an interesting building.
The Kempley area (along with Dymock) is also known for the drifts of wild daffodils. Walks (and maybe cycle rides) are organised at the appropriate time – check our Events page for info.
When human touch (as monkish books attest) Nor was applied nor could be, Ledbury bells Broke forth in concert flung adown the dells, And upward, high as Malvern’s cloudy crest; From St Catherine of Ledbury (sonnet), W. Wordsworth.
Historic features in Ledbury include the Market House in the centre of town, which is next to the cobbled Church Lane (right) leading to the pleasant church. Market House is also the meeting point for many local cycle rides. The Cider Trail starts nearby, and takes advantage of the Town Trail.
There are various tea rooms, coffee shops, etc. Also a bike shop in town. The Tourist Information Centre is independently run from IceBytes internet cafe, 38 The Homend.
Ledbury Portal encourages citizen journalism and keeps tabs on local developments and events.
My Ledbury A personal site going since 1996. Pics of the carnival, the town, various bits of info…
John Masefield, who became poet laureate, was born in Ledbury in 1878. The town celebrates its strong links through an annual, quite large, Poetry Festival (see Events). The High School is also named after him.
Ledbury Railway station: The ticket office is independently run, relying on ticket sale commission.
Victoria County History Herefordshire section has produced two books on Ledbury: Ledbury: A Market Town and its Tudor Heritage and Ledbury: People and Parish before the Reformation.
A new building created by and for the Tinsmiths design business, tucked away behind Ledbury’s main shopping street, has won some praise. See The Guardian’s Miracle of Ledbury article. The architect Alex Clive has a little info and some photos.
Also see Creative Malvern page for arty things.
The Bounds in Much Marcle has been the home of Westons Cider for over 120 years. They offer daily Cider Mill tours – see website for details or phone 01531 660233 for group bookings. The associated Scrumpy House Restaurant is in a 17th Century converted hay barn – a bit upmarket but there is also a tea room at the back of the courtyard.
Hellens A mansion dating from 1292, this is one of the oldest English homes, and has associations with Mary Tudor, Ann Boleyn, the Earl of Essex, the Black Prince and the Civil War. For part of the Second World War, pictures from the Tate Gallery were evacuated here. 15 acres of grounds, plus tapestries, armour, carriages. Open Easter-October, Wed, Sat, Sun, BH 2-5pm, phone 01531 660504. The restored Great Barn hosts various events. Tea room.
Much Marcle village web site is worth a look. Check the information on the ancient yew tree at St Bartholomews church, as well as it green man carvings, for instance.
See the Cider page for more on this area’s best known activity.
Ross-on-Wye website is rather dated and is more useful for history stuff. The town has a variety of cafes, tea rooms, etc. (and bike shop). Quite a few interesting/historic buildings in the centre of town (which doesn’t stop it having some boring approach roads).
Moody Cow pub and restaurant at Crow Hill (Upton Bishop), north east of Ross. Appeared in The Guardian’s ’50 best Sunday lunches’ Sep. 2017 . Phone 01989 780470.
Tourist Information Centre at Edde Cross Street, phone 01989 562768.
For cycle stuff, Revolutions – see Bike Shops.
A beautiful if rather hilly area west of Ledbury. Earth Heritage Trust has published a geology/landscape Trail Guide – ten miles so possible to cycle (there’s also some info in their Frome Valley discovery guide).
Good views from the picnic spot half way or so up the hill from Cockshoot to Checkley (SO577385). Canwood Gallery (limited refreshments) is on the road from Checkley to Woolhope village – check website for when exhibitions are on.
The Crown at Woolhope village has good beer and food, and is likely to be packed on a Sunday. The nearby Butchers Arms has re-opened and is worth checking out.
Separate entry for Fownhope, above.
Kilpeck Church (SO444305), left. Well worth a detour for the carvings (not just around the door!). There are quite a few web sites with info. Also check out Kilpeck Inn, which wants to be the greenest pub around.
Visit Herefordshire Churches web site has basic information on many of the most interesting churches in the county.
Hereford Cathedral The famous Mappa Mundi, Chained Library, “wonderful carvings in stone and wood, fine tapestries, and beautiful stained glass” all worth a visit. And outside there’s also the sculpture of Elgar leaning on his bicycle – there’s a video 360 degree view on YouTube (better with the sound off).
Waterworks Museum, on the outskirts of Hereford.
Hay-on-Wye Secondhand bookshops, mountain biking etc. on the Welsh border.
Kington keeps on cropping up in our web searches! Hergest Croft Gardens and estate famous for trees, azaleas and rhododendrons. Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre; Kington Museum. Tourist Info Centre website has a page on cycling (under Activities). Also see Kington Walks website.
Dore Abbey (SO386304) The massive barn-like interior of the Abbey is sometimes used for theatrical productions. As well as carved screens etc there are interesting items of masonry, as right.
Part-Y-Seal is a large house with tea rooms (morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas), b&b, extensive gardens, oriental items including furniture for sale, near Grosmont on the Welsh border. Website is graphics heavy (at 2017) and may not load in some web browsers. Phone 01981 240814.
The History of Ewyas Lacy Website studying south west Herefordshire nestling up against the border, full of great history, geology, nature.
Offa’s Dyke Association Independent info for walkers.
Marches Walks do holidays from their base near Hay-on-Wye. Wye Valley, Black and White Trail are mentioned.
Bunkhouses in Wales Opportunities for walking, cycling and mountain biking in the Brecon Beacons, staying in Bunkhouses.
National Cycle Museum, Llandrindod Wells.
Brecon Beacons National Park – where to stay, what to do.
Monnmouthshire tourist site.
Clwyd-Powys Archaeology Some great pages on Offa’s Dyke.