The Best of Herefordshire's Golden Valley & Welsh Borderland
A short guide to the main villages and places of interest in Herefordshire’s rural Golden Valley and Welsh Borderland
by Karen Wren
This short guide (82 pages) gives an insight into the villages and sites of interest in Herefordshire's beautiful Golden Valley and Welsh Borderland and offers an overview of the history and heritage of this charming, peaceful area. It is not intended as an exhaustive or definitive catalogue of the area’s history!
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Where is the Golden Valley?
The Golden Valley is the tranquil area of gently rolling countryside in south-west Herefordshire between Hay-on-Wye to the north, Pontrilas to the south and borders Wales and the Black Mountains to the west. It is one of the most scenic, unspoiled and sparsely populated areas in England with a feeling of space for all to enjoy.
Running through the valley is the River Dore which gives the area its name. ‘Dore’ is derived from the welsh word ‘dwr’ meaning water, but the Norman’s confused it with the French d’or meaning Golden – and the valley became the ‘Golden Valley’. Either (mis)interpretation is appropriate for a valley which is delightfully golden with daffodils in the spring, rich with golden crops during the summer or golden with hay and windswept leaves in autumn.
The Golden Valley has retained its agricultural prowess which has continued into the 21st century with agriculture forming its main industry – including breeding of the hardy Hereford Bull. The villages to the west of Hereford are rich with apple and pear orchards for the cider and perry production industry in the city while chicken-farming and processing is another main Herefordshire industry. The scattered farms grow varied crops and Herefordshire cattle graze contentedly in the fields.
From the graceful ruins of Llanthony Abbey to south, magnificent soaring mountains to the west and peak of Hay Bluff to the north, the Golden Valley remains a haven of peace, scenic splendour and tranquility with its rural villages, babbling brooks, remote farms, quiet lanes and breathtaking landscapes awaiting discovery.
The border countryside has so much to offer with its rugged uplands, quiet foothills and wild, barren untamed borderland alongside the softer patchwork landscape of gentle rolling hills of the Golden Valley’s rich farmland.
Throughout, the Golden Valley is warm, relaxed and welcoming with an unhurried pace of life seldom found today.
Local Area Maps
Area covered by this book
The Golden Valley
More Tranquil Times...
Walking in the Golden Valley
Offa’s Dyke Path
Abbey Dore and Dore Abbey
Abbey Dore Court Gardens
The Black Mountains
The Little Black Hill
Lord Hereford’s Knob
The Gospel Pass
Bredwardine - Kilvert Country
Brobury House and Gardens
Capel y Ffin
Craswall Grandmontine Priory
Grwyne Fawr Valley
Richard Booth - the King of Hay
- Karen Wren, January 2013
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