Herefordshire is a mainly rural county, one famed for its apples, literature, beef and dairy products. It has its own breed of cattle, the Hereford, a gentle breed which is used as Hereford United's mascot. Owing to its apples, Herefordshire is also famed for its cider. Westons and H.P. Bulmer are based in the county.
It is the second most southerly county alongside the English and Welsh border. From the south west, its border is the Brecon Beacons National Park. To the east, it shares the Malvern Hills with Worcestershire. At one time, the famed Malvern Water was bottled at Colwall. A short distance away from Colwall, along the Malvern Hills is Herefordshire Beacon and British Camp. The iron age hill fort atop Herefordshire Beacon is reputed to have been built in 2nd century BC.
West of Colwall is the small yet picturesque market town of Ledbury. It was home to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the birthplace of one time poet laureate John Masefield. There is an annual poetry festival which takes place on the first week of July.
Herefordshire is not without its castles. Just outside Ledbury is Eastnor Castle, a 19th century mock castle built to look like a medieval castle. As well as being a visitor attraction, it is also a wedding and conference venue. Its grounds also play host to the Firework Champions competition and the Mountain Mayhem mountain bike festival.
Along the A449 is Goodrich Castle, a ruinous Norman medieval north of Goodrich village itself. The castle appears to have been in existence by 1101 and played a key part in the English Civil War. A short drive away is the delightful village of Symonds Yat. The scenic views of the gorge, which gives the village its name is popular with walkers, canoeists and photographers.
In the southern part of Herefordshire, near the Forest of Dean, is the small market town of Ross-on-Wye. It is known for its independent shops, the sandstone Market House and its picturesque streets.
No mention of Herefordshire is complete without reference to its county town, the city of Hereford. It is the main hub of the county, famed for its cider, leather goods and cattle. It also claims to be the birthplace of Nell Gwyn. The historic centre has a cathedral which is home to the Hereford Mappa Mundi - a map of the known world from the late 13th century and the world famous Chained Library.
Other attractions in Hereford include the city's museum and art gallery, The Old House (a distinctive black and white half-timbered house and museum) and the Hereford Cider Museum. The Cider museum has a collection of presses, cider mills, paintings and old photographs. Four meeting rooms are available for hire with a 10% discount for charities and community groups.
North of Hereford is the market town of Leominster, famed for its antique shops and auctioneers. Other attractions include the Leominster Folk Museum, Lion Ballroom and Monkland Cheese Dairy. A short distance away is Burford House Gardens in Tenbury Wells.
With its picturesque scenery, architecture and history, Herefordshire is an attractive place to hold a conference. There are hourly trains to Manchester Piccadilly and Cardiff Central, frequent services to Worcester Foregate Street and peak hour direct trains to London Paddington. The M50 motorway connects Herefordshire via Ross-on-Wye with the M5. It is accessible from most parts of the UK, particularly South Wales, the Home Counties and the rest of the West Midlands.