Located in the heart of the beautiful border countryside, where England and Wales nudge each other back and forth along Offa's Dyke, lies Leominster, an historic market town.
Leominster (pronounced 'Lemster') dates back to the 7th Century. Some say that Leominster is named after Earl Leofric, the husband of Lady Godiva who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry on horseback. But others say that Leominster takes its name from a minster, that is a community of clergy in the district of Lene or Leon, probably in turn from an Old Welsh root lei to flow. The Welsh language name for Leominster, still used today on the Welsh side of the nearby border, is Llanllieni. (source: Wikipedia)
The town possesses some fine examples of architecture throughout the ages. The Priory Church, founded in 663, was a very important religious centre in pre-Norman conquest times, and was formerly a monastery.
Grange Court, built in 1633 by the King's carpenter John Abel, was formerly sited at The Buttercross, on the junction of High Street and Broad Street. It served as the town hall with an open-air market beneath. It was moved to its current site in The Grange in 1856. The lower floor was enclosed, and today Grange Court houses local authority offices.
Throughout the town there is a wide variety of architectural styles from the medieval overhangs in Drapers Lane and School Lane, to the Georgian splendour of Broad Street.
The town centre has recently become semi-pedetrianised, recreating the bustling atmosphere of a market town. A market is still held each Friday in Corn Square.
In the town you will find a wide variety of small shops, cafes, pubs and antiques shops, making Leominster the ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon strolling around in very pleasant surroundings.
Further afield there is an enormous amount to see and do. A short ride south on the A49 is Queenswood Country Park, a delightful woodland park with numerous footpaths allowing you to explore the depths of wood. Also there is a picnic area ideal for family outings. Small shops on site.
Near to Queenswood is Bodenham, where Broadfield Vineyards grow and sell on of the few English wines available
From Leominster, go north on the A49 and you will find Berrington Hall, a National Trust property with a park by Capability Brown. Another National Trust property is Croft Castle, which houses a fine collection of furniture and paintings.
The delightful Black and White Trail heads west from the town on the A44 and encompasses the villages of Eardisland, Pembridge and Weobley. Dilwyn is also worth a visit with The Crown Inn located in the centre of the village.
On the A4112 from Leominster to Tenbury Wells is Stockton Bury Gardens selling some unusual plants.
In the village of Kimbolton, The Stockton Cross, a half-timbered inn is an excellent stop off point for a meal and a pint of real ale. At St Michaels, there is another fine example of religious architecture, with the cloisters now housing an international language school. Turn left opposite the church and you will find another ideal stop. Cadmore Lodge Hotel and Country Club is a lakeside hotel serving meals seven days a week, and tea/coffee throughout the day. Sit on the patio and watch the ducks and swans on the lake, or watch the golfers attempt to clear the water on the renowned "Lake Hole" on the adjoining golf course (open to non members).
Tenbury Wells is a smaller market town than Leominster, yet still posses the same bustle of a larger town. The Pump Rooms, Tenbury's best-known landmark is currently undergoing refurbishment thanks to National Lottery funding. Just outside Tenbury is Burford House Gardens sited in a loop of the River Teme.