Insider guide, top ten things we love about Hereford!

Today we’re handing things over to Hannah, one of our Graduate Ambassadors who is going to talk you through her 10 Favourite Things About Hereford (and hopefully a few that will become yours).

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1. Being close to nature 

As a person who lived in the countryside before moving to Hereford, I really love that the centre of Hereford is only five minutes from gorgeous countryside and greenery. One of my favourite places to go is Haugh Wood, a beautiful forest just outside of the city with enormous trees and the most amazing wildlife. If you are quiet, you can see deer walking about in little groups. Taking breaks from studying to take a short walk somewhere leafy was a fantastic way to clear my head and stay grounded.

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2. Independent shops, restaurants and cafes

As a bit of a foodie, the range of independent restaurants and cafes in Hereford is super exciting to me. The Beefy Boys are a staple around here, but if burgers aren’t your thing, there are lots of cute cafes and eateries that do amazing plant-based food such as The Rocket Café, situated on one of the most beautiful streets in Hereford. I loved days out going to shop at small business, especially as there are so many cute and quirky shops that are full of work from independent makers, including a load of HCA graduates.

3. Festivals

From the small (cider festivals, Hereford Indie Food, The Big Float) to the niche (heavy metal Morris dancing) to massive music festivals like El Dorado, Nozstock, nearby Green Man – or the newer Into The Woods – Herefordshire loves to party outdoors.

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4. Churchill Gardens and the parks surrounding the river

Hereford has quite a range of parks and open green spaces which make lovely places to hang out with other students, especially when the weather is nice. The Bishop’s Meadow is a beautiful park by the river – which you can paddleboard on – and Churchill Gardens is right next to HCA’s campuses and has stunning views right across the city. Walking across that park at sunset is my favourite way to end the day.

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5. Pubs and coffee shops

There are so many pubs in Hereford. The range of places to meet with friends for a drink is so lovely; from more popular ones like as The Barrels (which is ideal for if you wanted to bump into someone you know without arranging it) to places like Gilbies or Luna that are perfect for a more intimate evening with a small group of friends or a cheeky date. The Yard and Sensory + Rye are great for food/drinks in the day as well.

6. The loft cinema

The 10-screen Odeon is great – the seats are comfy, the air-conditioning works, they have all the Marvel films – but if you’re looking for a bit more from your film-going experience, check out the Loft Cinema on West Street. They have sofas, break for an intermission and serve food and drink to your seat. They’ve also got some great memorabilia in the bar.

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7. Markets 

There are Makers Markets, Artisan Markets, Pop-up Food Markets as well as a daily market in the centre of town with veggies and flowers and that one stand stand that sells American sweets. There’s also a great indoor markets for vinyls, comics, burritos and sustainable refill products – all the essentials. It definitely makes Hereford feels like a cozy European town.

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8. Hereford Arts College itself

As strange as it might sound listing your college as your favourite place in the city, I find that HCA really is a genuinely cool place to be. The campus continues to inspire me and continues to make me feel at home. Being surrounded by the work of other artists just gives the place an incredible feeling, and if I ever felt myself lacking inspiration, a quick walk through all the studios would immediately trigger my mind to think of things in a new way and get me back on track.

9. The Sidney Nolan Trust

The legendary Australian artist used to live just outside Hereford. His estate has been turned into an incredible gallery that has a rolling showcase of his work, as well as visiting exhibitions from other artists. It’s a great place to visit. The world-class art is a bonus.

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10. Travel

I find living in Hereford to be incredibly cheap, especially when it comes to travel. Everywhere you might want to go in the city is walkable, but there are also a good bike-hire app (and a good network of cycle lanes) as well as public transport links if you need to get somewhere quickly. There are plenty of ways to travel sustainably here, and you easily pop up to Birmingham or Bristol for the day on a train.