Hereford: a place that's as unique as you are
Discover your Hereford, whether that’s enjoying Nacho Tuesdays and Hereford’s coolest Vegan bar: the Firefly, exploring the ‘shire’s gorgeous woods, hills and river activities or listening to live music in the sunshine down at the Left Bank…
From the atmospheric half-timbered buildings and a medieval Cathedral, to little shopping lanes full of independent boutique shops and cafés, there are characterful places to discover across the city.
The River Wye is one of the UK’s most important rivers for nature conservation and the only river in Europe to be designated a site of special scientific interest for its entire length. This is the river that wends its way through our city, through playing fields and community green spaces. With environmental organisations such as New Leaf and their annual sustainability festival H energy, to Hereford Cycle Hub and Rose Tinted Rags (recycled textile arts), here you’ll find eco-minded people deeply engaged in reducing our environmental impact.
Famous for cider apples, soft fruits, and Hereford beef, our verdant county has always produced top quality food and drink revered by chefs across the UK and beyond. But in recent years, the indie food culture in the city centre has stepped up to match, as young foodies have returned to Hereford and set up award winning new food businesses here. And don’t miss the chance to try some of the best craft ciders in the world, made locally in Herefordshire. Plus, with Herefordshire hopyards an essential part of the UK brewing landscape, you can expect to find plenty of great local beers to enjoy too!
You can easily get around Hereford on foot – so save yourself a small fortune in bus fares!
5 Reasons you'll fall in love with Hereford
1. Relax and enjoy life
Herefordshire is a safe place, with some of the lowest crime rates in the country.
2. Probably the best burgers in the world
Beefy Boys or Rule of Tum – you decide!
3. Being part of the community
Our students are really integrated into city life with no town/gown divide.
4. Great value for money
and officially the cheapest pint in the UK.*
5. The welcoming arts scene
HCA students are actively encouraged to participate and are helping to shape exciting new cultural developments.
Whether you’re the sporty type, or take a little persuading, you’ll find something to suit you in Hereford.
The Point4 gym and leisure club is just across the road from our College Road campus and gym bunnies can make use of the HCA discounted membership. Or for something completely different why not try Mountain Boarding, or Roller Derby with the Hereford Roller Girls. Hereford has several friendly running and cycling clubs. You can take to the water in kayaks, canoes or rafts, or take up rowing with Hereford Rowing Club. Get back to basics and go wild swimming, or head for the hills with HCA’s Hiking Society.
Things to do
From the conventional – the ‘Old Market’ (a £90m new retail development) has all the big-name eateries you need to feed your favourite cravings, plus lots of shopping and a new 6-screen cinema.
To the creative – Hereford’s Leftbank riverside venue features courtyard coffee culture, a busy programme of original events and a Speakeasy styled nightclub.
To the out-right quirky – Such as raw cacao-fuelled Wild Chocolate Clubbing or the Secret Dumpling Club.
*Survey by The Good Pub Guide Sept 2016.
HCA Students’ Favourite Spots
The Barrels is one of Hereford’s busiest and most popular pubs for its friendly atmosphere, lively brewery yard, and locally brewed beer.
De Koffie Pot – a Dutch-inspired coffee house by the river. The café serves lovely food with great vegan and gluten-free options. HCA students have designed much of the branding and regularly exhibit in their DKP Gallery. By night, try classes, groups, enjoy regular live music or relaxing around the courtyard’s firepits.
Hereford Skatepark has been voted in the top 3 across the UK.* It’s a large, freeaccess, outdoor park that’s perfect for BMX and skateboarding alike. Mpora.com say ‘there’s enough variety in terrain to keep skaters and BMX riders happy for a lifetime.’
The Shack Revolution – a rustic, pallet clad restaurant and bar serving pizza, beers and great cocktails in a fun loving, social, atmosphere.
The Send is Hereford’s new indoor climbing centre welcoming people of all abilities for climbing and bouldering.
*By Mpora.com, the UK’s largest action sports and adventure website.
Music and Performance
HCA students are immersed in the music scene across the city, and there’s no shortage of talent to be found in gigs across the city’s pub and club venues. In fact, hidden deep in the surrounding countryside are a number of renowned recording and production studios.
During festival season you’ll be spoilt for choice across a huge variety of music genres. The Courtyard Centre for the Arts is Herefordshire’s vibrant arts venue, hosting a packed programme of drama, comedy, dance and arthouse film. It’s home to the acclaimed 2Faced Dance, an innovative company producing physically adventurous work, that tours nationally and internationally. The Courtyard has a 400-seat main house theatre, plus a studio theatre, rehearsal rooms, a gallery, and a welcoming light-filled café bar serving tasty, fresh food. Don’t miss the generous discounts available for HCA students.
This is green rolling countryside, with distinctive red earth and black and white villages. Apple Orchards are a big feature of the landscape; at blossom time they are swathed in breathtaking pink. The Wye Valley to the south of the city is designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as are the Malvern Hills to the east. In fact, wherever you look there’s always the pull of green hills on the horizon.
• Out along the riverside, strolling right from the city centre into lush countryside.
• On two wheels – Herefordshire is a fantastic county to explore on a bike; from relaxed leisure rides to serious lycra-clad road miles, you’ll never tire of endless routes and amazing views.
• A unique local gallery – Canwood Gallery – that exhibits thought provoking, high profile art in a stunning rural setting near Hereford.
• Starry skies – Herefordshire as a county has some of the darkest skies in the UK.
• The vast iron age hill fort at British Camp in The Malverns or the dramatic river gorge at Symonds Yat Rock in The Forest of Dean.
• Ancient border castles – the English/ Welsh Marches have one of the densest concentrations of castles anywhere in the UK.
• The Brecon Beacons National Park – offering mountains to climb and wild upland scenery, within easy reach of Hereford.
Our Pick of the Local Festivals
Borderlines Film Festival – experience critically acclaimed new films before the rest of the UK and the pick of world cinema in the UK’s biggest Rural Film Festival.
Hay Festival – the international festival featuring big ideas, high profile speakers, books and all forms of storytelling.
How the Light Gets In – also hosted in Hay-on-Wye is, How The Light Gets In is the world’s largest philosophy festival; another inspiring explosion of culture right on our doorstep.
El Dorado – an enchanting boutique festival from Cirque Du Soul, with a magical setting in Eastnor Castle’s Deer Park.
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley – performance, art, electronic super sounds and good old-fashioned guitar-strumming and drum-bashing across nine stages with surprising sights and intimate, secluded areas of theatre and discovery.
Green Man – set against the stunning backdrop of the Black Mountains in Brecon, every August Green Man hosts an amazing array of major international acts, local bands, DJ sessions, talks, art installations, local beers, ciders and more.
H-Art – a nine day art trail, where artists and designer-makers across the county open their studios, galleries and other venues host special exhibitions.
Hereford Indie Food Festival – local food outlets collaborate to serve up great food and exclusive chef suppers together with music and a fantastic atmosphere.
Ledbury Poetry Festival – Enjoy readings, slam poetry, discussion and more. This annual event attracts people from around to country to one of Herefordshire’s beautiful black-and-white towns.
May Fair – all the fun of the fair brought into the heart of the city centre in this 900 year old annual event.
River Carnival – a celebration of our city’s river with parades, river floats, performance, music and a real carnival atmosphere.