Bromyard the town of Poetry and Music
Hop growing is a specialty of East Herefordshire, The County pioneering the growing of dwarf hops. Half of the hops grown in England are grown in Herefordshire and in September the vines are stripped and the hop pockets filled many used in the production of local beers and ales and the air is full of the rich smell of hops during the harvest festival period.
Lying midway between Hereford and Worcester, it sits amongst some of the most scenic countryside in England. The district with a history stretching back to the iron-age was well populated by early Roman times. Situated close to two convenient crossing places of the River Frome, Bromyard continued to develop as a centre of trade growing to be the main town in a predominately agricultural area. Hop growing is the primary enterprise in Bromyard and Ledbury with most of the 4,000 acres under hop cultivation within the area.
An international flavour comes to Bromyard with the Town Criers from all over Europe competing to be judged the best. Surrounded by the Downs and Bringsty Common where walking at any time of the year is a stimulating experience, a Teddy Bear Museum in the town is a step back in time.
At Bromyard, you can see rural England at its best. Traditional countryside events, such as Bromyard Steam Gala in July and Bromyard Folk Festival in September are held annually. As well as local exhibitions, the gala boasts a notable collection of vintage machinery, including steam engines, tractors, motorcycles and caravans. There are two full days of entertainment staged in the main show ring and lots more besides. `Folk' covers almost every musical and artistic style imaginable, and over the festival weekend the town is full of street performers and their fans .Morris men, guitarists, saxophonists, mouth organ players, country dancers and country singers all play their part in creating the atmosphere, and there is much more to enjoy in addition. Outside these two major events, The town still has much to attract the visitor, with its black and white buildings, leisure centre, interesting shops, inns and hotels.The Tourist Information Centre is contained within the Heritage Centre in Rowberry Street. The Heritage Centre's major display features hops and hop picking, re-creating the days when the urban dwellers of South Wales and Birmingham descended on the town each autumn as seasonal workers to assist in the hop harvest.In the attractive countryside, which surrounds the town, there are many other possibilities for the visitor's enjoyment. One such is the Shortwood Working Dairy Farm at Pencombe, which provides the chance of seeing a wide variety of animals - cows, calves, pigs, sheep, poultry and donkeys as well as the ever-popular farm cats.The farm trail is a must for those who enjoy walking, offering long and short routes around the farm and woodland with magnificent views across the Herefordshire landscape.
Nearby is Brockhampton Estate where you can enjoy walks through miles of park and woodland, home to a rich variety of wildlife and the chance to visit a medieval moated manor house.