Although beautiful to visit at any time of year, summer in Ledbury is the best time of all for local events, whether you come in search of great food, local culture or even a medieval battle. A whole host of gatherings mix old Herefordshire customs and local crafts with the best of current and touring artists and experts. Here are some highlights to look forward to from the town and surrounding area:
Ledbury Poetry Festival (1-10 July 2016)
Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning remains perhaps Ledbury's most inspiring historical figures.
Ten days of verse, stellar visiting artists and community events make up this fantastic gathering, which is not only a hugely enjoyable spell for the town, but widely regarded as the best poetry festival in Britain. And why indeed not? Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of the town’s most celebrated former residents, while the whole community comes together in verse, so to speak, for the Poetry Festival, which celebrates a magical 20th year in 2016.
Expect local wordsmiths along with some very special guests throughout the week, along with gatherings grand settings such as the Panelled Room at The Master’s House. Guided walks, tours and spoken word performances are all part of the fun each day, with many of the events completely free to attend. For more details, see the Ledbury Poetry Festival Site: www.poetry-festival.co.uk
The Ledbury Celebration (10th July)
If all that verse made you hungry, perhaps it might be an idea to stay around town for some food and drink? The Ledbury Celebration of Poetry, Music, Food and Drink (to give the even its full moniker) is a great way to end the Poetry Festival on a tasty note, with a stack of the best regional producers in town to ensure a delicious day and night of it. Head to Bye Street (HR8 2AA) for a hungry man’s heaven of brewed, cured, plucked, pickled and smoked goodies to enjoy on the day or take with you. Deliciously good fun! See a list of foodie guests and traders HERE.
La Boheme by Regents Opera (1 & 2 July Bromesberrow Estate)
For those who fancy a grand summer spectacle outdoors, perhaps with a spot of bubbly and a picnic thoroown in for good measure, this performance is just the ticket. A dynamic production of an old favourite, Nicholas Heath’s La Boheme is a suitably passionate and powerful affair of the heart too, fresh from winning rave reviews across the UK. Find out more and book your tickets HERE.
2016 Tewkesbury Medieval Festival (9-10th July, start: 11:15 Quay Street)
More fun than you can shake a sword at: Tewkesbury Medieval Festival (Image: Fac-Man /Wikimedia Commons)
Brilliantly British and slightly bonkers, this celebration of all things medieval takes place every July, drawing big crowds of onlookers and appropriately attired enthusiasts alike for a long weekend of fun, food and, yes, medieval style fighting in the grand Battle Reenactment sessions. Whether you are a history buff or a small child with a natural love of swords, shields and weaponary, it all amounts to enjoyment on an epic scale. Aside from a small parking charge, it is also completely FREE to attend. Further details can be found at the official Tewkesbury Medieval Festival website: www.tewkesburymedievalfestival.org
Colwall Church and Ale House Festival (16th July 11am-5pm)
From the splendid parade of classic cars, through to a fine food and drink fair and stacks of arts, crafts and games to try for guests of all ages, this is about as food as it gets for a classic village fete! Whether you are a foodie or a vintage vehicle fan, it’s well worth taking a day trip from Ledbury to catch this colourful traditional event. See more HERE.
Open Garden Days for Charity (Various Herefordshire venues and dates in 2016)
A series of beautiful and stately gardens are open for special access throughout the late summer under the NGS scheme. The Picton Garden (Sat 6th Aug) is especially worthwhile for its unusual and rare plants including prnamental shrubs, bamboos and ferns. www.ngs.org.uk
Whether you are looking to enjoy summer events and a taste of local culture, or simply get away from it all for a long weekend, The Feathers Hotel makes a delightful destination. With centuries of history and the best of present day hospitality, we are the ideal place to enjoy mini breaks in Herefordshire. Keep an eye on our offers section and Facebook page for a further news, local highlights and special hotel deals for your next trip to Ledbury.