On the edge of Wales. Physically it’s about the size of Greater London, but its entire population is less than Westminster’s.
Here’s a satellite image of Leominster – it’s only a mile and a half from edge to edge.
Herefordshire is one of the most sparsely populated areas of the country, with 187,000 folks scattered across its 842 square miles.
You could seat the whole town in Bristol Rovers’ stadium.
Leominster has all of 11,900 residents. Bristol Rovers could fit the lot in, with 200 seats spare! Believe it or not, Leominster’s the biggest of the market towns. Only Hereford is bigger at 60,000 – you’d need Arsenal’s stadium.
65 acres, under £1m.
Lovely house but my idea of isolation hell.
Half of Herovians live out in the villages, and on dispersed properties. The Herefordshire countryside would be an excellent location for people involved in dodgy trades – all that privacy and an underfunded police force :twi
I reluctantly moved to Herefordshire in 2007. A Londoner whose health had collapsed, I was used to dynamic, vibrant, demanding city life. I could no longer meet its demands. I knew a rural market town would be different – but not exactly how. I’m still learning about Leominster.
It is inward-looking.
Leominster’s full of vintage charm. It is inward-looking: local people marry local people, start their families young and live around the corner from their parents. Despite numerous EU grants it’s economically moribund. I used to think it culturally stale, too, but I was wrong. It’s just different.
Some of the very best English produce comes from Herefordshire, but where are the quality restaurants?
There is money here – the countryside’s beautiful, with a smattering of mansions on extravagant land – but it doesn’t take much to be rich in Herefordshire. Barely anything sells for over a million, which would just buy an average home in the South-East. My London eye sees the potential in forgotten architectural marvels, and weeps.
Where’s the pride in Leominster’s heritage?
I can’t offer this town the confidence boost it needs.
Local farm produce is incredible: some of the very best English meat and fruit comes from Herefordshire. But quality restaurants are scarce; why is that? Does Leominster NOT KNOW WHAT IT’S GOT??? I sometimes feel like ranting (!) … but I am old and sick. I can’t offer this town the confidence boost it sorely needs.
Instead, I’ll try to show you round my adopted home, as I find it and as my health allows.
Get away from it all – come to Leominster! Guaranteed to give you a break from 21st century life, a few days here can soothe the soul. Brilliant for country walkers; great if you’re into vintage curios & shabby chic; relaxing to mooch around.
We don’t have farmers’ markets and micro breweries because our regular market (Friday) is a farmers’ market, and we’ve been brewing local booze since the 7th century. Everything’s cheap compared to the city. Just understand that your visit will be leisurely.
We do have broadband and 4G – patchy, and not the fastest – so you won’t be cut off from everything. Chill out & relax! Best times to visit: late Spring to early Autumn. Herefordshire’s lovely in May.
Leominster Museum – tiny, enchanting and free – is run entirely by volunteers who keep winning awards for their creative approach to keeping Leominster’s history alive. It’s open from mid-April to late October.
Leominster Civic Society is an independent local organisation dedicated to maintaining the character and charm of our Marches’ Market Town.
Black & White Houses is written by an expert on timber-framed buildings and the ‘Village Trail’. Website seems abandoned; this links to the archived site.
Local Facts – My very own collection of diverting data.
You can find more visitor information on the links in the right-hand column (or underneath if you’re on a mobile). Find places to stay, local links, that sort of thing. I don’t take advertisements, but sometimes post upcoming events on my Leominster Twitter and Facebook pages.
England’s full of quiet little market towns. Part of the ‘Black & White Villages‘ tourist trail, Leominster was founded by Saxon monks in the 7th century. It grew into a significant wool trading centre during the Middle Ages; powerful merchants showed off their wealth with grand timber-framed houses and fancy meeting rooms. Their buildings now look quaint, and Leominster has gently decayed ever since.
The 21st century has made little impact on Leominster – but it is changing.
For centuries the annual winter floods used to isolate tiny, agricultural Herefordshire from the rest of England and Wales. Still agricultural, often flooded, and still with poor transport links to the outside world, the county seems to have stalled on the hard shoulder of Time’s motorway (it only has 5 miles of real motorway!)
I hope to share a little of Leominster’s shifting character. It’s just one resident’s view.
The 21st century has made little impact on Leominster – but it is changing. Towns like this get modernised haphazardly, on the cheap. Remarkable old work falls apart, replaced or covered with very unremarkable new builds. Pathways are shut off without explanation. Businesses close. Young people leave.
No-one seems to document this happening, so I hope to share a little of Leominster’s shifting character. It’s just one resident’s view.