Nestled in the north-west of Herefordshire, nudged up next to Wales, you’ll find the tiny border town of Kington. Small but full of character, it’s worth a winter wander around the constellation of shops, galleries and cafes before heading for the hills.
Start your day in Made in the Marches Gallery where you can enjoy the work of artists and makers from Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys. Their five seasonal exhibitions take in everything from paint to porcelain, silk to steel and wool to wood. There are often live artist demonstrations and creative workshops too. Along the street, you’ll also find Kat and Fiddle Gallery where the acclaimed artist Kathryn Moore makes and sells her brilliant mixed media landscapes.
Number 25 Delicatessen is a great place to browse and buy the very best locally-sourced products, including Penrhos Gin, British Cassis, Hay Charcuterie, Monkland Dairy cheese and Continuum Conceits artisan chocolate. Treat yourself or make a delicious Herefordshire hamper for the foodies in your life. Keen cooks will love a look around the Bee’s Knees Cook Shop and will likely leave inspired to learn a new skill from sushi-making to preserving. And visit Planet B to stock up on eco essentials for the body and home.
This is real walking country so it’s hard to resist the call of the countryside! Stop by The Walking Hub to get kitted out with new gear, tried and tested by the team who are passionate about getting outdoors. Kington is home to two walking festivals and sits in the shadow of the dramatic Hergest Ridge, which lies on Offa’s Dyke Path, so there is no shortage of options, from easy to challenging.
Kington is well-versed in the art of the cafe. Border Bean has a reputation for fantastic cakes whilst La Gala’s hot chocolate and vegetarian fritters are superlative. In the evening, pop to the nearby New Inn at Pembridge for beams, roaring fires, stacks of history and, reputedly, a ghost. Another highly recommended option is the award-winning Stagg Inn at Titley.
A winter break itinerary in Kington could also take in a drive around the pretty Black and White Village Trail, a panoramic round of golf at England’s highest 18 hole course and a visit to the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre (from February half-term) or Old Bakery Alpacas. Spring sees the opening of the spectacular Hergest Croft Gardens and Westonbury Mill Water Gardens with its fabulous follies.