Great Outdoors Monday, February 8th Words by: Lauren Rogers, pictures by: Mark Bowen

Sponsored: Boutique holidays from Herefordshire's Rural Concierge

Great Outdoors Monday, February 8th

Sponsored: Boutique holidays from Herefordshire's Rural Concierge

Feature sponsored by Rural Concierge

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Liz Hill is hard at work as Herefordshire's Rural Concierge.

Specialising in quality sightseeing itineraries, tours, talks and holidays in Herefordshire and the surrounding areas, including the Wye Valley, the Marches, Cotswolds, Midlands, Wales and the South West, independent guide Liz is a champion for undiscovered corners of the county. 

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From coaches to chauffeur-driven cars, from local bus and train services to bicycle hire or even a helicopter, she arranges days out and holidays to suit any budget or experience.

On March 28, she’ll be leading the Midwinter of the Spirit tour. Inspired by the ITV adaptation of Herefordshire author Phil Rickman’s best-selling Merrily Watkins novels, the tour will stop at several filming locations while exploring Hereford and the scenic villages of Dinedor Hill, Dilwyn, Weobley.

In July, there’s a trip to RAF Fairfield for the Royal International Air Tattoo.

With pick-up points in Leominster, Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, this is an affordable, stress-free and bespoke way to book a holiday.

At the tail end of 2015, county-born Liz realised Rural Concierge was ready to go full time. So while co-ordinating day trips and sightseeing tours, she is busy promoting Herefordshire’s hotels, holiday homes and B&Bs to the world.

When she is not manning the kiosk inside Hereford’s Buttermarket or leading a day-trip, the company is attending tourism exhibitions all over the UK.

“I want to bring people to Herefordshire and inspire people to explore the whole region,” said Liz.

“I’m providing face-to-face help and assistance for people who visit Herefordshire, whether they walk into the Buttermarket kiosk or if they contact me online.”

The success of Rural Concierge strongly suggests that while the number of tourist information centres countrywide is decreasing, the number of tourists is not. 

Since launching in 2013, Rural Concierge has hosted visitors from home and abroad, including Japan, China, Germany, and North America. And whether it’s heritage, retail or quintessentially English landscape that's sought, it can be found here.

For 2016, Rural Concierge will run curated Hereford City breaks, the Tipple Trail – guiding visitors around the county’s best cider farms, distilleries and vineyards, and the ever popular Walking Tours. A highlight will be a grand garden tour coinciding with the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown, the man who landscaped Berrington Hall, near Leominster, and Moccas Park between Hereford and Hay-on-Wye.

Liz has become a booking agent for coach holiday companys such as Edwards Holidays, Leger Holidays, Just Go and Shearings.

 

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Day-trippers will find out what inspired Bruce Chatwin to write On the Black Hill, step inside churches where Rev Frances Kilvert and William Wordsworth once walked, hear Sir John Betjeman's take on Herefordshire, discover the estate that gave Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the idea for the Hound of the Baskervilles, visit the largest surviving chained library in the world and immerse yourself in Hay-on-Wye's secondhand book shops.

The trip is £150 per person (based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room), and includes 2 nights’ accommodation with breakfast and a visit to a garden, Hereford Cathedral, many local churches and a walking tour. All in some of Britain’s most picturesque and undiscovered scenery.

Available dates:

  • Friday, May 6 – check out Sunday, May 8
  • Friday June 10 – check out Sunday June 12

Just over the border in Shropshire, Liz is running a day trip to Ludlow and Walcott Hall, near Bishops Castle, on Tuesday, April 18 - £29 per person, and on Tuesday, May 24, there's a tour to Woodchester Mansion & Nature in Art at Wallsworth Hall in Gloucestershire - £49 per person.

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Feature sponsored by Rural Concierge

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