Hot Lists Sunday, May 28th Words by: Kate Turner, pictures by: Herefordshire Live

10 outdoorsy things to do in Herefordshire this May half term

Hot Lists Sunday, May 28th

10 outdoorsy things to do in Herefordshire this May half term

Stuck for something to do with your family this May half term? Simply stay on Herefordshire turf and arm yourself with our hot list to ensure the school break is a memorable one. 

Half term in Herefordshire runs from Monday, May 29 to Friday, June 2.

Conquer a castle

The Welsh Borders are dotted with ancient castles and forts. “Bring a picnic and enjoy the magnificent views of the Black Mountains,” helpfully suggest English Heritage. Start at the ruins of Goodrich Castle, near Ross-on-Wye – one of the country’s best preserved medieval fortresses where you can climb battlements or refresh in the tearoom, before heading to Longtown Castle (dogs allowed on leads) or Arthur’s Stone (free) towards Hay-on-Wye.

Bike through the Forest of Dean

Head south (a 15 minute drive) from Ross-on-Wye for a day of cycling. The Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre has a wide range of hire bikes available for all ages, and trails for all abilities including a 10 mile Family Trail to the challenging Verderers' and Freeminers cross-country trails.

Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre, Cannop Valley, near Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 7EH | 01594 860065

Go walking, anywhere!

Head for the hills. Or the park. Or the river.

Whether it’s Queesnswood Country Park, the Bromyard Downs or Offa’s Dyke, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking around Herefordshire. How about the highly recommended llama trek in Longtown?

If you’ve got young children and dogs on leads in tow, Herefordshire Council promotes circular routes passing through villages and market towns. Take your pick from Bodenham (2.5 miles), Hoarwithy (4.5 miles), John Kyrle - Ross-on-Wye (3 miles), Shobdon (5.5 miles), or Wigmore (10 miles). Scroll through all 15 walking routes at herefordshire.gov.uk.

25 May - 4 June: Haydays @ Hay Festival

girls in bookshop

The HAYDAYS Festival lives within Hay Festival, the literary glitterbomb that explodes on the Welsh border every spring/summer. Its programme is packed with worthwhile creative activities for children and teenagers - craft, cookery, writing workshops, drawing, songwriting, animation, talks, book signings and storytelling. Double parenting points here because when they're older, they'll be fully entitled to tell tales of a Bohemian childhood, mingling with authors, intellectuals and academics at 'Woodstock for the mind'.

Highlights from the programme:

  • Leave your mark and help re-animate a classic short film. Join Dan Brown and Nick Brown from MASH Cinema and Hereford College of Arts for this quirky film animation workshop. Details here.
  • Join the Science Museum for an interactive journey into the world of robots. Details here.
  • The Big Project Book for Bold Engineers is a lesson in learning you can be whatever you want to be as long as your stay curious and applied. Details here.
  • Dick and Dom, or more specifically Dick Vs Dom. The children's TB presenters are back in Hay for 2017. Details here.

See the full programme at hayfestival.com.

01497 822629 | boxoffice@hayfestival.org

31 May and 1 June: Holiday Club @ Oakerwood Leisure

9am to 3.30pm | from £23.50 per day | Oakerwood Leisure, Kingsland, Leominster HR6 9PT

oakerwood

Gung ho activities a-plenty at these Oakerwood Leisure Activity Days. As well as the holiday club, which takes place in 175 acres of beautiful woodland, there's paintballing, quad biking and zip wires. Plenty of fresh air and running about are guarantee a good night’s sleep when they get home.

01568 780111 | www.oakerwoodleisure.co.uk

27 May - 4 June: The Magician's Nephew Trail @ Croft Castle

Open 10am - 4pm daily | £2 + admission | Croft Castle, Yarpole, Leominster, HR6 9PW

Pic: Chris Lacey.

Above: Exploring Croft Castle. Pic by Chris Lacey.

A C S Lewis-inspired trail around this historic fortified manor house and its grounds will bring the tale of the Magician’s Nephew to life for Narnia fans of all ages, especially little ones. Join Digory, Jadis and Aslan as the family explore the National Trust site. Bring a picnic for afterwards (turkish delight compulsory) and soak up the beautiful views from the expansive lawns of the house, or bring a football and join in an impromtu ball game. Dogs on leads welcome.

For further adventures stop at Croft's natural play area in the parkland and tick off some of the National Trust's '50 things to do'; build a den, fly a kite, make a daisy chain, create wild art.

01568 782120 | www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croft-castle-and-parkland

27 May - 4 June: Pineapple Pioneers @ Berrington Hall

Open 10am - 4pm daily | £2.50 + admission price | Berrington Hall, Leominster HR6 0DW

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Above: a mock up of what Look! Look! Look! in the newly created pinapple pavilion might look like. Pic from National Trust.

Internationally renowned artists, Heather and Ivan Morison, have spent more than a year designing and creating an ‘pineapple pavilion’ in the walled garden at Berrington Hall, the sprawling historic estate in north Herefordshire. Their awesome pinapple-inspired contemporary creation, entitled 'Look! Look! Look!', will be unveiled on May 27. While it's part of the National Trust's ongoing project to install contemporary art in old country houses, it's also a damn good day out for the family. Explore the artwork and hear how pinapples - a statement of wealth - were imported and even grown at Berrington during the Georgian era.

Leominster has never looked so exotic.

01568 615721 | nationaltrust.org.uk/berrington-hall

30 May: Survival Skills Adventure Club - Knots and Rope @ Queenswood Country Park

10am - 3pm | £16, booking essential | Queenswood Country Park, Dinmore Hill, Leominster, HR6 0PY

Survival Skills at Queenswood, Herefordshire

No, we’re not suggesting you drop them off in the woods with just a tent and a tin of beans. Take them instead to this survival skills workshop run by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust at Queenswood Country Park. Kids aged 7 upwards can learn how to make knots, swings and bridges among the trees in this stunning arboretum. The trust said the event is ‘designed for unaccompanied children’ but we’re pretty sure you will need to pick them up at the end. No one wants a feral 8 year old.

Also at Queenswood Country Park during the May half term:

  • Magical Forst Fun, a drop-in craft session run by WildPlay on May 31. £2.
  • Marvellous Moths, a day discovering moths and butterflies in the park, on June 2. £3 kids, £2 adults. 

01432 530088 | info@queenswoodandbodenhamlake.org | queenswoodandbodenhamlake.org

31 May: Childrens’ Pottery Workshop @ Eastnor Pottery

11.30am-1pm (4-8 yrs) and 2-3.30pm (9-12 yrs) | £15 per child | Home Farm, Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Eastnor, Ledbury HR8 1RD

Child making a pot on the potters wheel for their birthday party1

Have your own great pottery throw-down at Eastnor this half term. From testing out the potter's wheel to creating coil pot t-lights and ceramic animal, it's all creative and, more often than not, messy. Nice element is having the option to take that day's creation home with you or come back to collect after it's been fired. Other dates available for some very messy family and group bookings!

01531 633886 | admin@eastnorpottery.co.uk | eastnorpottery.co.uk

1 June: Lake Play @ Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve

10.30am - 12.30pm | Free but booking essential | Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve, Bodenham, HR1 3JT

bodenhamlake

Even if you've tramped around the popular Queenswood Country Park every sunny Sunday, you may not have explored Bodenham Lake just a stone’s throw away? Also run by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust following a handover from Herefordshire Council in 2016, the lake sits within a sizable 44 acres and it's a haven for wildlife, as well as dogs and kids in need of exercise. Something like 160 different species of birds visit the nature reserve at various times of the year. At the Lake Play session held here on June 1, children and families can get stuck into wildlife inspired activities, crafts and games. Good weather? Take a picnic and enjoy a lakeside lunch while you're there.

01432 530088 | info@queenswoodandbodenhamlake.org | queenswoodandbodenhamlake.org

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