Hot Lists Wednesday, August 29th

A Fresher's Guide To Hereford

Hot Lists Wednesday, August 29th

A Fresher's Guide To Hereford

Moving to Hereford for college? Consider this your unofficial guidebook.

via GIPHY

STUDENT NIGHTS?

Short answer: not really. Certainly none that aren’t organised by the colleges. There used to a now-mythical student night on Thursdays at Play, which was £8 (EIGHT POUNDS) All You Can Drink. That’s not a typo. Of course the students in question were largely sixth-formers as neither the Art College or the Tech College had really grown up their Higher Education programmes, and, of course, no one cared. It was a simpler time.

But there are some club nights you need to know about.

Discotek – Disco and tech house brand that has held takeovers at the Venue, Play and the Speakeasy – as well as organising the brilliant, Into The Woods.

Magik – A now-monthly night at Play, it’s your best chance to boogie to some real house music in a bigger venue. Behind bringing Sammy Porter to Play this summer.

Kaleido – Specialising in day parties and bringing in top house DJs, they host occasional, but special, takeovers at Gilbies.

Scenic – A catch-all branding for Play’s dj-led nights,featuring Discotek, MagiK and…

Twisted Sounds – These guys pushing D’n’B in Hereford. They played the Cirque Du Soul stage at El Dorado this summer and are bringing these guys to Hereford this weekend.

Darkshire – Repping club music of all kinds, but especially bass-led tunes. They run semi-regular nights at the brilliant Speakeasy bar at the Left Bank, but also went al fresco this summer with a gig at the skatepark.

Reggae Pie – Nico Demus + a rotating cabal of selectahs throw parties across town, from reggae nights to dub and ska and latin/world-infused house. Most frequently seen at the Firefly and Left Bank.

Souled Out – A bi-weekly, intensely-danceable funk, soul and disco night at the Firefly. 

TRANSPORT?

Brace yourself. There’s no Uber.

There are cabs (Hi-Town Taxis’ 354321 is probably the easiest to remember), but the good news is that Hereford’s really not big enough to need them.

There are bike racks all over town, and routes (including a dedicated cycle bridge that takes you south of the river) that will keep you off the busier roads. Climb on Bikes is probably your best bet for keeping things lubed up and running through the winter.

There is also a very good chance that the city will be getting a Boris Bike-esque, app-based bike rental scheme in the very near future which will include a bank of bikes by the colleges, meaning you could roll down Aylestone Hill at the end of lectures and ditch your bike in High Town.

Train-wise, you’ve got a direct line to Worcester and Birmingham New Street (although the last train back is a little early if you’re going up there for a gig), and another that gets you to Cardiff in one direction and Manchester in the other.

IS THERE A NANDO’S?

Yes, there’s a Nando’s. There’s also a Fake Nando’s.

CHEAP STUFF?

If you’re coming from the South East, basically, it’s all going to be cheap.

Check out Taco Tuesdays at the Firefly (free taco with every beer) and two-for £10 vegan hot dogs on Wednesdays, tapas at Little Black Dog (they throw in a round of Estellas if you buy tapas), and happy hours at Gilbies and Cellar Door for something a little more bouji (Shack Revolution also has an occasional late-night Happy Hour which if definitely worth keeping an eye out for). Keep and eye out for the Noodle Guy at the market in High Town as well - one potion will feed three people.

But the best advice is this; learn to drink ale, and do so at the Barrels. It’s the best pub in town, possibly the world, and yet as it’s owned by the Wye Valley Brewery it also has some of the cheapest beers in town. Ease yourself in with an HPA.

SUPERMARKETS?

Morrisons – Bottom of the hill. Handy if you want to pick up two litres of own-brand cider on your way home.

Lidl – Also at the bottom of the hill. Handy if you want to pick up two litres of German cider and spend 20 minutes trying to find the cereal.

Tescos – A bit Mad Max-y, it’s in a part of High Town populated by extras from Trainspotting and is somehow smaller inside than it looks, like a reverse Tardis. Only use if you find yourself in dire need of 20 Marlboroughs in between pubs.

Waitrose – Unless you’re paying on daddy’s credit card, head straight for the Clearance Section. Surprisingly good deals on meat.

Aldi – Worth it just to watch the fastest till staff West of the Mississppi. Just off Whitecross Road, you’ll go in for a tin of beans and come out with a pair of Gore-tex gloves and a rake.

ASDA – Your go-to supermarket if you’re living south of the river. It’s open 24hrs, making it perfect for that late-night munchies run. 

Sainsbury’s – Just the other side of the road to Aldi. They do the best supermarket pizzas and always have Ben and Jerry’s on offer, but you might want to blag a lift to get there.

Co-op – it exists, but I don’t know anyone who’s ever been there. Way out of town.

WHERE CAN I SPORT?

Hey sk8ers. Hereford’s actually got a really good outdoor skate park, with bowls, street sections and – increasingly - competitions and gigs going on down there. Check out their Insta here to get an idea. And the good news is that it’s downhill from the colleges, just take Barrs Court Rd or College Rd instead of going through town.

Your hometown probably has a better football team than us. Unless your town is Leominster. But if you like your football, a day out at Edgar Street is highly recommended (the club’s got a bit of history, a passionate and oversized fanbase, and cheap tickets – get one in the Meadow End).

If you want to play, there are a load of 5-a-side pitches and leagues you can get involved in – the closest to the colleges are the indoor and outdoor pitches at the Point4, where England’s blind football team train.

For gym memberships, AnyTime Fitness opened this year, in the city centre has a young crowd and a good student deal, or if you fancy something different – there’s Green Spider’s massive new indoor climbing centre, free weekly park runs every Saturday at the Leisure Centre, and dedicated yoga and circus/pole dancing centres near to the colleges on the Foley Trading Estate.

WHERE TO BUY THINGS TO MAKE YOUR ROOM FEEL LESS LIKE A FOUR-WALLED CUBE OF MAGNOLIA PAINT AND LONELINESS?

There’s no IKEA nearby but B&M and Dunelm are both super-cheap, and right next to each other on Holmer Road. Good for everything from scatter cushions to bulk packs of loo roll. Maplin is also down there - and closing down - if you need cheap aux cables for the TV, Bluetooth speakers etc.

Go to TIGER in the Old Market for bags of stuff you didn’t know you needed, and, if your student loan’s really burning a hole in your pocket, swing by Printer + Tailor on Widemarsh St.

PARKS TO GET SOME ‘FRESH AIR’ IN?

Churchill Gardens. Always popular with students given it’s minutes from campus and the hilltop views looking over the city skyline are just profound enough to make you forget you’re hungover and have lived off spaghetti and ketchup for the last three weeks.

CHEAPISH DATE SPOTS?

Here’s a good list of places to start if you want to go the old dinner-and-a-movie route. Fancy something cultural? Jump a bus and go for a wander around Hay-on-Wye (check out Richard Booth’s Bookshop/cinema and the Old Electric café), or the sculpture park at Canwood, or get a little cheeky and book in to a ‘drink and draw’ life drawing class at De Koffie Pot. If you want to do something fun/active you could rent paddleboards from the rowing club, or there’s always bowling.

Or just go for a pint and talk about the Souncloud rappers and how many brothers and sisters you’ve got.

WHERE TO GO WHEN MUM AND DAD OFFER TO BUY YOU DINNER AFTER THEY DROP YOU OFF?

The Burger Shop or the Beefy Boys. Swing by Hereford Deli or M&S if they want to stock your fridge up as well.

PUBS TO WATCH SPORT?

We all know you’re going to keep using your parents Sky Plus password to watch stuff on your laptop, but if you want to get out and watch sport on a bigger screen Yates’ is your best bet (although here are two lists of alternatives).

ROCK ‘N ROLL’?

Live music isn’t in a great place at the moment, although the Left Bank is trying. The riverside venue host Free Music Fridays at De Koffie Pot, and Bandstand Busking on weekends in the Courtyard. There is a bit of a punk/metal scene that centres on the Grapes and the Victory, and there are bands most Fridays and Saturdays at Gordon Bennetts (in town) and the Plough (Whitecross Rd) – but they are almost exclusively pub covers.

STUFF TO BLOW YOUR STUDENT LOAN ON?

The aforementioned burger restaurants. Sunday roasts at the Bookshop. Beers at the Firefly. A Netflix account. Fresh clothes for your first week of lectures/vomiting VK blue on your housemate. You’ll work it out, but by way of a starting point; Vintage Emporium for retro stuff, then keep walking through to the Old Market for H&M, Outfit - inc Topshop – Jack Wills and “a very good TK Maxx”. There’s also a Flannels if you want to spend £200 to know what Dele Alli looks like on a night out, and a great range of tees currently in the window at tattoo shop Body mods near Maylords.

WHERE TO GET YOUR FADE TRIMMED UP?

There are around 700 barbers in Hereford now, but you’ll struggle to beat Longhorn on Widemarsh St for both its price and its sick fades. I wouldn’t even try to recommend hairdressers for women but there are about 900 of them, with Peter Prosser and Toni & Guy the most popular, and Rebel Rock the cool kids on the block.

FANCY DRESS IDEAS?

Your first term’s going to feature multiple fancy dress nights. Pulling on a onesie and doing the Cha Cha Slide in the Student Union may or may not be an effective way of dealing with the fact that you’re missing your mates back home and your Mum’s lasagne, but it is a stone-cold inevitability. Have another bottle of Westons and shake it lie Theresa. And check out these dressing up ideas to ingratiate yourself with the locals.

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