Hot Lists Friday, March 18th

Spotlight on Ross-on-Wye

What would Herefordshire be without Ross-on-Wye? Situated on the south-eastern side of the county, located on the River Wye, and on the northern edge of the Forest of Dean, the town has plenty going for it. Fancy getting active on your bicycle or feel like a more leisurely stroll by the river? Ross-on-Wye is the place to go. It’s also a great destination to drop in to if you are in the mood for a gourmet sandwich, burger, or coffee. Feeling like some culture? No problem. Ross is a great location to head to if you want to meet noteworthy authors, extend your range of musical instruments, or admire the work of a world renowned sculptor. The town was also home to one of the country’s finest philanthropists and if you are seeking some great views to enjoy this is a location you will love.

Truffles Delicatessen

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If you’re looking for a tasty snack to feast on Truffles in High Street is the home of the gourmet sandwich. We tucked into an onion bhaji, humus, cucumber and mango chutney sandwich along with carrot and coriander soup of the day. Other speciality sandwiches on offer include Serrano ham, manchego and quince jelly and peppered pastrami, sauerkraut, gherkin and di jon mayonnaise. In short, a fine deli that is a delightful destination for the imaginative sandwich eater.

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Café/restaurant in Gloucester Road has an inventive menu incorporating light bites, sharing platters, starters, mains, and side orders. You can choose from a lamb kofta, seafood, for tapas platter. Also set to tantalise your taste buds are the No3 gourmet burger and haddock monte carlo. Perfect for those who want to sit down for a quick feed or a more involved meal and possibly something a little stronger too.

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Caffe Eleganza

Caffe Eleganza in Broad Sreet offers exceptional coffee from James Gourmet Coffee based in Ross and has its own blend. All members of staff are trained barristas so your coffee should reach you in perfect condition. There is a middle eastern influence to the menu with Moroccan chicken flatbread, Lebanese meatballs, and lamb kofta featuring in its menu. There is some wonderful artwork on display from Ross artist Jonathan Brier too.

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Tudor Sweets

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Tudor Sweets is located next to the historic Market House. The traditional sweet shop has acquired iconic status over the years because it is stacked from floor to ceiling with jars of sweet temptations. These include such favourites as rhubarb and custard, Cider with Rosie and Summer Pudding.

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Not surprisingly given the gorgeous countryside that surrounds Ross-on-Wye, cycling is a popular pastime. There is plenty to discover and routes suitable for cyclists of all abilities. Visit this site for some cycling ideas.

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River walks

Why not nip down to the river for a walk and find an idyllic spot? Ross-on-Wye is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic by the river which loops extravagantly in the town providing some spectacular views.

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Rossiter Books

Based in Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth, Rossiter Books is a family-run business offering a hand-picked range of both newly published and established best selling titles. Other titles can be ordered with the vast majority arriving the next working day. Alongside this Rossiter Books offers an impressive range of books signed by the author. Friendly and knowledgeable customer service lie at the heart of the business, and the team are enthusiastic about bringing authors to the local area with a busy year-round events programme.

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Royal Hotel

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Very close to the Phoenix Theatre this impressive hotel enjoys panoramic views from its large outside balcony. The Royal was reputedly visited by Charles Dickens in 1867. You can sit outside and admire the fantastic view of the town and its surroundings from its prominent hilltop position. Part of the view's charm are the mock gothic town walls, including the Gazebo Tower (pictured below), that were built in 1833 during the construction of Wilton Road. 

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There are some interesting paintings on the exteriors of buildings in the town. For instance, JD's Bar and Jacqueline's, in Broad Street, has a musical montage painted on its outside walls. It may not be to everyone’s tastes but it certainly brings something different to the street. Perhaps more appealing to children is Pigs' Alley which has some nice decorative artwork painted as part of the Ross-in-Bloom project.

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Ross-on-Wye is lucky enough to have three sculptures by internationally renowned sculptor Walenty Pytel. He was commissioned to produce the artworks in 1997 with a theme of creatures that could be found in and around the River Wye. Outside The Man of Ross are three salmon leaping and diving. The second sculpture, which can seen off Wye Street, depicts three Mallard ducks flying and about to land. The third sculpture, alongside the Rope Walk, portrays swans flying.

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If you have an overwhelming urge to buy a musical instrument while you’re in Ross-on-Wye, River Music is likely to satisfy your needs. The independent music shop, based in Broad Street, offers a large range of musical instruments, accessories, and resources. 

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The Prospect

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You can see some great views of Ross-on-Wye if you head to The Prospect. The public garden, populated by ancient trees, can be found close to St.Mary's Church. The Prospect was created by John Kyrle and offers superb views over the Wye, which is a hundred feet below. If you don't fancy looking at views you could rest a while and take a well earned break in the garden.

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John Kyrle

John Kyrle (1637–1724), known as ‘the Man of Ross’, was an English philanthropist, remembered for his time in the town. From his early twenties he adopted a frugal lifestyle and instead of spending his money on himself he invested it for the greater good of his community. He took a lively interest in the education of children and was generous to the poor. His name is commemorated throughout Ross, not only at The Prospect but at the 'Man of Ross' public house on Wye Street and his Market Square townhouse. The town's secondary school still carries his name.

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St. Mary's Church

The church of St Mary the Virgin stands on one of the highest points in the town. It is one of the largest churches in Herefordshire and its spire towers 205 feet into the air meaning it can be seen for many miles around. 

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The Market House

The current Market House was built between 1650 and 1654, replacing an older probably wooden building, and now houses a gallery and shop for Made in Ross run by a collection of artists with support from The Courtyard in Hereford and Ross Town Council.

Regular markets are still held under and in front of the Market House. The Market House is one of the most famous views of Ross-on-Wye.

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Field Fayre

An award winning organic food shop in Broad Street that focuses on produce that is good for the environment, animal welfare and family health. The shop owner sees the store as small but perfectly formed and with more than 2,500 products and a relaxed atmosphere to shop in it's hard to disagree.

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The right lights

If you are looking for exquisite lighting pop along to Fritz Fryer which specialises in contemporary and antique light fittings. The company is a lighting specialist based on Station Street in the town.

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Rowing club

Ross Rowing Club is one of the success stories of the town. Each year over the August Bank Holiday the Ross Regatta brings boat crews and spectators from all over the country. This year’s regatta takes place on August 28 and 29. The club is open all the year round and is a base for all sorts of different activities, including cycling, running and junior football.


Ross-on-Wye has plenty to offer. Video by Johana Joudalová.

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