Hot Lists Thursday, May 5th

Hello sunshine: 5 things to do this weekend

Hot Lists Thursday, May 5th

Hello sunshine: 5 things to do this weekend

Look at that weather forecast, look at it!

Weather forecast by the Met Office Weather Widget

Yes, there are rumours of thunder and lightning but it's sunny, it's warm and we're feeling reckless. Here's a quick Herefordshire Live guide to making the most of this weekend.

1. First BBQ of the year

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Homemade smokers, marinades, big dirty burgers, ice-cold jugs of Pimms. If you're going to do it, do it properly.

Here are a few grilling tips from Hereford Beef.

2. Get thee to a garden centre

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Channel your inner Monty Don with a trip to the garden centre.

Hereford Wyevale garden centre, on Kings Acre Road, Hereford, started life as a 5-acre rose field. Harry Williamson sowed the first seeds in 1932 and became a bit of a pioneer, growing roses in reject tins from the nearby jam factory and ultimately enabling gardeners to buy and plant trees and shrubs year round. 

Oakchurch Farm Shop in Staunton on Wye is a one-stop shop with its food hall, garden centre and 'country department store' vibe. They're passionate about local produce and the deli food is damn good.

The Hop Pocket Shopping Village in Bishop's Frome is home to the Hop Pocket Garden Centre as well as the Cutting Block butcher and farmshop, the Hop Pocket Wine Company - a must for anyone remotely interested in Herefordshire-produced ale, cider, wine and spirits - furnishing store Meyer & Marsh, GreenStage Gallery, Playrite Wooden Toys, Cole's Antiques... the list goes on. 

Ross Garden Store, in Ross-on-Wye, has a load of advice on planting herb gardens right now, from rosemary and chives to mint and lemon-scented Bertram Anderson. The Engine Room cafe is worth a look-in too.

For a full list of garden centres, head to www.gardencentreguide.co.uk.

3. Discover bluebells

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It's as cliched as hatching chicks and newborn lambs but bluebells herald the arrival of spring - and en masse, they look incredible. Right now you'll find them on the Malvern Hills, at Queenswood, Brockhampton, and the Duchy Estate woodlands between Much Birch and Kingsthorne.

The Woodland Trust has a handy guide to publicly accessible woods and this 30-minute walk through greenfields, Bringsty Common and National Trust-managed Brockhampton Estate will take you past wild bluebells, primroses and late-blooming daffodils. It's dog friendly too. Download the route at www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

4. Dip a toe in Bodenham Lake

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Ok, swimming is discouraged but you can still get your hands dirty and feet damp at Bodenham Lake, the largest body of open water in Herefordshire.

Now managed by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf, the lake sits within a 110 acre nature reserve. Perfect for picnics, tramping through orchards and spying on wildlife.

This Saturday, from 11am to 1pm, animal-lovers are invited to the Go Toads! Lake Celebration, part of an ongoing HWT project to protect the toads that migrate along ancient routes to Herefordshire's ponds and lakes where they breed and spawn. 

5. Show some love for the Hereford Half

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The Hereford Half Marathon takes place this Sunday. Hundreds of people will be involved, gunning to beat PBs as they complete the half, 10k and 5k routes.

The event ir organised by and raised money for Herefordshire hospice charity St Michael's, and it starts at Hereford Leisure Centre at 10am.

You can download the start/finish map at www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk.

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