The tall spire of St. Mary’s Church has looked down on the ancient Herefordshire market town of Ross-on-Wye for nigh-on 700 years. Locally known as the ‘birth place of modern tourism’, (you’ll need to visit Ross to find out why!), the town’s lovely holiday cottages are a comparatively recent, but no less desirable, arrival within the town’s ageless appeal to visitors for all types of holiday activities. Looking down on the River Wye from its perch atop the cliffs that rise up from the river, the town is often referred to as the southern gateway to Herefordshire and the Wye Valley. It lies within easy reach of Symmonds Yat and the Forest of Dean.

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There are lots of opportunities to get out on the River Wye at Ross, choose from a Kingfisher River Cruise for a 40-minute trip or of hire a canoe from the Wyedean Canoe and Adventure Centre. It’s no surprise that, as well as those choosing to visit Ross for a weekend break or longer holiday, the town also attracts a healthy number of superb artists and crafts people. To get a sense of the creative talents living and working in the area, visit the Ross Arts and Crafts Centre in the old, and architecturally pretty 17th Century Market House, or one of the small art galleries and shops nearby. Thrice-weekly markets are still held beneath its sandstone arches giving you two reasons to visit. Holidaying in summer? Then, if the idea of hiring a canoe to glide downstream on the Wye doesn’t float your boat (or you are happy to let the children go-it alone), why not relax in the park on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy a traditional bandstand concert. For land-based exercise, the Wye Valley Walk along the riverside is to be recommended. For a more gentle stroll, visit Goodrich Castle which is perched above the Wye Valley at Symmonds Yat or explore the nearby Butterfly Zoo. Ross-on-Wye’s most popular tourist attraction in recent years is The Amazing Hedge Puzzle’. Young and old alike will enjoy finding their way through this, one of England’s most famous maze.

Ross-on-Wye’s symbol is that of a hedgehog, a creature the townsfolk have taken to their hearts. There’s an annual hedgehog poetry competition for an ‘Ode To A Hedghog’, or The Mrs Tiggy Winkle’s Tea Trail, which you can enjoy if you’ve booked your holiday cottage in late July. Throughout August, shopkeepers decorate their windows with hedgehog themed displays to entice visitors inside!