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tplatt

Herefordshire

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Have just returned from spending a few days away in Shropshire and Herefordshire, staying on the edge of Hereford. Hereford is terrible - a bit like Reading only much worse. Police everywhere and drunken youths littering the streets.

We visited Ludlow, but couldn't find anywhere to park (there is a massive parking problem there), so gave up and decided to return the following day (Sunday), when it was still difficult to find a parking space. A very pretty little town, but I have been told it floods. On driving about, I noticed that Herefordshire is absolutely empty. There are only a few houses dotted about, like hamlets and there don't appear to be any proper villages. One thing I noticed is that there are tons of pubs, like every couple of miles and they appear to be in a sparse area. How on earth do they survive? I know that Herefordshire has a serious flooding problem and I am guessing this is why there is not much in the way of houses or people living there.

Can anyone tell me the areas of Herefordshire that don't flood as I know there is a flood plain, but not sure where exactly that is. Apart from Ludlow, are there any other areas of Shropshire that flood?

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Hereford is a shock. It was quite sweet forty years ago, but things change. Gloucester is worse though

In Shropshire the Severn valley floods and Shrewsbury has problems particularly. The nicest place is Clun. I do not think that will flood.

Ludlow has been spoiled by its own success since foodies took it over

Plenty of nice places down the border, but no jobs.

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[quote name='tplatt' post='2117761' date='Sep 2 2009, 06:54 PM']We visited Ludlow, but couldn't find anywhere to park (there is a massive parking problem there), so gave up and decided to return the following day (Sunday), when it was still difficult to find a parking space. A very pretty little town, but I have been told it floods. On driving about, I noticed that Herefordshire is absolutely empty. There are only a few houses dotted about, like hamlets and there don't appear to be any proper villages. One thing I noticed is that there are tons of pubs, like every couple of miles and they appear to be in a sparse area. How on earth do they survive? I know that Herefordshire has a serious flooding problem and I am guessing this is why there is not much in the way of houses or people living there.[/quote]

I cycled through on Sunday or was it Monday. We went from Church Stretton which was very nice down through Ludlow and Hereford down to Monmouth. Monmouth was ok. Hereford was pretty appalling as you say.

It's funny what you say about pubs - are you sure they were open? We went past lots of closed up ones but very few that were actually open and active outside of the major towns - we actually struggled to find anywhere for lunch on the Saturday North of Church Stretton and had to cycle an extra 15 miles for lunch!!!

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[quote name='tplatt' post='2117761' date='Sep 2 2009, 06:54 PM']. There are only a few houses dotted about, like hamlets and there don't appear to be any proper villages.[/quote]

Ledbury and Bromyard are the best places in Herefordshire. Both very pretty, relaxed, very different from your experience of grotty old Hereford. Both high up on the edges of the Malverns and therefore very unlikely to flood! IF you want rural, try the Golden Valley or further north around Kington.

My favourite area is actually the so-called 'woolhope dome' between Ross and Ledbury - an area of quite high, hilly ground with the Wye running through. Stunning scenery, some good pubs, and loads of orchards and hop fields.

On the east side, nearer the midlands, there are more villages. The further you go towards Wales the emptier it gets.

The most attractive place in Shropshire isn't Shrewsbury or Ludlow, it's Bridgnorth. I bet the low town floods though. Not sure about the high town. Edited by River Man

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There are more pubs than drinkers around here - most pubs are shut down or being staffed by 'zombie' landlords who work the pub for a pubco until they can get a change-of-use and build on the site.

You'd be mad to buy a house in Herefordshire even after checking floodsites - the prices were pushed up a few years ago by retiring incomers from Surrey and are now sliding back towards local wage levels.

The best thing about Herefordshire is the total lack of people - (lack of) jobs and transport links should hopefully keep it that way for a while.

Buckers
ps - where did you stay in Hereford and what parts did you visit? Edited by buckers

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[quote name='buckers' post='2127412' date='Sep 7 2009, 12:03 PM']There are more pubs than drinkers around here - most pubs are shut down or being staffed by 'zombie' landlords who work the pub for a pubco until they can get a change-of-use and build on the site.

You'd be mad to buy a house in Herefordshire even after checking floodsites - the prices were pushed up a few years ago by retiring incomers from Surrey and are now sliding back towards local wage levels.

The best thing about Herefordshire is the total lack of people - (lack of) jobs and transport links should hopefully keep it that way for a while.

Buckers
ps - where did you stay in Hereford and what parts did you visit?[/quote]
Hi Buckers, sorry to slag off your home town. When we arrived at about 11.30 at night, the town was swaming with police and we got stopped by them for supposedly going through a red light. I think they were just filling in time while they waited for the pubs to empty. Luckily, he just gave us a quick pep and let us go. We stayed at the Premier Inn just outside the town, which was alright, but, sadly, the local pub was a Beefeater and so the menu was pretty basic and cheap and there were drinks promotions! Sadly, due to this, the clientele was a bit chavy. I have never seen so many baby buggies in one place! Luckily, by 8pm most had left.

We visited Leominster, which we thought was quite a nice little town, Ledbury, Ludlow, Bromyard. I notice a lot of places begin with 'L'. Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire are all very close to each other and we did at various times drive out of one county into another. I think we went into Gloucestershire also at some point. After a while you get a bit confused as to what county you are in. We had one of the best Sunday Roasts ever at a pub called the Trumpet, just outside Ledbury. The landlords were very friendly and we thought it was a very professionally run establishment.

We had thought about moving there, but, as you say, it is very remote and so quiet, but the properties are nice and affordable and we looked to see if we could spot the white water lines from the floods of recent times. I would like a bit of piece and quiet, after all, you expect that in the countryside, unlike the hectic connurbation of Cornwall, which is what it has now become. Every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to live here! Not sure why, there is not a lot of work, very sad wages, the poorest county, too many bungalows and ridiculously overpriced property. I could go on. We have a great village pub, but we could do with some more decent pubs. Most of them are either empty or dives. Edited by tplatt

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I'm not offended - I'm actually an incomer from Surrey (5 years ago) so your views are interesting.

I moved here specifically for the rural location and peace plus quality of schools. I rarely venture into Hereford, it may be a 'City' but it feels more like a market town that just happens to have an important Cathedral. The shops are mostly chain types - like most centres around the country. The 'poundsaver' end of town is looking very sad and boarded up at the moment.

Leominster has some charm, not least because it has free parking (pet peeve of mine) and some independant shops. Most villages to the North of Hereford are pleasant and there are some excellent pubs - with darts and pool teams and even shooting leagues (in a pub !)

It sounds like you stayed at the Starting Gate? It's at the top of a long commercial road with empty units and the usual B&Q, Halfords, Dreamland, etc.

Buckers

[quote name='tplatt' post='2127624' date='Sep 7 2009, 01:26 PM']Hi Buckers, sorry to slag off your home town.[/quote]

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[quote name='buckers' post='2127697' date='Sep 7 2009, 01:56 PM']I'm not offended - I'm actually an incomer from Surrey (5 years ago) so your views are interesting.

I moved here specifically for the rural location and peace plus quality of schools. I rarely venture into Hereford, it may be a 'City' but it feels more like a market town that just happens to have an important Cathedral. The shops are mostly chain types - like most centres around the country. The 'poundsaver' end of town is looking very sad and boarded up at the moment.

Leominster has some charm, not least because it has free parking (pet peeve of mine) and some independant shops. Most villages to the North of Hereford are pleasant and there are some excellent pubs - with darts and pool teams and even shooting leagues (in a pub !)

It sounds like you stayed at the Starting Gate? It's at the top of a long commercial road with empty units and the usual B&Q, Halfords, Dreamland, etc.

Buckers[/quote]
Yes, we stayed there, but only for use as a base as we had the car. Premier Inns are always consistent and you know what to expect.

I am sure there must be an old bit to Hereford, but we didn't see it and yes, it is very generic. Truro has a cathedral, but it was only built at the beginning of the 1900s, so it is not very old and it is deteriorating rapidly because it was built of bath stone, which corrodes in the Cornish climate. Truro is very generic - full of Costa Coffee-type places and phone shops. The old Woolworths is currently a Pound Shop, which has an annoying set of speakers standing out in the street, blasting out the latest offers! We have some good restaurants, which have opened up in the last few years, but the town lacks any atmosphere and most places are empty. The majority of the population stays in Weatherspoons all night as they only have £5 to spend. The car parks are complete rip offs (alot of tourists complain). I notice when you go up country a lot of the small towns have free parking. This would never ever happen in Cornwall as this is a good revenuefor the local council along with rip off council tax. In fact, everything is a rip off. Don't visit Cornwall unless you have plenty of money to throw about. Edited by tplatt

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Yep.
Hereford sure does feel like a complete dead end!
Thinking of relocating there for quality of life etc etc.
But, when I couldn't even get a signal for my landline phone, I called it quits.
Having said that, I slept a lot.... as there was no noise pollution. I could definitely retire here as everyone else looks as if they're just waiting to die.

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[quote name='kuntama' post='2128799' date='Sep 7 2009, 10:10 PM']Yep.
Hereford sure does feel like a complete dead end!
Thinking of relocating there for quality of life etc etc.
But, when I couldn't even get a signal for my landline phone, I called it quits.
Having said that, I slept a lot.... as there was no noise pollution. I could definitely retire here as everyone else looks as if they're just waiting to die.[/quote]
What time did you visit? Are you sure you are in the right town?

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[quote name='tplatt' date='09 September 2009 - 05:36 PM' timestamp='1252514212' post='2132623']
What time did you visit? Are you sure you are in the right town?
[/quote]

I was in Bartestree, midweek.
Due to go back there for a conference this week.
Nice village/outskirt of Hereford, but God, is it dead. Going running is a death hazard as there are no pavements. Whenever I cut through fields, I was convinced a farmer would try and shoot me. Cars race around those lanes like death's a chasing. Don't blame them, I'd try and drive through Hereford and it's surrounds as quickly as possible.
I'm sorry if I sound insulting- please take it all with a pinch of salt.
I live in the south-east and apart from stimulating activities such as the cinema, theatre, community events, community sports (apart from fishing and golf), myriad of ethnic restaurants, there isn't much going for it. <_<
Actually, Hereford town centre isn't too bad. It has the most beautiful cathedral, a lovely cathedral park, a large swimming pool at the community centre.
It really could do with one of the generic leisure centres, though: esporta, fitness first etc. The one it does have (Holmers Park?) is cosy. What the??? who wants cosy when they're working out?

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I agree that the city is looking very run down and could do with some inward investment. Plans to redevelop the cattle market have been proposed but is meeting local opposition. There is no university of hereford to bring in new life, but there are some very good schools up to A level standard.
On the plus side prices are dropping like a stone around here, local paper is full of houses marked as 'new price' or 'new to market' expect -10% by next spring at least.

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[http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22821604.html

Oh Dear!! This one started at £725,000 last year!! It's on mouseprice.

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[quote name='Timbuk3' timestamp='1286174574' post='2732146']
I agree that the city is looking very run down and could do with some inward investment. Plans to redevelop the cattle market have been proposed but is meeting local opposition. There is no university of hereford to bring in new life, but there are some very good schools up to A level standard.
On the plus side prices are dropping like a stone around here, local paper is full of houses marked as 'new price' or 'new to market' expect -10% by next spring at least.
[/quote]


Thanks for your comments. I have no intention of buying for a few years yet, but I have been keeping an eye on properties this area. I came across this property last week which I think has fantastic potential and seemed reasonably priced. Within a couple of days it was "under offer" which suggests it was the attractive price, but I am not sure - any comments from people acquainted with the area would be welcome.
http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=6934813

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Wormelow looks an OK sort of place but to most people it is the place you drive through on between Hereford and Monmouth- houses are quite scattered and the shop is a `Happy shopper' type of small convenience store - a good one but it might be vulnerable like lots of village shops.

If you wanted to be lord of the manor, it wouldn't be much of a manor.

Its probably under offer from a developer with, shall we say, good relationships with county planners. Notice also that some of the flats are occupied or tenanted.

Local schools - good village primaries not far away, Steiner school in next village is popular with a certain type of parent, Kingstone High is very good and I think you or your buyers/tenants would be in that catchment. There is a private school bus goes through the village to the Haberdashers' boys and girls schools in Monmouth.


I suppose to give advice we yokels would need to know if you want to live here and sit on a gate chewing straw, or do it up as a business.


Y

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........ and some of the neighbours have `issues'


From the Hereford Times:

[quote] Kirsti Windsor's volatile romance with David Langdon had ended and she had given him an ultimatum to leave.

She complained he had grabbed her round the throat and made threats after heavy drinking sessions, Worcester Crown Court heard.

But villagers living near Wood Cottage, Wormelow, began noticing "meat smells" and saw billowing smoke from the hilltop garden.

Four days after Windsor returned from a visit to the Lake District, she phoned police to claim her estranged boyfriend had committed suicide on the bonfire, said Christopher Millington QC, prosecuting.

Mr Millington alleged that Windsor had killed or attacked the 40-year-old landscape gardener and got her friend Katie Brown to help her put the body on the fire in a bid to get rid of evidence.

[/quote]

Y

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[quote name='yokel' timestamp='1295281250' post='2858756']
Wormelow looks an OK sort of place but to most people it is the place you drive through on between Hereford and Monmouth- houses are quite scattered and the shop is a `Happy shopper' type of small convenience store - a good one but it might be vulnerable like lots of village shops.

If you wanted to be lord of the manor, it wouldn't be much of a manor.

Its probably under offer from a developer with, shall we say, good relationships with county planners. Notice also that some of the flats are occupied or tenanted.

Local schools - good village primaries not far away, Steiner school in next village is popular with a certain type of parent, Kingstone High is very good and I think you or your buyers/tenants would be in that catchment. There is a private school bus goes through the village to the Haberdashers' boys and girls schools in Monmouth.


I suppose to give advice we yokels would need to know if you want to live here and sit on a gate chewing straw, or do it up as a business.


Y
[/quote]


Thank you for responding. Some good points. I think someone intending to be Lord of the manor has now been put right as the Under Offer has reverted to Available. Further research revealed that this house was on the market for £1.1 million in 2009 and withdrawn after an offer was accepted, but later fell through.
I wasn't thinking of buying at this stage - I am just gathering information on areas and prices. Mrs STA and I won't be buying for a few years yet.
In answer to your last point we intend to do up a home for ourselves and not make a business - so I will be more likely to sit on the gate and chew straw while Mrs STA goes about the area calling everybody "deary".

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Wormelow looks an OK sort of place but to most people it is the place you drive through on between Hereford and Monmouth- houses are quite scattered and the shop is a `Happy shopper' type of small convenience store - a good one but it might be vulnerable like lots of village shops.

If you wanted to be lord of the manor, it wouldn't be much of a manor.

Its probably under offer from a developer with, shall we say, good relationships with county planners. Notice also that some of the flats are occupied or tenanted.

Local schools - good village primaries not far away, Steiner school in next village is popular with a certain type of parent, Kingstone High is very good and I think you or your buyers/tenants would be in that catchment. There is a private school bus goes through the village to the Haberdashers' boys and girls schools in Monmouth.

I suppose to give advice we yokels would need to know if you want to live here and sit on a gate chewing straw, or do it up as a business.

Y

In my view, some of the best villages in South Herefordshire are Brockhampton, Checkley, Fownhope and Woolhope - good mix of pubs and beautiful countryside. The county has both hills and flat plains - providing the house you are looking at is not close to the River Wye or up a hill, you don't need to worry about your house flooding! The east of England has much flatter and therefore more prone to flooding I would have thought.

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Just buying in Herefordshire. Annoyingly I couldn't budge the vendor far from asking price, but the house is relatively well priced, in an area not officially but actually of outstanding natural beauty.

Visits to Hereford have been mixed. South of the town the road system seems to have been screwed by a horrible roundabout inserted to control the traffic into and out of a big Asda. If you just drive around the ring road the place does look appalling. Maybe it's necessary to dig a little deeper. Some of the area around the cathedral is quite pleasant, but you have to get out of the car and use shanks' pony.

I prefer not to have many people around and like the countryside, even though some of the farmers are just a wee bit scary. There are some bloody nice pubs to be found in the countryside.

I'm fortunate enough to work from home, so I'm kind of a pre-retiree. Anyway, house prices will probably fall over the next 20 years. The main thing is to enjoy living in them and not rely on them to provide a magical pension.

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Hereford is such a dump for youngsters- i feel so sorry for them.

Despite being a tiny town there is a high level of drugs and alcohol use; combine that with a high neets level and we have a lethal mix for crime.

Any suggestions as to what can be done to intervene?

Anyway, more relevant is the housing mix: as an outsider, buy at your peril. You really need to do a lot of research as the good stuff rarely hits the market and there are not that many nice areas to buy in.

Hope I'm not talking a load of rubbish and I'm happy to be corrected by others in the know.

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Hereford is such a dump for youngsters- i feel so sorry for them.

Despite being a tiny town there is a high level of drugs and alcohol use; combine that with a high neets level and we have a lethal mix for crime.

Any suggestions as to what can be done to intervene?

Anyway, more relevant is the housing mix: as an outsider, buy at your peril. You really need to do a lot of research as the good stuff rarely hits the market and there are not that many nice areas to buy in.

Hope I'm not talking a load of rubbish and I'm happy to be corrected by others in the know.

I don't think Hereford is that much different (better/worse) than most towns of its size in the Midlands.

There are some real bargains out in the Herefordshire countryside though.

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Hereford is such a dump for youngsters- i feel so sorry for them.

Despite being a tiny town there is a high level of drugs and alcohol use; combine that with a high neets level and we have a lethal mix for crime.

Any suggestions as to what can be done to intervene?

Anyway, more relevant is the housing mix: as an outsider, buy at your peril. You really need to do a lot of research as the good stuff rarely hits the market and there are not that many nice areas to buy in.

Hope I'm not talking a load of rubbish and I'm happy to be corrected by others in the know.

I'm rather surprised by these comments. Though I don't know Hereford (town or county) very well I'd always thought of it as a sort of sleepy, bucolic backwater, largely still untainted by the squalid detritus that pollutes so many places . Certainly when I passed through Leominster a couple of years ago I thought it was a little gem (I admit it was a Sunday !) and the countryside is superb.

So you would not recommend moving into the Hereford countryside then??

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I'm rather surprised by these comments. Though I don't know Hereford (town or county) very well I'd always thought of it as a sort of sleepy, bucolic backwater, largely still untainted by the squalid detritus that pollutes so many places . Certainly when I passed through Leominster a couple of years ago I thought it was a little gem (I admit it was a Sunday !) and the countryside is superb.

So you would not recommend moving into the Hereford countryside then??

There is actually a lot of poverty in the towns and the countryside - the average income is quite low (less than £18k). Leominster is a classic of pretty town centre buildings disguising a lot of social problems - it is one of the poorest areas of the county (alongside parts of Hereford city - south of the river Wye) and appears in national deprivation league tables.

The traditional employers in Hereford (Bulmers and a metal processing plant) have reduced their staff numbers and the farms are either mechanised or employ East and Central Europeans as and when needed - young Brits can't compete in the work ethic stakes.

We are a long way from anywhere big, or anywhere with a university or real opportunities so I'm afraid Kuntama is right about the `boredom' problems of drinking, drugs etc.

The other side is that many youngsters are motivated to do well at school so that they can go away to decent univerisities and get jobs there.

Our joke of a county council is tackling these deep rooted problems by getting developers to build a big shiny shopping centre on the old cattle market (cattle market now moved at great expense). We are promised a John Lewis and a Debenhams which will magically make the area richer because people will shop there. The council went into secret session to vote on the terms of the deal with the developers, which sums up their arrogance - old style conservative farmers and retired army officers mainly.

Oh, and Hereford United just got relegated out of the league (again).

Still, we do have lots of good cider - I recommend Weston's at Much Marcle if you fancy stocking up.

Y

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There is actually a lot of poverty in the towns and the countryside - the average income is quite low (less than £18k). Leominster is a classic of pretty town centre buildings disguising a lot of social problems - it is one of the poorest areas of the county (alongside parts of Hereford city - south of the river Wye) and appears in national deprivation league tables.

The traditional employers in Hereford (Bulmers and a metal processing plant) have reduced their staff numbers and the farms are either mechanised or employ East and Central Europeans as and when needed - young Brits can't compete in the work ethic stakes.

We are a long way from anywhere big, or anywhere with a university or real opportunities so I'm afraid Kuntama is right about the `boredom' problems of drinking, drugs etc.

The other side is that many youngsters are motivated to do well at school so that they can go away to decent univerisities and get jobs there.

Our joke of a county council is tackling these deep rooted problems by getting developers to build a big shiny shopping centre on the old cattle market (cattle market now moved at great expense). We are promised a John Lewis and a Debenhams which will magically make the area richer because people will shop there. The council went into secret session to vote on the terms of the deal with the developers, which sums up their arrogance - old style conservative farmers and retired army officers mainly.

Oh, and Hereford United just got relegated out of the league (again).

Still, we do have lots of good cider - I recommend Weston's at Much Marcle if you fancy stocking up.

Y

Thanks for that Yokel. Sounds like I'd better do some more research before I seriously consider a move to Herefordshire. Does Shropshire have the same sort of problems too?

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Thanks for that Yokel. Sounds like I'd better do some more research before I seriously consider a move to Herefordshire. Does Shropshire have the same sort of problems too?

I wouldn't write off Herefordshire just because it has some poorer parts - ALL counties and cities have social and economic deprivation, though some more than others obviously.

Shropshire is much the same as Herefordshire... I'm not sure what you're after? I don't think there's anywhere in the country that's "perfect"! In the proper countryside of Herefordshire and Shropshire you have less income but often better communities and nicer scenery than many of the wealthier parts of the country. The main problem areas in this part of the world are the medium-sized market towns, which often have sizeable populations of working poor and also "workshy" :rolleyes: types. Anything smaller than 5,000 is usually okay, apart from some exceptions. Even Ludlow - a fantastic town (in Shropshire, but near Herefordshire) - has a large council estate area and a good number of chav-like beings.

I find that in south Shropshire especially (so south of Shrewsbury & Telford, and west of Bridgnorth) buying is (relatively) expensive but renting is cheap. If you're looking to buy but are on a budget you may struggle a bit. I say "relatively" though as it's still cheap compared to much of England!

I can only suggest you visit various places and see for yourself what they're like. If you let me know what you're after in particular I can give you some advise on Shropshire as that's my neck of the woods. I live in a small town in south Shropshire and it suits me very well. Straight off I can recommend Ludlow, Church Stretton, Much Wenlock, Bishop's Castle and Cleobury Mortimer. And I would not recommend Craven Arms or Highley. And don't be tempted by Shrewsbury: over-rated and over-priced!

Have a read through the Shropshire thread:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=100276

(I have moved - out of Shrewsbury - since making my first post in that thread.)

Edited by Chuffy Chuffnell

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