TRAFFIC troubles and the lack of a bypass have long been a source of contention in Hereford.

And the new Covid-19 traffic restrictions have also drawn heavy criticism from business owners and residents, who say they will push people away.

Those fears were highlighted in a letter published in the Hereford Times on August 6. Writer Annette Creighton said the measures were potentially the death of a struggling city: “If I did not live here I would definitely not visit this eyesore,” she wrote.

But despite all this, we would not want to be anywhere else! Here are 10 reasons why:

1 Stunning countryside

From Symonds Yat in the south to the rolling farmland that surround Hereford, we are blessed with fantastic scenery.

2 Historic villages

Herefordshire has a wealth of stunning historic villages, such as those on the Black and White Trail.

Starting in Leominster, the 40-mile trail leads takes in beautiful countryside, pocketed with Herefordshire’s prettiest villages.

3 A pint with a view

With plenty of fantastic pubs dotted across the county, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying a pint and a packet of crisps.

For a pint with a view, head to the Live and Let Live on Bringsty Common, near Bromyard, or if an urban pub is more your thing, the Litchfield Vaults in Church Street, Hereford.

4 Local produce

From Chase Distillery in Preston Wynne to Westons Cider in Much Marcle, Herefordshire is full of local producers offering top-rate spirits, beers and ales.

Smaller producers are hitting the mark too, with distilleries such as Penrhos Spirits in Lyonshall and Black Mountain Botanicals in Michaelchurch Escley joining several craft ale and cider producers in taking industry awards.

And if food miles matter to you, there’s plenty of home-grown produce available. Try Bromyard’s Legges for local meats, or The Mousetrap in Leominster and Hereford for cheeses.

5 Independent shops

Hereford’s market towns have a wealth of independent shops, with unique establishments offering everything from antiques to food outnumbering the chains. In Hereford, the independent quarter near the cathedral is home to a range of local businesses.

6 Miles of walks

Try the Wye Valley Walk, which follows the river as it meanders through the county, or head to the Hergest Ridge near Kington for a bird’s eye view of the county.

7 Town of books

It might sometimes seem a bit out of the way, but Herefordshire is within a stone’s throw of world-renowned events, such as the annual Hay Festival on the Welsh border.

Outside of the festival season, take a wander around the famous town’s many book stores, enjoy a meal at the historic Three Tuns, or take a bracing walk in the nearby Black Mountains.

8 Country houses

Standing just outside Leominster, Berrington Hall is one of Herefordshire’s great country houses offering a great day out for families and history lovers alike. Stroll through grand rooms, or enjoy the acres of land surrounding it.

9 Castles galore

From Goodrich to Wigmore, take a peek into the county’s turbulent history by visiting one of the many castles found across Herefordshire. While many are reduced to ruins, they still offer a fascinating glimpse into Herefordshire’s past.

10 The river Wye

The jewel in Herefordshire’s crown, the river Wye is home to an abundance of wildlife. Hire a canoe watch the scenery go by as you paddle from Symonds Yat to Hereford, or while away an afternoon fishing on the banks.