RICHARD Hammond says he finally belongs in Herefordshire more than 10 years after moving to the county.

After opening his car restoration workshop in Rotherwas, former BBC Top Gear presenter Hammond said he's enjoyed joining commuters from Ross-on-Wye to Hereford.

His journey from his mock castle home in Weston-under-Penyard sees him drive up the A49 towards Hereford, with the presenters revealing his feelings in a DRIVETRIBE video.


"One of the many things I said right at the beginning of this show when it came about, and don't forget it was the workshop before it was the show about the workshop, was that I was looking forward to commuting," Hammond, 52, said.

"Because for 25 years my commute has meant Heathrow, aeroplanes, somewhere abroad, two weeks away and come home.

"Now I get up and join the other commuters going from Ross to Hereford so I kind of belong in the area – I feel connected.

"That's not TV soppy nonsense, that's absolutely true. I feel finally like I live here.

"It's all about coming home, and I have."

He then later said in the video that it was his "new life" which was normal for most, but "new and novel" to him.

Speaking to the Hereford Times when he opened his workshop, The Smallest Cog, in Rotherwas, Hammond said it was not a coincidence he lived in the county, as he and wife Mindy moved her for their two daughters.

The presenter, who's now most well-known for working alongside James May and Jeremy Clarkson for Amazon Prime's The Grand Tour, said the county and the people who live there are genuine.

"It's a proper working county, I've lived in a lot of places in the UK," Hammond said, whose new series Richard Hammond's Workshop has been aired on Discovery+.

"Of all the counties, this is one that's not big, flashy or noisy and it's not very heavily populated.

"But people here are genuine and work."

"I have parties at my house and my friends are not all of one type.

"Maybe if you go closer to London in other counties they empty out on a Monday morning. I've lived in those places and come Monday morning everyone's gone.

"You think 'where are they all?'. If you're born to a farmer, or someone with just a job, you're not going to be able to afford to buy anything there.

"Whereas Herefordshire is a genuine place. We very deliberately put down roots here when my daughters were born because I wanted them to be from somewhere.

"Wherever they go, wherever life takes them and if they end up living in London, Singapore or Scotland it doesn't matter – they will be from here.

"Every corner of every road, every little bit of it, will have a memory and association with it. For me, that's a really great gift to them to say 'right, you're from somewhere'.

Hammond, who left his role at Top Gear in 2015 after 13 years, said his daughters will now have friends for life because of where they're from – and for him, that was important.