NEW guides have been released encouraging people to turn their Christmas shopping into ‘mini breaks’ in towns like Ledbury and Bromyard.

Visit Herefordshire is hoping visitors will go “slow and sustainable” by making the most of the area’s independent shops and hospitality sector.

The guides point shoppers to the hidden gems of Hereford, Ledbury, Bromyard, Ross on Wye, Leominster, Kington and Hay on Wye, where shoppers can also take advantage of special deals and discounts from the accommodation providers.

Jo Hilditch, chair of the Covid Tourism Recovery Steering Group said: “We are so lucky to have such a strong independent retail scene here in Herefordshire with many talented entrepreneurs. 

“I have also been so heartened to see new stores opening up in the last year despite the pandemic. 

“Our Slow Shopping campaign is all about giving these businesses the spotlight and encouraging locals and visitors to slow down and enjoy choosing and purchasing their gifts this year here in the county as well as focusing on sustainably.

“Plus, we also now have a free local bus service at weekends for hopping between the towns, which makes a mooch round the shops and a mulled cider or two along the way the perfect antidote to endlessly scrolling the internet for gifts.”

The campaign features four themed Slow Shopping itineraries. 

The first is titled ‘Independent style in Hereford and Ledbury’ and highlights the 15-minute rail link between the two destinations. It also speaks of “chocolate box cobbled streets”, “sparkly shop fronts” and describes Ledbury as “a Quality Street lid come to life”.

Among the businesses highlighted are Hay Wines, Tinsmiths, Tusk, Hus & Hem, Pot & Page, Wallers Butchers and The Malthouse.

Another guide highlights ‘Antiques and vintage in Leominster, Ross-on-Wye and Bromyard’. The last of these towns is commended one its Christmas lights and Legges Deli and Café which is “famous for their pies and meats and selling Bromyard Brie and Hereford Hop”.

A third guide ‘Herefordshire Hampers’ features many of the county’s food producers, while the fourth highlights ‘Artisans and Makers in Kington and Hay on Wye’. 

Among the places to stay offering special Slow Shopping deals are the Feathers Hotel and Verzon House. 

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