Shopping guides inspired by a famous Ledbury poet have been written for Herefordshire’s market towns.

The guides to Ledbury, Leominster, Ross, Bromyard and Kington take inspiration from John Masefield’s classic children’s novel Box of Delights.

Visitors are invited to turn their Christmas shopping into a winter break – to mooch around the historic market towns and uncover hidden delights in the independent shops, to stop off at cosy cafes and stay a night or two in a local hotel or B&B. 

Ledbury Reporter: The guide is full of gift ideasThe guide is full of gift ideas (Image: Visit Herefordshire)

Visit Herefordshire’s Winter Delights online shopping guide hub includes accommodation offers and local festive events to make it easy to add in a wreath making workshop, a Victorian Christmas Fayre, a walk along a festive light trail or head up a hill for a wintery view with a flask of local mulled cider.

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“We really wanted our Christmas campaign to support our market towns and show off just how magical they are especially in mid-winter,” said Kate Tudge, director at Herefordshire County Destination BID, which is funding the campaign.

“The aim is to inspire Herefordians to shop local, support Herefordshire’s economy and enjoy the sparkly lights and window displays of the market towns and their high streets rather than trudging into bland shopping centres with the usual chain stores and shouty promotions.

Ledbury gift ideas

“We have incredibly talented producers countywide from blacksmiths to cider makers and pie bakers, as well as creative retailers bringing this all together on the highstreets and out of town shopping opportunities.” 

For each of the five towns there is even a festive shopping ‘Bag of Delights’, Visit Herefordshire’s very own suggested gifts to help give inspiration to those stuck for ideas. 

Ledbury’s ‘Bag of Delights’ includes Beatnik Buddy sausage dog from Blandfords, felt decorations, bear & balls from Tusk, Henry Weston’s Cider from Hay Wines, England midi rugby ball from Club Sports, Kaweco fountain pen from Ledbury Poetry House, papier maché red rose box from Ethos and a Mark Hearld blue whippet print (printed by Tillys), from Tinsmiths. 

For fun and to inspire others, shoppers are encouraged to build their own ‘Bag of Delights’ and to relax into a slow shopping vibe, taking the time to enjoy finding thoughtful presents while sharing their discoveries on social media using the hashtag #BagofDelights.