Picturesque Villages TourHereford
For many visitors to Britain the words ‘rural England’ often conjure up images of picturesque half-timbered, thatched cottages surrounding a rustic village green. Most of rural Britain is not like this at all but the north-west corner of Herefordshire fits the image.
The county of Herefordshire is in the Heart of England close to the border with Wales. It is quite easy to get to but to see the villages drivers must leave the A-roads and motorways and venture down narrow, winding lanes.
The term ‘Black and White’ house refers to a structure that is timber-framed. This means that the framework of the house is built from green (unseasoned) oak, and the panels are in-filled with woven wood lathes covered with plaster, or sometimes with brick.
Many of the houses date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and timbers were often left unpainted to weather naturally; sometimes both beams and panels were painted with lime wash tinted with natural pigments such as the local earth or animal blood. Painting the beams black and the panels white is a relatively recent idea. In the 18th century stucco and stone finishes became fashionable, and many houses had their timbers plastered over.
Some long-time country residents refer to their black and white timber-frame buildings as ‘magpies’ and the village of Weobley has made the magpie bird its emblem.
The Black & White Trail
The local tourist authority has produced a self-drive tour of the most picturesque villages called ‘The Black and White Trail’. Maps and directions can be obtained from the Hereford TIC and Leominster Tourist Information Offices. An on-line version is available at   Web:  The Black & White Trail
It is suggested that the little market town of Leominster be the starting off point for your tour which covers approximately 40 miles (64 km) of lovely countryside. The villages and small towns will include Dilwyn, Weobley, Sarnesfield, Eardisley, Kington, Lyonshall, Pembridge, Eardisland and many more. Be adventurous - you never know what hidden gems you will discover.
For visitors using 'In-Car GPS' units this website may assist  Web:   Postcode area map
Getting There
- By Car
Leominster is on the A49 between Hereford and Ludlow, and the A44 between Worcester and Aberystwyth (Wales).
Google Maps - Herefordshire