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Over the Malvern Hills from Worcestershire, the rolling agricultural landscapes of Herefordshire have an easy-going charm, but the finest scenery hereabouts is along the banks of the River Wye, which wriggles and worms its way across the county. Plonked in the middle of Herefordshire on the Wye is the county town, Hereford, a sleepy, rather old-fashioned place whose proudest possession, the cathedral’s remarkable Mappa Mundi map, was almost flogged off in a round of ecclesiastical budget cuts back in the 1980s. Beyond Hereford, the southeast corner of the county has one especially attractive town, Ross-on-Wye, a genial little place with a picturesque setting that also serves as a convenient gateway to one of the wilder portions of the Wye River Valley, around Symonds Yat, where canoeists gather in their droves.

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