10 Jan

Let’s move to Ledbury, Herefordshire: twee-free, it wears its beauty lightly

There is something irresistibly timeless about the place, in our age of freneticnessWhat’s going for it? I bet Ledbury’s looking seasonal today. The town’s like a Quality Street lid come to life – old-style Quality Street, before it got rid of the bonneted lady, her soldier-stalker and the ye olde street scenes from days of yore. If you want a refresher, Ledbury’s your place, its streets an utterly charming jumble of redbrick Georgian townhouses, ickle cottages and, its speciality, black and white timber-framed Tudor, twisted and tottering on to the pavements. It wears its beauty lightly. Were this not in Herefordshire, hardly in the thick of things, it would have become self-aware, pretentious. Ledbury keeps it real, with butchers, bakers and, er, gunmakers on its streets and a twee-free atmosphere, give or take the odd gifte shoppe. There is something irresistibly timeless about the place, in our age of freneticness. Inside St Michael & All Angels church lie tombs and stone effigies of knights that have weathered worse than Brexit. Meanwhile, keeping watch on the town, high above it, the rocks of the Malvern Hills, almost 700m years old (former volcanoes, say some), give a daily reality check on the transience of things.The case against On the quiet side of life, even if there are poetry festivals and all sorts to keep you entertained. It’s hardly Dartford Crossing, but traffic can be a problem, despite the addition of a sort-of bypass. Continue reading…

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