Hereford’s loveliest hotel stands 200 paces from the city’s magnificent 11th-century cathedral, home to the Mappa Mundi. It’s English to its core with a beautiful garden that overlooks what remains of the castle moat – in summer you can eat here watching ducks glide by. Inside, the lap of luxury: a fine staircase, painted panelling, a delicious restaurant for the best food in town. Big bedrooms are lavish. Those in the main house are more traditional (the top-floor suite runs all the way along the front of the house); those in the townhouse (a 30-second stroll) are distinctly 21st century. All have a smart country-house feel with beautiful fabrics, super-comfy beds, crisp white linen, excellent bathrooms. Seriously good food, much from the owner’s nearby farm, waits in the restaurant, perhaps beetroot panna cotta, roast bream with saffron mash, banana mousse with chocolate brownies. You can walk it off along the river Wye, which runs through the park behind. Hereford has lots to offer: pop-up opera, guided walks, Evensong in the cathedral, the Three Choirs Festival in July.