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 eat here watching ducks glide by. Inside, the lap of luxury: a fine staircase, painted panelling, a delicious restaurant. 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 beds, excellent bathrooms with L’Occitane essential oils. Seriously good food, much grown on the owner’s nearby farm, waits in the restaurant, perhaps Wye Valley asparagus and smoked salmon or fillet of Hereford beef followed by cardamom custard crème brulée. Come for the best afternoon tea in town. Walk it off along the river Wye, which runs through the park behind. Hereford has lots to offer: The Laskett Gardens, Hereford Racecourse, independent shops, Evensong in the cathedral.