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Overview

Close to foodie Ludlow on the edge of Mortimer Forest in glorious walking country, this 16th-century, half-timbered inn stands tucked back from a stone bridge over the River Lugg against a backdrop of wooded hills. Chef-patron Andy Link has been at the helm for 16 years during which time he developed the fabulous kitchen garden (hidden up the hill above the garden rooms) and put this fine old inn firmly on the Herefordshire culinary map.

Still very much a pub, with hop-adorned beams, scrubbed farmhouse tables, cushioned pew benches, sloping plank floors, cosy nooks, and roaring log fires all contributing to the simple and informal country atmosphere. The dining room is down a few steps from the bar in a timbered barn, a great spot for a relaxing Sunday lunch with friends and family.

There are tip-top Wye Valley beers on tap, summer alfresco seating beside the river, evening candlelight, a great bar menu, and a huge welcome to dogs, children and booted walkers - it's a cracking dining pub with rooms.

Rooms from

Doubles £120; suites & garden cabins £120

Good to know

  • All credit cards taken
  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Parking
  • Dog stay £10

Dog-friendly

Canine companions are allowed in the bar and overnight (£10 per stay), where they will find beds, bowls and treats on arrival.

Alfresco

Arrive early on summer days to bag one of the prize picnic benches beside the River Lugg. You are allowed to explore the extensive kitchen garden up the hill, where you will find peaceful areas to sit with a pint.

Rooms

Comfortable, well-equipped rooms are split between the inn, the converted stables and three posh cabins or garden rooms on the terrace above the inn. Featuring a double bedroom, tiled bathroom and a porch seating area, all overlook the valley, with one enjoying river views.

The Hayloft suite on the top floor of the converted stables also enjoys views of the River Lugg. It's a spacious room with crisp linen, feather and down duvet and pillows on a wooden sleigh bed, a comfortable sofa, old pine furnishings, local country artwork, and smart bathroom with walk-in shower, Noble Isle toiletries and bathrobes.

There are four equally comfortable rooms above the inn; one suite, two king-size and a snug double. Wake up to a delicious breakfast then don your boots and tackle a section of the glorious Mortimer Trail, which passes the front door.

Restaurant & bar

Food is taken very seriously at the Riverside and Andy is passionate about sustainability, ethical sourcing and food miles. His imaginative menus evolve with the seasons and are built around what is ready to be picked and pulled in his fantastic kitchen garden and the best produce he can source from farms and artisan suppliers on the doorstep.

Local farmers supply the grass-fed mutton, Dexter beef and rare breed pork, and the trout is caught in the River Lugg. The one-acre allotment on the hillside above the pub is planned, planted, maintained and harvested by the chefs and gardeners. Seeds are propagated in the poly-tunnel and over 50 different types of fruit and vegetables are grown for the kitchen.

This may translate to Lay & Robson smoked haddock soufflé with mustard sauce, 12-hour braised beef, kale and oxtail sauce, and Weobley Ash Farm mutton, roasted carrots, white beans and rosemary sauce, In the bar, tuck into Hereford beef open sandwich with celeriac and pear remoulade, mustard and beef dripping bread, or ale battered fish and chips.

Things to do

On Aymestrey's doorstep lie miles of byways and bridleways, threading their way through the glorious border country of Shropshire and Herefordshire. Most ramblers head for the four dramatic ridges of Wenlock Edge, the Long Mynd, the Stiperstones and the Clee Hills - A E Housman's 'blue remembered hills'. A stroll through Mortimer Forest is the perfect prelude to a fine dinner at The Riverside.

In converted railway shed, Ludlow Brewing Company is an artisan brewery that offers tours and you can pick up bottles of brews like Ludlow Best and Black Knight from the shop, plus it also has its own small bar where you can taste before you buy.

Don't miss Ludlow's large, twice-monthly farmers' market in the Market Square selling a wide range of everyday and specialist food and drink produced within 30 miles of Ludlow.

The Edge Adventure Activities Centre at Much Wenlock offers the chance to indulge in a huge range of popular activities. There's clay pigeon shooting, archery, zip wire, quad biking and much more.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Leominster

Taxi from station: 15min

Drive: Leominster 7.5 miles; Ludlow 10 miles; Hereford 18 miles

Address

Aymestrey, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9ST

Prices & availability