The Welsh Marches - advice please?

As I am coming to the end of my time, I am starting to think about where to settle down (as in "spend more than 18-24 months in one location").

I have long hankered after moving to the Welsh Marches (somewhere around Hereford, perhaps from Bromyard across to the Black Mountains and down towards Ross-on-Wye). Property doesn't look ridiculously expensive across that way (whereas northwards towards Ludlow is) and I have always enjoyed the outdoor life. I don't need access to the motorway or rail network (and nor do I want the noise) and would be quite happy to be self-sufficient in a "Good Life" kind of way.

Is anyone familiar with the Hereford area these days? Is it as peaceful as it looks down that way, or am I being suckered into believing the fantasy world created by the Welsh Assembly and Country Life? Are there any particular areas I should avoid (I wouldn't want to live in Hereford, for a start, because it is built-up). Is it all poly-tunnels and tractors?

I would be grateful for any advice or opinions!


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