Nestled away just over on the Welsh side of the border with England is the historic and pretty market town of Hay-On-Wye; the ‘town of books''. It has an enviable location on the River Wye, set amongst the beautiful Wye Valley countryside of ravines, meadows, woodland and orchards and is also close to the Beacon Beacons National Park for great days out.
Despite a small population of about 1,500, you might be surprised to learn that this small market town not only has more than 30 major bookshops and is also home to the annual Hay Literature Festival, which attracts an audience of over 80,000 every May.
If it''s culture you’re after then be sure to visit the town’s two landmark castles. Despite being damaged by the Welsh rebellion of 1400, Hay Castle had residents until the early 20th century but is still very much alive with the exciting tales of the de Braose family - the last Braose of whom was hung by Llewellyn in 1230 before the castle fell into the ownership of the Bohun family.
If you take a leisurely stroll through the town’s traditional market, which is held from 8am until mid-day every Thursday across the Memorial Square and Butter Market, you can also take in the well-preserved motte at the foot of St Mary’s Church. This is rumoured to have been constructed by William Revel, a knight serving the Bernard de Neufmarche household.
Being surrounded by stunning Welsh hills and valleys, you’ll also find plenty to do outside of the town. If you’re travelling with children then the Brecon Mountain Railway makes for a fantastic day out and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to cycle, hike and even canoe down to the River Wye.
For more accommodation in this beautiful area see our cottages in Hay on Wye.