Hay-on-Wye, photo by Nexxo
Hay-on-Wye (photo by Nexxo)

Hay-on-Wye is a small town (population 1,300) located on the River Wye in southeastern Wales.

The town lies within the north-easternmost tip of the Brecon Beacons National Park, just north of the Black Mountains, close to the English border.

Known as the “town of books”, Hay-on-Wye has literally dozens of bookshops, especially second-hand, antiquarian, and collectors.

Hay-on-Wye has two Norman castles within a short distance of each other.

Overall Atmosphere: Cultural
A Cultural Atmosphere includes both the historic (eg, landmark town centers) and the contemporary (music, nightlife, etc).

Cultural Interests tend to be:
(a) indoors-oriented, and therefore not as linked to weather conditions for enjoyment
(b) relatively physically accessible, while also not being physically demanding.
Featuring mainly indoors-oriented historical or contemporary attractions.
Recommending Sources:
   Lonely Planet
   Rough Guide


BOOK A LOW-COST FLIGHTBook a Top-Ranking Hotel


Highfield is a farm situated 4 miles from Hay-on-Wye. Free WiFi is offered and free private parking is available on site. All en-suite bedrooms contain a hairdryer, a flat-screen TV, beverage tray and homemade cakes. Average score from 13 guest reviews: 9.5/10.



Aberllynfi House

Aberllynfi House offers accommodation in Glasbury. Free private parking is available on site. All rooms are equipped with a TV. Some units have views of the river or garden. Aberllynfi House features free WiFi throughout the property. Average score from 46 guest reviews: 9.3/10.



Rosedale Retreat Bed and Breakfast

Rosedale Retreat Bed and Breakfast is located in Hay-on-Wye, 1.1 km from Hay Castle. Free private parking is available on site. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms feature a seating area where you can relax. Average score from 45 guest reviews: 9.7/10.



Half Moon House

Set 300 metres from Hay Castle in Hay-on-Wye, this apartment features a patio. The unit is 1.6 km from Clyro Castle, and guests benefit from free WiFi and private parking available on site. The kitchenette is fitted with a dishwasher. Average score from 45 guest reviews: 9.4/10.



Drovers Rest

Set in Hay-on-Wye, Drovers Rest offers a garden and barbecue. Hay Castle is 4.4 km from the property. Free private parking is available on site. All units include a satellite flat-screen TV. There is a seating and/or dining area in some units. Average score from 7 guest reviews: 0.0/10.


See all hotels in Hay-on-Wye.
Hotel NameRooms FromGuest Rating
Blue Sky Self-Catering

Blue Sky Self-Catering

Located in the picturesque Brecon Beacon Mountains, Blue Sky Self-Catering is a cosy rural retreat 3.4 miles outside the small market town of Hay-on-Wye. With free WiFi access for all guests, there is also a garden and free on-site parking. Average score from 37 guest reviews: 9.7/10.


The Pavement Palace

The Pavement Palace

On the England/Wales border, The Pavement Palace offers this characterful apartment in the centre of Hay-on-Wye. Wood-beamed ceilings and eclectic furnishings add to its rustic style, and the apartment also provides free Wi-Fi. Average score from 49 guest reviews: 9.7/10.


Westbrook Court

Westbrook Court

Overlooking the Wye Valley, 4 miles from Hay-on-Wye, Westbrook Court features B&B accommodation in a black timber-clad guest annexe, right next to the owners' 17th-century farmhouse with its own landscaped courtyard, garden and sun terrace. Average score from 171 guest reviews: 9.4/10.


The Three Cocks Coaching Inn

The Three Cocks Coaching Inn

In a 15th-century building, The Three Cocks Inn is located in the village of Three Cocks in the Wye Valley. It has spacious bedrooms featuring original wooden beams, home-cooked food and free parking. Average score from 289 guest reviews: 9.3/10.

$61 - $141

Old Black Lion

Old Black Lion

Surrounded by beautiful scenery but just a few minutes' walk from Hay-On-Wye's centre, this charming inn has a traditional wooden-beamed bar. Dating back hundreds of years, Oliver Cromwell is rumoured to have stayed in the 17th century. Average score from 349 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$60 - $141

The Swan At Hay

The Swan At Hay

In Hay-on-Wye, The Swan at Hay is positioned between the Brecon Beacons and The Black Mountains. It is an independent hotel with 17 individually designed bedrooms and a restaurant serving classic British cuisine. Average score from 288 guest reviews: 7.6/10.

$73 - $189

New Inn Brilley

New Inn Brilley

Situated in rural Herefordshire and less than a mile from the Welsh border, New Inn Brilley is an 18th Century stone house set amongst extensive grounds, which feature a stream. Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are available. Average score from 13 guest reviews: 7.6/10.

$92 - $110

Lower Swan Bank

Lower Swan Bank

Lower Swan Bank is a holiday home with a garden, situated in Hay-on-Wye in the Powys Region. The unit is 400 metres from Hay Castle. The kitchen features a microwave and there is a private bathroom. A TV, as well as a CD player are provided. Average score from 3 guest reviews: 0.0/10.


Harry'S House

Harry'S House

Harry'S House is a holiday home located in Hay-on-Wye in the Powys Region and is 200 metres from Hay Castle. The property is 1.6 km from Clyro Castle and free private parking is available. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property. Average score from 12 guest reviews: 0.0/10.




Longlands is a holiday home with a garden, situated in Hay-on-Wye in the Powys Region. The property is 800 metres from Hay Castle and free private parking is featured. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Average score from 8 guest reviews: 0.0/10.


Mouse Castle Barn

Mouse Castle Barn

Situated in Hay-on-Wye, this holiday home is located 700 metres from Hay Castle. The property boasts views of the garden and is 2.3 km from Clyro Castle. There is a dining area and a kitchen. A TV is offered. Average score from 6 guest reviews: 0.0/10.


The Bailey

The Bailey

The Bailey offers pet-friendly accommodation in Glasbury. The property is 34 km from Hereford and free private parking is available. There is a dining area and a kitchen complete with a dishwasher and an oven. Average score from 14 guest reviews: 0.0/10.




Click highlighted activity to see details.
Unusual Local Feature

Town of Books

Hay-on-Wye has not given up on books in this digital age. This "town of books" is the National Book Town of Wales, and a major destination for bibliophiles everywhere. It has roughly two dozen bookshops, many selling specialist and second-hand books.

Since 1988, Hay-on-Wye has been the venue for a literary festival which draws over 80,000 visitors over 10 days at the end of May / beginning of June. Attendees buy books, attend book launches and to see and hear big literary names from all over the world.
Castles and Forts
The first castle. Lying close to St. Mary’s Church on the western edge of Hay-on-Wye, this little fortress was probably the work of William Revel, a knight of Bernard de Neufmarché and may later have been the seat for the manor of Melinog.

The stone castle. The main fortress within Hay-on-Wye was situated on the great site commanding the town and river under the current ruins of the castle and mansion. In the 1660s, James Boyle of Hereford built a new mansion on the north side of the castle, and most of the curtain wall was demolished to improve the views. The mansion is now used for second-hand bookselling.
Also of Interest:
Scenic Waterways

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Daily Chance of Precipitation55% 49% 34% 38% 45% 47% 40% 52% 32% 48% 51% 53%