Things To Do In Hay-on-wye (Y Gelli)
Hay-on-Wye is particularly popular for being a town of books and each year, scores of travelers come exploring this part of the world for an unusual array of independent stores, country pubs, quaint bookshops at the heart of Hay, with a variety of spectacular outdoor activities and captivating sights. Hay can be quite addictive, from having you browse for books, visiting the famous Hay Festival or just walking about and enjoying the countryside! Here’s a list of things you can do when visiting Hay-on-Wye.
Every year, there’s an annual book festival at Hay-on-Wye in celebration of the town and of course books! A trip to Hay-on-Wye is like going back in time on a literary adventure. Usually scheduled for June, the festival attracts book enthusiasts, writers and artists among other people, with live events in the evenings, a huge variety of food stalls and more. The entry to the festival is free of cost and it goes on for about 10 days or so, considered one of the best festivals in the realm of literature in the world.
The Royal Mint Experience
Considered one of UK’s most fascinating tourist attractions, the Royal Mint Experience is a bunch of exciting activities that include witnessing the making of coins, storytelling, Gruffalo workshops, clay modeling and more. In a 45 minute guided tour, you’ll get to understand and become familiar with the process of producing coins in a factory and perhaps even try your hand in making them for a small fee! A fun and educational experience for adults and kids alike, it’s a must explore opportunity you shouldn’t miss!
To enjoy an adventurous activity doesn’t take much in terms of experience, all it takes is the willingness to explore and of course have fun. From a guided session to a guided trip, you can experience canoeing for ½ day trip that covers about 5 miles, while a full day takes roughly 10 miles. With 2/3 seater boats available on hire, you can choose to explore the waters on your own or with an experienced guide. There are overnight trips also that span over 100 miles of the navigable Wye River.
Hay-on-Wye on a Bike
If you love discovering new places and just enjoy the picturesque countryside, then you’d love exploring Hay-on-Wye on a motorbike, cross bike, e-bike or road bike, with most routes here being of the hilly kind. Cycling is quite a crowd puller in Hay-on-Wye during May and August. Its location is well placed for an adventure on two wheels both off and on the road, given the Brecon Beacons National Park on the eastern edge with numerous trails for world-class mountain biking, the rolling countryside of Herefordshire for tarmac outings, and to the north side, the Radnorshire Marches. Expect some inspiring views of historical monuments, alpine styled bends, featured climbs, celebrated pit stops and more!
Another exciting and adventurous activity to explore in Hay-on-Wye is Paintballing which involves the use of paintball guns or gas-powered markers to shoot marble-sized pellets that biodegradable. These pellets contain water-soluble paints that you can throw at others in a group. Depending on your choice of place, which is more fun if experienced in a natural woodland setting, you can play out a number of situations in the day, equipped with overalls, full face mask and the latest ensemble of pellets and paintball equipment.
If you enjoy climbing, then you’d enjoy exploring new heights on the cliffs in Hay-on-Wye! There are ample natural challenging opportunities for abseilers and climbers to choose from that include old mines, sheltered precipices and rocky ridges with captivating views. There are all kinds of weather-related options available that enable you to explore this activity both indoors and outdoors. If indoors, you can expect a climbing centre with real rocks, bouldering, indoor caves and artificial climbing walls with refreshment facilities onsite as well. Some of the best places to explore rock climbing in Hay-on-Wye include the Brecon Beacons National Park along the limestone belt on the southern side, the Llangorse Multi Activity Centre on the east, Summit Centre near Merthyr Tydfil, and the Aber Rocks in Abergavenny.
Hay-on-Wye is also perfect for horse riding with a number of bridle paths and tracks, numerous scenic views and an abundance of wildlife to witness along the way. The horse riding centres here offer custom holidays for solo travelers, families, couples and groups with qualified & experienced guides to accompany you on a journey around beautiful terrains that inspire and challenge at the same time! With different routes, most of which go upland, there are different riding experiences for riders of all ages and abilities that include ½ day rides, full-day rides with a stopover at pubs and spectacular scenic views, riding holidays of 2-7 days and pony treks for full/half day.
Wildlife & Bird Watching
The Brecon Beacons National Park is 37 minutes from Hay-on-Wye and has some of Wales’ most beautiful sceneries and distinct wildlife species like great crested newts, bats & reed warblers, otters, marsh fritillary butterflies along with a variety of other amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish, insects and birds. With the river being a breeding ground for salmon and trout, you’ll get to see some amazing views of these beauties making their way up the stream, in addition to the rare species of freshwater lobster, water voles and white-clawed crayfish. There are several bird species here as well that either migrate or nest here. The park also has a botanical nature trail with mosses, fungi, wildflowers and rare trees.
Theme Parks & Funfairs
There are two places befitting for kids and adults in the realm of theme parks and funfairs, the Barry Island Pleasure Park and Grand Pier. Ideal for all age groups, the Barry Island Park offers family-centric activities by the Whitmore Bay Beach with thrilling rides, trampolines, mini coasters, paratrooper, mirror maze, funhouse, swinging chairs, pony rides and blow-up slides. While the Grand Pier is an indoor park with a 300 m split level go-karting track, ghost train, 4D cinema with moving seats, air blasts, water sprays, a circus with 3 levels of moving floors, an adventure cove, a free fall and an exciting laser maze, in addition to more.
How the Light Gets In Festival
Promoted as one the largest musical and philosophical global events, How the Light Gets In Festival, organized by the Institute of Arts & Ideas, ventured into Hay in 2018 with an interesting event called Darkness, Authority & Dreams that featured speakers from diverse fields inclusive of academics, writers, musicians, & philosophers. Scheduled on the banks of the River Wye, this festival coincides with the Hay Festival, thereby attracting thousands of visitors. It is a festival in celebration of music, with a variety of debates, talk shows, workshops, music events, and late-night parties.