Tourist Places To Visit In Hay-on-wye (Y Gelli)
The idea behind transforming Hay-on-Wye into a dream literary marvel didn’t come about overnight, the thought was put in practice in 1961 by Richard Booth, who opened the first 2nd hand bookstore out of an old firehouse, and stocked up numerous books here, with other people following suit and specializing in different genres of books. Now, you will find here a variety of books that are rare, historical, vintage, children specific and more, with over 20 bookstores all over the town. Hay-on-Wye also has an increasing number of antique stores that you may love exploring. Some of the best tourist places to visit in Hay-on-Wye are listed below for your convenience.
A medieval citadel from the 17th century and a mansion house in the town of Hay-on-Wye, the Hay Castle was originally constructed during the Norman Invasion and designed as ring work watching over the town between late 11th century and early part of 12th century. Restored in stone around 1200, the castle has since then faced numerous attacks and burnings, conflicts and wars. Since 2011, the castle has been taken over under the aegis of the Hay Castle Trust that aims to restructure it all for an arts & education center.
Hay Bluff is a noticeable hill at the northern peak of the Black Mountains, overlapping between the border of England and South East Wales on a wide moorland ridge. A large part of the hill is made of mudstones, with the upper layer formed of sandstones from the Senni Formation. The flat peak of Hay Bluff is marked by a triangular pillar measuring 677m and overlooks the Wye Valley in addition to the town and largely considered to be a part of the Powys County.
The Black Mountains
The Black Mountain is also called Twyn Llech and is the only Marilyn on the English-Welsh border spanning Herefordshire and Brecknockshire, with its parent summit, the Waun Fach, lying to its West. The highest point on the Hatterrall Ridge, composed of mud and sandstones of the Senni Formation from the Devonian Age. The Black Mountain is so named, owing to a trick of light that makes them appear black. There is plenty of open space for a walker to enjoy scenic views.
The Warren is a gorgeous meadow by the riverside, which has been used by the locals for recreation purposes for centuries. An exceptional paddock, the Warren has been voted as an area of special scientific interest in Wales which was used for rabbit breeding during the medieval era for food. You can witness otters, rabbits and kingfishers often in the vicinity. The riverside walk follows an old railway line along the wooded banks, which changes to earth and grass as you walk down to the river, grazed on by sheep and is encompassed by a large number of hillocks.
A grandmontine abbey in Herefordshire, the Craswall Priory dates back to 1220-1225 and is considered one of Britain’s chief medieval cloister, in the form of a remote ruin nestled inside the valley, 1240ft above the sea’s level. This priory was never well-off, owing to its placement and the order’s small presence and the monks who lived here did so in virtual severity, as compared to their fellow brothers at other priories. The building’s remnants are insignificant in comparison to the neighboring abbeys, however, given its locale in Herefordshire’s remote area, the site has an ancient vibe attached to it with an evident presence of the strict medieval life.
The Begwns are a rolling edge of common land on the northwest end of Hay-on-Wye that segregates the Brecon Beacons National Park from the Southern Hills of Radnorshire. These are the parts of the Welsh border, that are neither agricultural valleys nor rugged mountains. They actually denote semi-wild moorlands where the cattle and sheep can graze freely and there are walkers in every direction along the grassland. It’s a lovely open space operational under the National Trust’s supervision.
A remnant castle in Village Clifford, the Clifford Castle is located 2.5miles to the north of the town of Hay-on-Wye in Herefordshire. The ruins consisting of just the gatehouse, round towers and a hall, stand onsite a private house, open to visitors on particular days of the year owing to a major stabilization project. Albeit, it’s a small village today, the original plan was to accommodate about 200 families at the Normal Settlement. After the successful conquest of the Welsh, Clifford Castle was left to deteriorate and even though it was occupied again by Owain Glyndwr’s uprising in 1402, the castle didn’t really have any further use.
Art & Cultural Heritage
The cultural scene of Hay-on-Wye is just as special as the literary bookstores of the town. There’s a wide variety of comedy nights, regular music concerts & shows, theatre, live debates and art nights that would keep you engaged and entertained throughout. One of the best places to witness the town’s artistic marvels is the Brook Street Pottery, where you’ll find exceptional, curated contemporary ceramic displays, crafted and sold by budding artisans from across the British Isles. Then, there’s the Lion Street Gallery which focuses on the best Welsh Artists and their artworks. Rated as one of the top galleries in Wales, the gallery has a huge show that includes 22 of the best Welsh sculptors and artists.
Ross On Wye
Ross on Wye’s a small market town that’s promoted itself as the hometown of tourism in Britain. The Wye Valley’s tourist attractions included its river sights, steep landscapes, cloisters and castles. In 1745, Director Dr. John Egerton initiated boat trips for his friends down to the valley from his house, and in 1782, a book called Observations on the River Wye by William Gilpin was published as the first illustrated guide, as a result of which boat excursions increased down the River Wye, mostly from Monmouth & Ross. This further led 20 other visitors to publish their own versions of the tour, thereby leading to the establishment of the area as a tourist attraction in 1850!
St. Mary's Parish Church
An Anglican community cathedral in Hay-on-Wye, St Mary’s Church is located in Brecknockshire, Powys, separated by a deep trench, situated on the west part of the town. The church was built in close proximity to the castle originally, which was on a mound to the east. Given that the current location of the Hay Castle and the town walls came about later, it is evident why the church stands outside the town walls. The only remnant of the original foundation is the tower and 18th-century tomb slabs. The restored church’s gallery is so positioned as to have the seats face the Dias, highlighting the significance of sermons in the Victorian Era.