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Hay-on-Wye Camping: All you need to know

Written by: Ann Lukkien

July 8th , 2022

Hay-on-Wye Camping: All you need to know

Often fondly referred to by the locals as ‘Hay’, Hay-on-Wye is a Welsh market town in Powys, Wales. This incredibly pretty, bustling little down became famous for being a ‘book town’.  In Hay-on-Wye, bookshops are tucked around every corner, it even hosts its own literary festival! 


Photo: Robin Hughes

Things to do in Hay-on-Wye

Known as the ‘book town’ it would be easy to assume that there’s little else to do, but Hay-on-Wye boasts some really stunning scenery too. So whether you’re a book-worm or an avid explorer, there are activities in Hay-on-Wye for everyone.

1. Hay-on-Wye bookshops

This charming market town needs to be explored to be believed. With over 20 bookshops, you can see how Hay-on-Wye became known as the ‘book town’. We can’t imagine you’ll visit these gorgeous book-shops and boutiques without purchasing a few souvenirs, so be sure to remember a handy tote, like our Canvas Noasobi Tote Bag in medium, to carry all of your goodies back to base camp! With so many independent, bustling book shops, it’s a book-worm’s dream to explore.

2. Hay Bluff

For the explorers, there’s Hay Bluff and Offa’s Dyke. Perfect for walkers and hikers, the circular walk in Powys is along one of the most beautiful sections of the Offa’s Dyke path. It boasts stunning views of Lord Hereford’s ‘Knob Peak’ and the vast, green landscape in general is truly delightful. The first leg of the walk is tough, but when you reach Offa’s Dyke you’ll be able to relax into the walk and enjoy the scenery. We think it’s well worth the incline!

3. The Warren

The Warren is a lovely, unspoilt body of water in Hay-on-Wye. It’s perfect for walking, sitting, swimming or paddling, especially on a warm, summer’s day. It’s a 10 minute walk from the main road so you’ll be secluded and peaceful, surrounded by water and greenery, whether you want to sunbath, paddle, walk the dog or go for a swim!  It’s undeniably lovely scenery, and the perfect spot to while away the afternoons during your visit.

Hay-on-Wye campsites

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Hay-on-Wye accommodation is readily available, but we’ve selected a few of the best campsites in and near Hay-on-Wye. From family-friendly campsites to festival hot-spots, we’re sure there’s a place for everyone to call home while they visit Hay-on-Wye.

1. Racquety Farm

Adjacent to the Offa’s Dyke trail, and in the path of the Wye Valley Walk, Racquety Farm is a great location for those looking to explore the landscape. This ideally located, charming campsite offers electric charging points, mains water, family pitches and even pop-up food events on site during the summer!

2. Seren Bach Campsite

Situated in Hereford near Hay-on-Wye, this campsite is just over an acre and a half.  Small but perfectly formed, Seren Bach Campsite is just a couple of miles from the banks of the River Wye and the outskirts of Brecon Beacons National Park. They’re family friendly with plenty of open space for little ones to run around and they can even collect eggs in the morning, from the chickens, ducks and geese on site! 

3. Gypsy Castle Camping

A lovely, quiet camping spot with walking access to Hay-on-Wye, Gypsy Castle camping is a great base for the Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival and the Hay Festival. It’s also a stone’s throw from The Warren with direct access to the River Wye. 

Best places to eat in Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye is a bustling market town, brimming with independent boutiques, book shops and restaurants. We’ve compiled a list of three of the best places to eat in Hay-on-Wye, which we’re sure you’ll make the most of during your stay!

1. Old Black Lion, Hay-on-Wye

This relaxing, cosy and comfortable pub, is just a three minute walk from Hay-on-Wye and is said to have hosted Oliver Cromwell while the round-heads besieged Hay Castle!  With a delightful combination of old-worlde charm and contemporary style, the Old Black Lion is a really special place to relax. They provide lovely, seasonal, local food and offer rooms too, if you end up wanting to stay the night!

2. Chapter’s Restaurant

A really special place for food in Hay-on-Wye, this modern British restaurant supports small-scale producers and other independent businesses from Hay-on-Wye. Chapter’s Restaurant has sustainability at its heart and local produce is always at the centre of the menu. They’re open Wednesday to Saturday from 5-9pm. 

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3. Tomatitos Tapas Bar

Also on Lion Street, this wonderful little tapas bar really packs a punch. From artisan bread to the very best seasonal veg, Tomatitos heralds locally sourced ingredients from the Welsh borders. However, true to tapas, they source wines, beer and coffee from Spain, so you can enjoy the tapas as it was intended!