Just 15/20 minutes’ scenic drive from Rose Cottage, lies the border town of Hay-on-Wye. Parking is easy in a large car park, a gentle strolling distance from the Castle and the various small independent shops. Hay is one of the few towns to have successfully discouraged the ubiquitous chains which make most high streets look the same! There is a high quality greengrocer, two butchers, a delicatessen, an ironmongers and a stationers as well as several hairdressers, clothes and gift shops. There are specialist shops for walkers as well as cycle and canoe hire businesses.
Famous for its book shops and Hay Festival, Hay is essentially a market town with a cattle market on Tuesdays and a lively market in the central market square on Thursdays. There are several pubs which serve meals and a number of cafes including the highly recommended Shepherds Ice Cream Parlour, where sheep’s milk ice cream is their speciality.
The historic city of Hereford (10 miles) with its stunning Norman Cathedral, houses the award winning Mappa Mundi and Chained Library exhibition. Hereford is a vibrant market town with shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, an indoor market and a new shopping area – Old Market, with a multi-screen cinema.
The most attractive part of the city is found near Hereford Cathedral. A short walk from the Cathedral Close takes you along Church Street with its selection of small shops and cafes and leads to the town centre. Turn left and call at All Saints Church for coffee, tea and delicious freshly cooked food. To reach the Old Market shopping area, follow Widemarsh Street from the centre.
The Black Mountains
The Black Mountains, in the East of the Brecon Beacons National Park, lie between Hay-on-Wye, Brecon and Abergavenny and contain 5 finger-like mountain ridges. Offas Dyke path, marking the border between England and Wales runs along the ridge of the Black Mountains passing through Hay-on-Wye.
This is a landscape of dramatic ridges, open moorland, and deep green valleys with fields, dingles, and hedgerows, dotted with medieval churches, castles and ancient burial sites.
This border country offers superb opportunities for walking as well as cycling, pony trekking, canoeing and fishing with plenty of country pubs at which to stop and catch your breath.
Pick up Ordinance Survey map OL13 and discover walks around Hay Bluff and Twympa (Lord Hereford’s Knob), The Black Hill (Cat’s Back) – taking in the ruin of Longtown Castle – and explore the ancient sites at Capel-y-finn, Patrishow and Llanthony Priory.
Other places of interest
- Explore the market towns of Abergavenny, Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye
- Drive along the Wye Valley from Monmouth to Tintern Abbey
- National Trust Houses and Gardens: The Weir Gardens, Croft Castle and Parkland and Berrington Hall
- The Black and White Villages: Woebley, Eardisland and Eardisley
- Arthur’s Stone – Neolithic burial chamber overlooking the Golden Valley
- Abbeydore, Golden Valley – founded in 1147
- Llanthony Priory
- The Black and White Trail
- Borderlines Film Festival – February/March
- Festival of British Cinema – Hay-on-Wye – March
- Hay Chamber Music Festival – April
- Hay Festival – from May Bank Holiday weekend for 10 days
- How The Light Gets In Festival – Hay on Wye –(as Hay Festival)
- Three Choirs Festival – July
- Abergavenny Food Festival – September
- Ludlow Food Festival – September
- Hay Walking Festival – October
- Hay Festival Winter Weekend – end of November
Situated in the Wye valley, Rose Cottage is within close proximity to some of the country’s best coarse and game river fishing. The Wye is famous for its large salmon, which are making a strong comeback after years of decline. Meanwhile, the river also offers coarse anglers some wonderful barbel, chub and pike fishing opportunities. Trout and grayling are also present with the nearby Monnow and tributaries especially renowned among fly fishers. Gaining access to the fishing is easy via day tickets from the Wye & Usk Foundation’s Passport scheme. The Foundation is also able to offer advice to visiting anglers on suitable beats and, if required, instructor/guides: www.fishingpassport.co.uk
Red Kite Feeding Station, Gigrin Farm, Rhayader
- Llangorse multi activity centre – indoor rock climbing and activities
- Shepherds Ice Cream Parlour, Hay on Wye
- Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre, Kington
- Play Barn at Brynich, Nr. Brecon
- Showell Riding School, Madley
- Tregoyd Mountain Riding holidays, Felindre
- Quackers, Indoor soft play, Newbridge-on-Wye
- Elan Valley, Reservoirs, mountain biking, walking with visitor centre, Rhyader