HIT the hay for treetop tents and river rides, says Celebrity Writer Molly Reynolds.
From ancient woodland to paddling down the River Wye, Hay-on-Wye has it all and is perfect for a summer staycation.
Squirrelled away in four acres of ancient woodland a short walk from the book-loving town of Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh border, By The Wye has four treetop safari tents.
Each boasts a quirky hand-carved four-poster bed, cosy wood burner and vintage sofa, plus river views and a basket of local goodies including Welsh cakes, fire-pit-ready marshmallows and hand-made bed socks.
The rustic, eco hideaways sleep up to five – we stayed in Meadow, complete with bunk beds for little ones, a fully equipped kitchen, plus bathroom with power shower.
Oh, and a phone-charging socket (phew)!
Light up the BBQ (pre-order the Meaty Feast hamper, £25, for local sausages, burgers and chicken skewers) then watch the sunset from your private terrace with a bird’s-eye view. Bliss…
OUT & ABOUT
Just a stone’s throw from your tent, hire a canoe for a two-hour paddle down the River Wye to spot herons and egrets, then reward yourself with a Swan Gold ale, £3.50, at The Boat Inn in Whitney-on-Wye, before getting a lift back.
Canoe hire costs £25 per person (Celticcanoes.co.uk).
Or don a wetsuit for a stand-up paddleboarding session on the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal, 15 minutes away.
Hire is £26 per person for two hours (Blackmountain.co.uk).
Happier on land? Book a horse ride with Tregoyd Mountain Riders and channel your best period-drama pose as you trot through the Brecon Beacons National Park.
A half-day trek costs £50 per person (Tregoydriding.co.uk).
There are also hiking trails aplenty nearby – be sure to make the short drive to Talgarth, where you can pick up the 50-minute Witches Pool walk, with its pretty waterfall hidden in the trees.
Hit Hay-on-Wye town for a delicious sloe gin and sheep’s milk ice-cream shake, £4, and herby potato salad box with bacon bits, £5, at cool cafe Shepherds Parlour (Shepherdsparlour.com).
Nab a seat in the market square opposite for Hay Castle views as you eat.
Later, find melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon doughnuts, 60p, at Danish bakery Flour And Time, and grab coffee in cafe-meets-vintage-clothes gem The Old Electric Shop (Oldelectric.co.uk).
Come dinner, The Felin Fach Griffin, 20 minutes’ drive away, does fab locally sourced pub grub – tuck into treats such as buttermilk fried chicken burger with garden slaw, wild-garlic mayo and triple-cooked chips, £14.50, washed down with local Ancre Hill sparkling rosé, £11 a bottle (Eatdrinksleep.ltd.uk).
Stays at By The Wye cost from £185 a night for up to five people (Bythewye.uk).
Grab crumbly pastries, locally brewed gin and fresh produce at Hay Market, Thursdays, from 9am.
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