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Location - Herefordshire
Duration – 4 nights
There is so much this place has to offer from the cosy rooms and the dog friendly garden to the little sweet surprises like the strawberries and the local cider. The guest book is a perfect place to start planning activities and it offers super walks just on your doorstep through ancient apple orchards, old ruins and along the river itself…you can smell the bittersweet scrumpy perfume lingering in the air the whole way!
The house is really dog friendly with smooth wooden floors and a large rug in the living room adding the cosiness factor. The log burner equipped with dry wood logs makes it so easy to start putting your feet up and enjoying a brew whilst reading the endless leaflets on the nearby table. This was the perfect little retreat for us to go on adventures with the luxury of a well equipped cottage to come back to.
We had a very small amount of time to get all of the things we needed in our visit but we did it. This is our itinerary for the stay however, if you stay for a week (which is more ideal) then you can spread these activities out and take a more leisurely approach.
Day 1– Explore Hay on Wye and nearby village Whitney on Wye.
Hay has a unique position on the border between England and Wales making it ideal for visitors to explore and enjoy the beautiful border country.
The traditional town is famed for its many bookshops such as the smashingly restored Booth’s offering a small cinema and café for local delicacies. We found some of the smaller businesses are worth a mention too such as Rose’s Books specialising in rare and out-of-print children’s books, and is a wonderful place to buy gifts or just to wallow in nostalgia. The Granary offers a good feed and super breakfasts whilst you sit next to a log burning fire. Shepherd’s is famed for it’s delicious locally made sheep’s milk ice cream and properly made coffee.The town itself has many charms, perhaps its best feature is its location. With the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, the winding River Wye, lakes and forests, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the stunning scenery.
Day 2 – We went to climb Mount Snowdon for our last of the Three Peak Pooch challenge (a stonking 3 hours away!) so we don’t recommend doing that. We do recommend going to the Brecon Beacons and having a good walk in the area as there is lots on offer with stunning views and lovely little villages lining the outskirts.
If you are looking for great food there are loads in the area. If you do happen to travel further north, about an hour away is a brilliant restaurant called The Granary (not the same one mentioned earlier!) It has a fabulous well crafted menu and made our stay very special. As it was a special occasion for us they gave us a bottle of Prosecco and offered us a memory box to remember the day. Aside from that the staff were more than welcoming and couldn’t have done enough for us. The food itself was…..well cracking! It tasted spectacular, was all homemade and utterly delicious we couldn’t stop ‘ummming’ and ‘ahhhhing’ at every mouthful.
Day 3 – We hired a tandem from Drover Cycles for £60 for 24 hours. They even dropped it off and picked it up for us! We decided to go on a ride with Pepper so if you are looking for an off road, safe, dog friendly ride then go to Brecon. The canal is perfect for endless riding and the colours in autumn as the trees line the bank are breath taking. Britain at it’s best. We stopped at two pubs along the route and enjoyed a drink and some warm chips to keep us in good spirits. We would definitely recommend this and then going for a stroll in Brecon afterwards and stopping at a little tea room.
Day 4 – You can’t go to the Wye Valley and not go on the Wye. The river is one of the only rivers in the UK you can navigate without restrictions…woohoo! Right by the house the river runs it’s course and it couldn’t be more inviting! We did intend to call a taxi to pick us up from our holiday home and take us to Hay for a good day’s paddle (remember we have an inflatable kayak so could pop it in a taxi without needing roof bars). However, we fancied giving a Canadian canoe a go so hired one from Want to Canoe? for £50 including our pick up in Whitney on Wye. The river is nice and flat and easy to work your way down taking in all of the wonderful Wye Valley on your way. There is so much wildlife and colourful overhanging trees it’s definitely a sensory celebration!