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WHAT WE LOVE...

This comfy, cosy 19-room independent hotel, housed in an elegant listed Georgian building, is a few steps from the centre of the world's first Town of Books, Hay-on-Wye, famous for its spring literature festival. The former coaching inn, which dates back to 1812, has spacious rooms, including four in the separate coach house, homely lounges, bars and a terrace and gardens and a good restaurant serving hearty British favourites. Easy access to the beautiful Brecon Beacons, Offa's Dyke and the Wye Valley makes it a popular choice for walkers, cyclists, canoeists and dog-walkers. Pleasant places to potter around nearby include picturesque Abergavenny, where The Angel hotel serves scrummy cream teas, and Talgarth Mill, a fascinating 18th-century working flour mill.

THE DETAILS

Location

Hay is a totally walkable town, plus you can be in unspoilt countryside two minutes after getting in your car. Don't miss a trip to Hay Bluff in the Black Mountains for awesome views.

The hotel is nestled on the Wales-England border and on the north-easternmost tip of the Brecon Beacons National Park, so pack your walking boots.
By car: around 2 hours from Birmingham, 1 hour 30 minutes from Bristol and 4 hours from York. Free parking available.
By train: trains to Hereford run from London Paddington (2 hours 30 minutes) and Birmingham New Street (1 hour 30 minutes). The hotel is a 35-minute taxi ride. thetrainline.com

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Style & Character

Couples who enjoy uncomplicated, good service, classy décor, good food and creature comforts such as real fires and cosy armchairs will love this hotel. Children are welcome, but not especially well catered for. The hotel has space to spare so you never feel hemmed in, and the garden terrace provides a particularly nice place to relax in warmer weather.

Service & Facilities

The staff were more than happy to provide information on the best local places to eat, drink and visit. Supervised dogs can stay in the four coach house rooms for £15 per stay, and pets are also allowed in the rear Market Bar.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Rooms

Spacious Room 5 (Deluxe Room) overlooks the road at the front, but thick walls keep noise to a minimum. It has two armchairs as well as a sofa and a massive bed. The bathroom is huge with room to spread out, with the choice of a stand-alone bath for a lovely soak at the end of the day or a walk-in shower and a heated towel rail.

Classic, Superior, Deluxe
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, radio, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

The Swan's 1812 Bar has a selection of squidgy sofas to sprawl out on and unusually, an extensive range of wines by the glass. The crispy honey and mustard gammon terrine, fried egg and pineapple salsa was mouth-watering.

The Garden Room: informal dining. Locally sourced ingredients. All-day menu, open daily.
The 1812 Bar: cosy bar and lounge, squashy sofas. Open daily, serving light bites.
The Market Bar: dog-friendly bar. Casual dining, light bites and full menu. Open daily.

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Rooms available from £99 per night

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