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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Hay Castle

A trip to Hay Castle takes you on a journey of discovery through the ages. This castle, which is part Norman, part Jacobean and part Victorian, has stood for more than 1,000 years and has been a medieval stronghold, occupied by invaders, a patriots’ citadel, a manor house and even a famous bookshop.

Like so many English-Welsh border castles, Hay Castle, situated in Hay-on-Wye, was significantly damaged during the uprisings of the 15th Century against English rule, led by Owain Glyndwr. However, soon after, it was listed as a castle defensible against the Welsh and it remained a residence until the early 20th Century.

Since then it has gradually fallen into disrepair, but the ruins are still a fascinating place to admire.

For 10 days every year the castle bears witness to some of the most exciting writers, artists and thinkers of our time as part of the famed Hay Literary Festival. At the end of May some 80,000 people from around the world descend upon the town and the castle ruins to debate and share stories.

There are a number of interesting bookshops lining the cobbles around the castle, which you can visit, and there are plans underway to turn the castle into a major arts and culture centre, opening it up to the public for the first time. One of the bookshops, The Honesty Bookshop, has no till just a collection pot. All books are under £1 and book lovers make a donation each time they take a book, with all proceeds going towards the castle restoration.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 388 Properties near Hay Castle
The Swan at Hay Hotel £100
The Swan at Hay Hotel

The Swan at Hay Hotel

     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Hereford, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Bookends, Hay Castle and Richard Booth's Bookshop. Whitney Bridge and Brecon Beacons National Park are also within 9 miles (15 km).

    Radnor House £100
    Radnor House

    Radnor House

    Church Street, Hay on Wye, Hereford, Wales
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a national park, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Bookends and Richard Booth's Bookshop. Whitney Bridge and Brecon Beacons National Park are also within 9 mi (15 km).

      The Old Black Lion £82
      The Old Black Lion

      The Old Black Lion

      26 Lion Street, Hereford, Wales
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Hereford, this inn is within a 5-minute walk of Richard Booth's Bookshop and Bookends. Hay Castle is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) away.

        The Pavement Palace
        The Pavement Palace

        The Pavement Palace

           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in the historical district, this apartment building is steps away from Richard Booth's Bookshop, Bookends and Hay Castle. Whitney Bridge and Brecon Beacons National Park are also within 9 miles (15 km).

          Asleep In Hay - Three Bedroom House, Sleeps 6 £535
          Asleep In Hay - Three Bedroom House, Sleeps 6

          Asleep In Hay - Three Bedroom House, Sleeps 6

          39 Lion Street, Hereford, WLS
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Hereford, this holiday home is steps away from Bookends, Richard Booth's Bookshop and Hay Castle. Whitney Bridge and Brecon Beacons National Park are also within 9 miles (15 km).

            This is an Ideally Situated Cottage in Hay-on-wye
            This is an Ideally Situated Cottage in Hay-on-wye

            This is an Ideally Situated Cottage in Hay-on-wye

               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in the suburbs, this holiday home is steps away from Bookends and Hay Castle. Richard Booth's Bookshop is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) away.

              Linton Cottage, Cosy and Within two Minutes Walk of the Town Centre
              Linton Cottage, Cosy and Within two Minutes Walk of the Town Centre

              Linton Cottage, Cosy and Within two Minutes Walk of the Town Centre

              Linton Cottage , De Broes Court, 8 De Breos Court, Hereford, WLS
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in the mountains, this historic holiday home is within a 5-minute walk of Bookends and Hay Castle. Richard Booth's Bookshop is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) away.

                The Bridge Hay On Wye
                The Bridge Hay On Wye

                The Bridge Hay On Wye

                4 Bridge St, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, Wales
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Hereford, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Richard Booth's Bookshop and Bookends. Hay Castle is 0.3 mi (0.6 km) away.