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Hay-on-Wye - talk me out of a hare brained idea

I'll be in Wales, staying near Cardiff, for 3 days in early March (really only about 2 days when we factor in arriving in Wales on Day 1 and then needing to arrive in Bristol by late dinnertime on Day 3).

I've always wanted to go to Hay on Wye, but it's problematic on this trip for two reasons:

  1. it's a bit far from the other sights we are considering in and around Cardiff, Newport, etc
  2. I can't really buy many books because I'd rather not end up with overweight baggage fees
  3. We don't have any flexibility in where we sleep, so staying near Hay-on-Wye isn't an option

Can I get verification from any of you that Hay-on-Wye is not a great idea for this trip and should be tabled for next time?

Or, are there interesting sights to see along any of the major routes between Hay-on-Wye and Cardiff or Newport?
Where interesting = historical interest, special food/drink experiences, museums, castles, easy nature walks.

We are traveling by car and I don't want to spend more than an hour in the car at one stretch, and not be in the car more than around 2 hours per day. I could tolerate 3 hours if some of the time is after dark.

Posted by
703 posts

we spent a night in hay on wye, a nice enough small town. with bookshops to explore but it was certainly not a highlight of our trip. if it doesn't fit then I would look at other places.
hope this helps.

Posted by
1834 posts

In view of the short time that you are planning to spend in the Cardiff area, I would not go to Hay. (It is about 1 hour 45 minutes driving time from Cardiff - although much of the route is very scenic).

Posted by
763 posts

I have been there twice and with never enough time really to do the bookstores justice. Given you don't want to buy books, and it is out of the way, and your time may be limited, I would table this for another journey.

Posted by
351 posts

Thank you everyone for being the voices of reason. We are tabling Hay-on-Wye for another trip.