Walking around Hay-on-Wye, Wales
Walking from Hay to Whitney on Wye
Photos and report by Mike Slocombe, May 2006
On another gloriously sunny May morning, we set off from our B&B in Cusop Dingle and headed north, walking through the town and past the old railway station.
The area around Hay is agricultural, with the Wye Valley Walk running along the ridge of this 250m high hill.
We popped into the Children's Bookshop at the Toll Cottage, Pontvaen.
The small bookshop stocks over twenty thousand books and, as you can see, is stuffed to the gills with old books!
Rape seed field and blue sky.
Seeing as we were making the walk up as we went along, we ended up battling through stingy nettles and overgrown grass as we followed the route of the river past Pontvaen. It was worth it for the view though!
Standing close to the river and the current boundary between England and Wales, Clifford castle was founded by Earl William Fitz Osbern between 1066 and 1071.
As is the way with Welsh border castles, ownership regularly switched between various families and their offspring, with Ralph Tosny and his descendants transforming the castle into am impressive stone structure in the 12th century, the remains of which can be seen here.
Clifford Castle [castlewales.com]
Clifford Castle [Castles of Herefordshire]
We picked up the route of the old Hay to Whitney railway line, which was delightfully quiet.
We crossed this old wooden bridge and followed the line as far as the (now dismantled) railway bridge over the Wye.
The attractive wooden toll bridge over the River Wye at Whitney on Wye.
See Whitney Toll Bridge feature
View of the river from the toll bridge.
After crossing the bridge and having a little paddle in the river, we walked back on the English side of the river, following the well signposted Offa's Dyke route.
Offa's Dyke was a hefty earthwork built by King Offa of Mercia during the 8th century to mark the border with Wales
and to keep the marauding Welsh in the mountains to the west.
The path is 172 miles (275 km) longm, running from Chepstow on the Severn Estuary to Prestatyn on the North Wales coast.
View of the River Wye winding along the valley below.
Horseriders in the Wye.
Crossing the Wye back into Hay, ready for our ice cream reward!