The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was first designated in 1971 – the same year as Britain went decimal, hot pants were banned at Ascot and ‘The Italian Job’ hit the big screen. It’s one of 40 AONBs in England and Wales, which together with National Parks, are specially protected. As areas of our finest and most treasured countryside it has been decided it is in the national interest to safeguard them. Starting at its source in Plynlimon the river meanders 154 miles through Wales entering England near Hay on Wye. From here it heads through the plains of Herefordshire and returning to Wales at Monmouth, eventually meeting the River Severn at Chepstow. Abundant wildlife makes the valley a must for explorers with the more dramatic hills and mountains of the upper Wye creating stunning scenery.
The Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain national park is Wales’ Great Outdoors. This green, fresh and stunning landscape of high mountains, lakes, rivers, valleys and forests, attracts walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers, water sports enthusiasts, pony trekkers – and those who simply want to relax in surroundings of great natural beauty. The Brecon Beacons National Park covers 519 sq. miles (1345 sq. km) from the Wales-England border almost all the way to Swansea. There are four mountain ranges within the park: the Black Mountain (to the west), Fforest Fawr, the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains (to the east). Much of the area consists of high, open country with smooth grassy slopes on a bedrock of red sandstone. The park’s southern rim has limestone crags, wooded gorges, waterfalls and caves.
The Hall overlooks the Black Mountains and Hay on Wye which is just a mile and a half away. A short drive, a twenty minute walk or a taxi will get you to this quaint market town.
Hosting the Hay on Wye festival of literature and art each year in May the town expands from 1500 residents to approx 100,000 visitors to this established celebration of literary minds with music and poetry. 37 book shops keep the theme running throughout the year with a scattering of antique and bric a brac shops. Brecon is 14 miles west of the Hall overlooked by the Brecon Beacons, in turn hosting the Brecon Jazz Festival each year.