Festivals Wednesday, May 2nd

Heading to Hay Festival? Check out 11 Airbnb rentals that are much more fun than a Travel Lodge

Festivals Wednesday, May 2nd

Heading to Hay Festival? Check out 11 Airbnb rentals that are much more fun than a Travel Lodge

For two weeks every year the tiny, border town of Hay-on-Wye welcomes in thousands of visitors for Hay Festival and How the Light Gets In. Some are authors, some are politicians, some are Laura Mvula, but they are all very much there. And they all need somewhere to sleep.

If you're going to be one them - and you should - check out these unique Airbnb listings from hillside hideaways to retro townhouses. Unless of course your publishing house is renting out a Welsh mansion for you - in which case, the party's at yours Mr Rushdie.

If you haven't already, take a look at our Lineup Breakdowns for Hay Festival here, and HTLGI here.


1. A literal mountain retreat, with jaw-dropping views.


Ty-Mynydd Farm, 6 miles from Hay

Want to go full Bear Grylls, but also have feather pillows and an AGA? This is your spot. Located just below Gospel Path in the Black Mountains, you’ll be waking up the breathtaking horizons and hand-baked bread.

What more could you want? The listing is for a private area in a stone-flagged farmhouse which includes the bedroom (and its famed views), a bathroom, breakfast area and guest lounge complete with sheepskin rugs, leather sofas and candle-light.

It’s a pretty luxurious spot, given its on the side of a mountain – I mean how many other places can you unwind in fresh mountain water, in a roll-top, cast iron bath?

From £90/night.

More here.


2. Converted stables with views of the Black Mountains


Nantdigeddi Stables, 1.5 miles from Hay

If you were under any illusion which side of the border this gorgeous, high-spec refurbed stable is on, the time it takes you to type N-A-N-T-D-I-G-E-D-D-I in to your sat nav will probably give you some clue.

Sleeps two, with a youngster if required, and is set up to make the most of the stunning surroundings with a covered outdoor area fully kitted-out with sofas and cooking area. Also bikes are available to ride in to Hay if needed.

From £60/night.

More here.


3. A former malthouse’s attic studio that you enter through a trap door


Priory Wood, 3 miles from Hay

Tucked up in the eaves of a converted 400-year-old malthouse, and only accessible by a trapdoor in the ceiling, this spot's perfect for a getaway to the country.

The studio is all oak beams, books and rustic charm, and it has got great views looking South out over the Black Mountains. There’s also a private entrance room below, and a beautifully provincial bathroom just for guests – but the rest of the house, located in a hamlet five minutes’ drive from the festival site, is used by the family.

From £49/night.

More here.


4. A double room in former gothic chapel, with optional yoga classes


Glasbury, 4 miles from Hay

This unique building, which was built in 1866, is owned and run by an arts curator – so the chapel doubles up as a casual, private exhibition space, while the small touches to the ‘Greco/Roman-inspired’ bedroom feel pretty arty.

The other owner is a yoga teacher and masseuse, and - for an additional fee - can help you get Zen’d up after a heavy day hitting the Festival. Also the chapel is seconds from the river, and minutes from the River Café – one of the best spots to eat in the area and you can even hire canoes from there if you want.

From £45/night.

More here.


5. A self-styled Scandi-style stone barn


Clifford, 3 miles from Hay

Don’t worry, Scandi-style doesn’t mean you have to put together the beds yourself with only the most minimal of instructions. It’s more a reference to the open plan, finished wood vibes of this stone barn, converted last year.

It has one King-size bed and a shower with skylights. Located just outside Clifford, it’s a five-minute drive from the Festival and minutes from the Wye Valley Walk route.

From £69/night.

More here.


6. A modern, stylish townhouse that sleeps five


Hay-on-Wye, town centre

Don’t want to worry about how to get home after a late night at The Globe? This is a stylish townhouse, right in the heart of things.

The renovated Victorian house is full of bespoke furniture made by the owner, and can sleep up to five (although two are in bunkbeds).

From £70/night.

More here.


7. The famous Cheese Market flat


Hay-on-Wye, town centre

You’re not going to find anywhere more central than this. The Cheese Market was built in 1835 as Hay’s Town Hall, and got a massive refurb in 2012 when the town took on the historic location and turned the old courtroom above the market in to this classic, high-ceiling’d holiday flat.

You can get the whole place (sleeps 2, one king-sized bed), for just £91 a night – but given its town centre location, its probably not great if you plan on a lot of lie-ins.

From £91/night.

More here.


8. The Pavement Palace


Hay-on-Wye, town centre

Another Hay townhouse, this one’s dripping with rustic elegance and has one of coolest reading chairs we’ve ever seen.

It’s a cosy apartment above an art gallery, which you get to via a passageway, it’s got a woodburner and would be a great spot for a romantic bolthole (although there’s also a sofa bed if you’ve got children or need another bed).

From £80/night.

More here.


9. A stylish, modern B'n'B with mezzanine rooms and sun terraces


Westbrook Court, 4 miles from Hay

This is a set of super-stylish, split level suites with views out over Merbach Hill. Perfect for couples, the rooms are self-contained, each opening out on to its own private suntrap.

It’s on Airbnb, but is actually more of a traditional B and B set-up, even if it looks about as far from the kind of jaded, slightly-dusty set-ups ran by Debras and Gordons you many associate with the term. These rooms are in a black timber guest area, set away from the owner’s 17th-century farmhouse, although there are other options including family rooms or a four-poster bed.

From £80/night.

More here.


10. A cosy two-storey chalet with stripped wood and king size bed


Lyndhurst Lodge, Hay on Wye

This new chalet was built a couple of years ago, and like its Alpine cousins, it features a load of stripped wood, an open plan layout and views of a mountain (in this case, Hay Bluff).

There’s a log burner to keep you cosy, and a Juliette balcony to let the breeze in. It sleeps two, but has a sofa bed which can sleep two more, and is just minutes from the Festival site.

From £70/night.

More here.


Also, Gypsy caravans, yurts, glamping etc


Several sites in and around Hay-on-Wye

If you search for Hay on Airbnb – or just click here – you’ll find loads of listings for unique, painted gypsy caravans, glamping tents more luxurious than most bedrooms, and yurts you can walk around in with ease.

If you fancy al fresco’ing up your stay, check them out – most are walking distance to the site, and have all the posh showering facilities etc that you’ll need, this is Hay Festival, not Glasto after all.

From £50/night.

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