If you’re looking for a place to stay in Hay-On-Wye our recommendation would be Racquety Farm. There are a wide variety of options available, from camping to a luxury forest lodge, nestled in beautiful countryside overlooking the town of Hay-On-Wye and the River Wye itself. There are a number of accommodation options available at Racquety Farm, but here we’ll tell you more about the Shepherd’s Hut as that’s where we had an amazing stay recently.
The Shepherd’s hut itself came as a massive (perfectly sized) surprise to us, as we knew very little about it before we booked. Following the tried and trusted Genius Travels method of ‘book something random in a cool area and hope for the best’ we arrived having seen one solitary photograph of the hut exterior in advance. This meant that we had packed up and travelled with the same kit we would usually take camping with us, everything from sleeping bags to the fire pit. All of this was totally unnecessary, as we would soon learn when we entered the hut for the first time.
As you walk through the stable door of the Shepherd’s Hut you’ll be greeted by a cosy interior, complete with double bed, wood-burning stove, and a cute little corner cabinet containing all the plates, mugs and cutlery you might need over the course of your stay. Inside this cupboard we also discovered basics such as tea, coffee and even some breakfast muesli and fruit. The home comforts don’t stop there, as under the bed you’ll find a mini-fridge and there’s an electric kettle on the side dresser. We like to get off the beaten track on our adventures, so we elected to use the stove and camp kettle for our (many) cups of tea and coffee, but it’s nice to know there’s a quick and easy alternative if you need it.
With the combined space of the bedroom and the external porch area the Shepherd’s hut doesn’t feel at all cramped, even though it’s technically quite mini. We felt we could have stayed there for much longer than we did, which is different to some camping experiences where you end up dreaming of home and space to move. The hut is also so well insulated you’ll be toasty warm while you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep, and you can always open the windows or top half of the stable door to get some air and take in the beautiful views.
The facilities around the rest of the site are some of the best we’ve ever experienced and would make any camping weekend feel luxurious. Whereas many sites have taken the approach of building huge concrete shower blocks to accommodate as many campers as possible, Racquety Farm has stayed true to their roots ensuring a great experience for smaller overall visitor numbers. Each small wash station contains a shower and hand basin, a sink for washing up, and a friendly notice board. Some also have gas hobs for a quick cup of tea if you’re in a hurry. The loos on site are eco-friendly long-drops, and while the words ‘long-drop’ and ‘luxury’ don’t often go together somehow the guys at Racquety Farm have managed it.
By keeping visitor numbers small the Racquety Farm experience remains unspoilt. The peaceful location gives you the opportunity to sit and enjoy the sound of birdsong as you relax around an evening campfire, and on one night of our visit we had the magical experience of watching the moon rise over the Brecon hills. The hosts, Ros and Geoff, appear in the evenings to sell firewood and have a chat, but otherwise leave you to enjoy the little slice of tranquillity they have created.
Having spent a wonderful long bank holiday weekend there, we can safely say that the Shepherd’s hut at Racquety Farm is the perfect place to stay when visiting Hay-On-Wye. Whether you’re looking for a low-cost alternative to the accommodation available in the town itself, or prefer a more peaceful location, Racquety Farm is the ideal choice. If you’d like to experience the Shepherd’s Hut for yourself then head on over to Racquety Farm to get your adventure started.