The 25th Hay Festival is still six weeks away. If you’ve had your appetite whetted by the programme of events and decided to make the trip to the Welsh/English border town in June you will no doubt be aware that accommodation for the festival is already a very rare commodity. In fact hotels, barns and B&Bs are often booked a year or even two in advance. It can also be expensive but that’s the law of supply and demand and there are always ways to do Hay on a budget too.
So here is our guide to finding a place to stay.
1. Rooms do come onto the market even at the last-minute. The best way to find one is via the bedfinder service. For £10, they will match up visitors with places to stay as they become available.
2. Look further out – if you are prepared to make the journey (about 45 minutes) Hereford hotels often have rooms still available at late notice and there’s a regular shuttle bus. Lea House a B&B near Ross on Wye has rooms at the time of posting http://www.leahouse.co.uk/
3. Pitch a tent. There are a number of camp-sites where you can pitch for just a few pounds a night.
Tangerine Fields Camping
Wye Meadow Camping
The Radnor Arms
4. There’s a swathe of up-market camping opportunities to from ridge tents to yurts and rigid podules:
Blue Bell Tents
Podules at Baskerville Hall Hotel
Hotel Bell Tent
5. Try the section on accommodation on the Hay-on-Wye tourist information site www.hay-on-wye.co.uk.
6. Check websites for cancellations. Shrub Cottage, on the Brecon Cottages site became available a few days ago. Sugar and Loaf also has some properties still.
7. Follow the #hayfestival hash tag on twitter. Some B&Bs, hotels and owners now post availability via their twitter accounts.
8. Try the accommodation section of the Hay Festival Forum.
9. The fringe HowTheLightGetsIn Festival also has camping. Nothing to stop you staying there. The festival is worth a visit too.
10. Finally, Emma Balch may have some last minute accommodation…. she bought, gutted, and is completely renovating Pottery Cottage in Clyro, formerly the home of Adam Dworski of Wye Pottery. It has one spacious room with double bed, and ensuite bathroom and a mezzanine above the main room. It may be at a lower rate if not all the details are finished, or at a higher rate if it’s totally ready, and she won’t know that until the last minute! Follow her progress here.