An on-the-border break near Wales' Brecon Beacons and England's Hay-on-Wye, with a mixture of camping and glamping on offer
The Welsh Marches, the bucolic borderlands running through the modern day English counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire, can boast some of the British Isles’ most stunning, history-rich landscapes. Either side of Offa’s Dyke, dramatic ranges like the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains, make this a region that should top anyone’s bucket list. And, since the opening of Chapel House Farm Campsite near Hay-on-Wye in 2017, you’ve all the more reason to go.
Found on the fringes of the sleepy hamlet of Craswall, Chapel House Farm is 15 sprawling acres of vibrant wildflower meadows bordered by ancient woodland. Just 12 generously sized, half-moon-shaped pitches are mown into the long grass. Campers can chose the spot they like best and nestle down amongst the flowers. Wherever you choose to stop, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Hay Bluff and its surrounding mountains.
For those who like their camping with a few added comforts, there is a couple of heated pods, crafted from local timber and with oak interiors, and a six-metre furnished bell tent in a private field. All come with campfire pits and a swinging grill and tripod, helping glampers on their way towards and epic al fresco cook-out – picnic blankets, solar lanterns and all the other kit and kaboodle you might need are included.
A care and attention to detail runs throughout Chapel House Farm, from the complimentary firepits, to the little on-site shop stocking locally-brewed beer and cider. It’s clear that hosts, Simon and Anita, know what elevates a good campsite into a great one. Look no further than the facilities block, for example. The couple have constructed an impressive oak-framed hut with a chestnut shingle roof (redolent of a Saxon-Romanian field barn) to house the showers, which have gorgeous Mexican tiles on the walls. Timber from the farm was used to construct the dishwashing area, too, which also includes power-points and a large fridge-freezer, and there’s a cosy converted stable space for when the Welsh weather strays this side of the border. A couple of years ago Anita discovered an old bread oven in their 15th-century house, which now, fully restored, is fired up in the stable most weekends for sociable pizza evenings.
All in all, there’s a pleasingly laid back vibe to life at Chapel House Farm. Games are welcomed in the fields and the woods beyond are prime den-building real estate for little ones. Red Kites and Buzzards circle overhead and if you’re lucky (and quiet) you may even spot a fallow or miniature muntjac deer munching grass in the meadow at dawn.
Nr Hay On Wye, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Simon D.Joined in November 2017
From the host
A warm welcome awaits at our campsite in the mountain wilds of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire.
Campers seeking peace and tranquility at this hideaway in the little village of Craswall close to the book town of Hay-on-Wye can choose a pitch in 15 acres of wildflower fields bordered by ancient woodland, or why not book our airy, fully furnished bell tent, one of our new rustic wooden pod or hire a bell tent. Children can make dens, run in the woods and play games in the long grass.
Pizza is available, usually one night of the week, from the original farmhouse bread oven and is made using mostly our own farm-grown ingredients, including the flour. We also offer homemade cakes, salad and vegetables from our polytunnel and eggs from our chickens.
Grownups can choose a local beer or cider from our tiny shop, light a fire in one of our fire pits (firewood and kindling available from the shop) and watch the stars. The pastures are a spectacle throughout the spring and summer with a show of bluebells and a host of other wild herbs and flowers. Mown paths wind down to a hand-crafted, oak framed hut with a Chestnut shingle roof, based on a Saxon Romanian field barn design, which houses loos and hot showers (no coins or tokens required!).
There's also a covered dishwashing area with hot water, power points and a fridge and freezer.
Travel by car, walk or cycle, via public footpaths, bridleways and quiet country roads to Hay, the Golden Valley and over the Black Mountains and the Offa's Dyke footpath to Llanthony, Llanveynoe and the secluded Olchon Valley.
Herefordshire's world-famous literature capital Hay-on-Wye is a scenic six-mile drive away. Coincide your stay at Chapel House Farm with the annual Hay Festival which hits the town every May. There's no end to the walking trails round here with the The Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons, Shropshire Hills and Offa's Dyke Pathall eminently accessible from the site (the latter can be accessed from pretty much the campsite doorstep). The Golden Valley, Llanthony, Llanveynoe and the secluded Olchon Valley come highly recommended. Your hosts can put you in touch with local bike and canoe hire companies and there's outdoor activities available in Craswall.
Food and drink
Apart from our own regular pizza night and bottle shop, the nearest local pub is The Bridge Inn (01981510646) in Michaelchurch Escley, a charming 16th century riverside inn that serves an array of local ales and a sophisticated meat-rich menu, as locally sourced as possible. In the village, the award-winning White Haywood Restaurant (01981 510 324) offers a takeaway on Thursday evenings from their converted 400-year old stone barn. Hay-on Wye and the surrounding villages boast an array of great pubs, restaurants, delis and independent food shops – just ask Simon and Anita for their personal recommendations. Be sure to stock up on provisions for cooking on the firepit back at camp.