The Wye Valley
Hay lies at the crossroads of two long distance paths, The Offas Dyke Path and The Wye Valley Walk.
Walking in the Wye Valley might suggest a gentle amble along grassey banks, allways relaxing and never streneous. The Wye Valley Walk is not exactly like that, and to understand the nature of the walk you have to appreciate the character of the river.
The Wye has its origins in the Plymlimon Mountains of Mid Wales, by the time it gets to Rhayader it has traveled some 25 miles and earned the name of a river. It has not yet lost the dash and vigour of a mountain stream as it cuts through the beautiful landscape over ancient rocks.
The river flows in to a different landscape of old red sandstone and it meanders through rich red earth of the Welsh/English border country at Hay. The lower section of the Wye is the most dramatic as it reaches the limestone region.
The Wye Valley Walk starts at Rhayader and instead of sticking to the river bank, it often cuts across the hills over looking the river. The scenery changes all the time and each season has its own pleasures. You can enjoy bluebells in woodland during spring or the rich colour of leaves as they start to turn during the autmn.
The Wye Valley is famous for its woodland, beautiful mixtures of oak, beech, ash, hazel and more. The forest floor is often covered with flowers and wildlife is plentiful. The southern section of the valley is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, few would quarrel with the description.
It is feasable for a fit person to complete the whole walk in one week. On the other hand there is so much to see and do along the way i think the walk encourages a slower pace.
Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains (only five minutes drive from Hay) lie within The Brecon Beacons National Park. 519 square miles of outstanding natural beauty.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Wye Valley Walk or take an energetic walk over the hills. Remember to always take suitable clothing and refreshment as conditions in the upland areas can change alarmingly quickly.
Feel free to call in at PSM outdoors shop where Peter will be able to advise on equipment and suitable walks in the area.