The little town of Hay lies just within the Breconshire border at the end of one of the lateral valleys sloping down from the Black Mountains escarpment to the Wye, and is 19 miles from Builth Wells, 14 from Kington, 23 from Leominster, and 21 from Hereford. The river is crossed by an iron bridge. The view of the town, with its ancient castle dominating scenery such as David Cox loved to transfer to canvas, is a striking one from almost any direction.

At Hay there are inns with special attractions for guests fond of angling, who are granted free tickets in the Wye and its tributaries. The Hay Golf Club has a 9-hole Course on the Common, and the Cricket and Lawn-Tennis Club has a ground off the Brecon Road.

Hay Castle, the exterior of which is visible from a public road, comprises the tower and gateway of a Norman castle erected by one of the followers of Bernard Newmarch, together with a handsome mansion built on to these in the Jacobean period. The most interesting of its occupants in mediaeval times was Maud de Valerie, wife of William de Braose. This was the lady who defied King John and was in consequence starved to death with one of her sons. She was known to the peasantry as Moll Walbee, and credited by them with miraculous powers.

Remains of former Town Walls, originally built in the thirteenth century, are to be seen on the ridge to the south of Newport Street. The church, otherwise rebuilt, preserves its ancient fortified tower.

The Warren, a pleasant retreat on the river-bank, is reached by the pretty Bailey Walk. Overhanging the stream at this point are the tree-clad Wye Cliff Rocks, which are highly picturesque.

No one goes to Hay without hearing of the charms of Cusop Dingle. Cusop is really a Herefordshire suburb of the old town, and has many attractive residencies. Nearly opposite a house called Ty-glyn a road goes off south-eastwards, passing near Cusop Castle (an earthwork) and the little Norman church, and then traversing the whole length of the richly-wooded Dingle.

For the sake of the magnificent view obtainable from the summit, it is worth while climbing the hill prominent a mile to the east of Hay. On this hill-top are the remains of a small but strongly-placed entrenchment popularly known as Mouse Castle.