Friday, 20 April 2012 10:12 AM
It's little wonder people choose Wye Valley accommodation when they feel like getting away from it all, as the region is home to stunning countryside and pretty market towns and villages. As a result, your break could fly by as you're busy with excursions each day.
Thanks to its beautiful countryside, the region – which straddles both England and Wales – has long been a hit with walkers, cyclists and other outdoors lovers, who flock here to make the most of the many trails they can hike or bike down. However, it's also worth visiting a town or two during your stay.
This way, you can learn a little more about the history of the local area and stock up on everything you need to make your self catering cottage feel even more like a home away from home.
For our top three places to visit, read on.
Hay on Wye
You may have heard of this small town before as it is famous the world over for the plethora of bookshops that line its streets and the book festival held here each year. Indeed, there are more than 30 book stores in total, so if you have been looking for a rare or out of print one, this is the place to come.
There's plenty more to do here too and every Thursday a market takes place across an area encompassing Memorial Square, Butter Market and the Town Clock where there's something for everyone. You can browse clothes, crafts and antiques, or stock up on tasty local produce like game, fruit, vegetables and cheeses.
This is another historical gem to explore in the Wye Valley and is known for being the birthplace of Henry V. It is also a particularly pretty town as it stands at the confluence of the Wye, Trothy and Monnow rivers.
The latter of these waterways is crossed by an unusual bridge, which was built in the 13th century, is unique to the UK and is the only bridge of this style to be preserved in such a pristine condition.
There are plenty more historical sights to see if you come to Ledbury for a daytrip, particularly if you head for Church Lane. This road is a real hit with tourists as walking down it feels as though you are stepping back in time, as you tread along the cobbled streets admiring the overhanging Medieval buildings.
Step inside the Painted Room on the way. This unusual property is adorned with frescos that were produced in the 16th century by an unknown artist and are a great imitation of the wall hangings that would have decorated the larger houses of the time.