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Best Food, Fellowship, and Fun in Hay and Clyro
We were visiting from Texas earlier in the summer. It was our first trip to Wales, and we fell in love with Clyro and the Baskerville Arms. The hotel is in a beautiful location next to the historic St. Michael's Church and Old Rectory. An almost vertical green hill dotted with grazing sheep rises behind the hotel and church and serves as a lovely backdrop for the center of the village. Conan Doyle used to stay with the Baskerville Family who lived up the road and once owned the land that the Baskerville Arms stands on. There are many other literary and historic associations nearby. But back to the Baskerville Arms itself: we were blown away by the gourmet food served there. We had fun trying a new dish every night! But more than that, we enjoyed the friendly staff and the outgoing clientele. (Also you have to try the Wye Valley beers.) I would recommend this hotel highly. It scores high on the food, fellowship, and fun meter.
Unique Quality: When you go to the Baskerville Arms, you have to check out the stone mask that was unearthed on the property. It is ancient and is set into the stones of the wall at the back of the dining area. It's really cool. Also, the proprieters have built an extensive side patio with covered seating. A nice addition for all you exiled smokers. Plus, there are lovely pastoral views. You have to catch the music night, curry night, and Quiz night at the BA. If you love reading, be sure to take a gander at Rev. Kilvert's diary before you visit Clyro. He was a 19th century diarist who served as curate in the area and wrote wonderful descriptions of the environs. He was a friend of and influenced by Wordsworth. Kilvert lived across from the Baskerville Arms (There's a funny bit about the BA in Kilvert's diary, drinkers in the 1870s, and the minister who put disorderly drinkers into stocks that were on the corner across from the church. The villagers rose up against the minister and tore the stocks down. Power to the pub people!). Clyro is close to so many beautiful and historic places. We even made several day trips to the coast using Clyro as a base.
Directions: Find St. Michael's Church in the middle of Clyro and keep walking past the lych gate--the hotel will be on your left. The black hound over the porch signals that you are there!
No hounds, just comfy hotel
This is a small hotel, basically a village pub with some extra rooms (14 rooms in all). Our room had not yet been modernised (due shortly), but was comfortable enough (apart from the bed, which creaked), with bath, tv, hairdryer, tea-making facilities etc. There was no shower though (this will be added when the room is modernised).
Service in the restaurant in the evenings was a little disorganised, but the food was home-cooked and excellent.
Full "English/Welsh" (this is in the ambiguous border region) breakfast is provided in the mornings, along with a self service selection of cereals and yoghurt.
Unique Quality: Quiet village, about 25 minutes' walk from Hay-on-Wye.
The only hound I saw was the model one over the hotel entrance.
Directions: Just off A438 Hereford to Brecon road. Very easy to find.
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