Racquety Farm

UK Wales Mid Wales Powys

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Riverside camping and glamping on the edge of the River Wye

It’s not clear whether it would be quicker to walk or to canoe to Hay-on-Wye. Both are possible from Racquety Farm and, just a few hundred metres from the edge of town, it takes a matter of minutes until you’re perched on a chair outside a tea shop, cuppa in hand, watching the world go by. As campsites go, few can manage such a supreme combination of tourist-town proximity and remote, countryside feel. Pitch your tent beside the bushy hedgerows and you seem hidden in the verdant Welsh wilderness. Walk across the meadows into town, however, and you’re suddenly in the bustling hive that is Hay-on-Wye in summertime.

Racquety Farm is quite an enterprise. A mix of woodland, orchards, organic crops and grazed pastures, the farm is situated directly on the banks of the River Wye – its banks are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. The result is a conscientious campsite, with plenty of recycling, composting toilets and no caravans or large motorhomes allowed. The farm is all organic and one acre is even used for the Hayfield Community Garden, a local food-growing and gardening scheme set up by the people of Hay-on-Wye.

The camping, though basic, is idyllic, in the form of roughly 60 undesignated pitches spread around the orchard or in a slightly sloping meadow, along with five geo-domes for glamping. Each of these is a different size, ranging from a four-metre dome for a couple to a ginormous six and a half metre dome that can sleep up to eight people. Each was homemade by Geoff the owner and are furnished simply but practically to create warmth and comfort for most weather conditions. Carpets, beds and bedding, wooden furnishings and electric lighting are all included. Most importantly, there’s also a cosy wood-burning stove. There are relatively simple hot-water shacks where you can do your washing up, brush teeth or take a shower and braziers are available to rent for that essential evening campfire. And there's more good news in that they have a separate two-room B&B for those who want a bit of extra home comfort.

The real appeal of Racquety Farm, though, is the river. Kingfishers and herons can be spotted and otters are known to frequent the area, along with badgers, hedgehogs, red kites, woodpeckers, dormice, bats and owls also. Ros’s son runs a well-known canoe hire company from the campsite – 'Want to Canoe?' – and you can launch your own canoes directly from the farm. Multi-day outings are highly recommended, partly for the full experience of the river and partly to give you more time in the canoe. The River Wye has popular wild swimming sites just a short walk from Racquety Farm or stick to terra ferma and wander into Hay-on-Wye. The town is just moments away and that café cuppa awaits.

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Details

Facilities

There are 6 compost loos, 5 hot gas-powered showers and good re-cycling facilities. Braziers available for campfires (fires not permitted on the ground) and firewood is available to buy. Geodesic domes are fully carpeted and feature beds and bedding, wood-burning stove and fuel, electric lighting and socket. Direct access to the river for canoeing or fishing. Licences and permission can be obtained for fishing via the campsite or The Wye and Usk Foundation. The river bank is an SSSI, so the owners are careful to manage the numbers of people accessing the river bank at one time. The Wye is a popular river for 'wild swimmers'.

Suitable For

Tents, glampers small campervans, dogs (on a lead) – yes. Motorhomes and caravans – no. Large groups by prior arrangement. During the Hay Festival Season (24 May-3 June 2018) dogs are not allowed onsite.

Nearby

Directly adjacent to the campsite there is Aubrey's canoe hire company (01497 820604) – you can slip straight out onto the water and paddle into town or further afield. They can pick you up again further downstream or start in Glasbury-on-Wye for a longer spell on the water. Sailing (01874 658596) is also available at nearby Llangorse Lake and there's horse riding in Bryngwyn (01497 851669), while heading out on foot along Offa's Dyke Path or The Wye Valley Walk is also hugely popular. For most, however, it's the 5–10-minute walk to Hay town centre that's the real attraction. Aside from the collection of good pubs and restaurants, the place is awash with quirky, independent shops. It is particularly renowned for its antique and vintage shops and book shops.

Food & Drink

A breakfast bar onsite is available on busy weekends and for whole group bookings (contact the site to discuss). Local produce is available from the Hayfield Community Garden during summer months or in Hay Town at the Deli and Greengrocer (01497 820708). There's also an excellent local butchers (01497 820636). Racquety Farm has raspberries for sale (end of June–September) with a 'pick-your-own' that is particular popular with families. Homemade apple juice is also for sale while stocks last!

Opening Times

All year round.

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The Owner Says

** Now taking bookings for the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts (24 May–3 June 2018). **

The views from Racquety Farm are excellent and although you will be in the countryside, the campsite is only a short walk from the charming town centre of Hay. The site boasts private access to the nearby River Wye with exclusive rights for game and coarse fishing and a canoe launch/landing point. There's a canoe hire company sited a short walk from the site, whilst fresh, seasonal fruit and veg is often available to buy as well as basic supplies like tea, coffee, sugar, milk, bacon and eggs. This 60-pitch campsite is a 'Soil Association' certificated organic farm comprised of arable pasture, orchards and woodland and the sites tranquil river bank is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Accommodation

60 undesignated pitches, plus a few gravel areas for campervans. Geodesic domes and 1 Craftsmen made Shepherds Hut also available – the biggest sleeping up to 8 people – and there are 3 rooms in the B&B.

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Location

Contact Racquety Farm, Racquety Farm, Wyecliff, Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR3 5RS

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Getting There

From the East: Use the M4 to Newport then take A4042 to Abergavenny then A40 to Crickhowell. Approximately 2 miles outside Crockhowell take right turn to Talgarth using A479 (over the mountain). From Talgarth take A4078 towards Hay-on-Wye. Take A438 (signed Hereford) through Glasbury and Llowes and when you hit Clyro Village look for right hand turn to Hay-on-Wye. Follow road for approx 3/4 mile and take right turn into either campsite 1 or 2 at Racquety Farm (depending upon your booking arrangements).

From Cardiff or the West use A470 or A40 to Brecon and then take the road towards Hereford following A438 (signed Hereford) through Glasbury and Llowes, following the same directions as above.

The closest train station, approaching from England is in the city of Hereford (0845 748 4950), approximately 22 miles east of Hay-on-Wye. Stagecoach buses then run from Hereford to Brecon (via Hay-on-Wye).

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 8 reviews

★★★★★

Relaxing camping in superb location with fantastic shower block

One of the nicest campsites we've ever stayed at. We were in Camping area 2 which is a large open field with views of Hay. As we went with my sister and her family we had 2 large tens so it was ideal having no marked pitches and we could choose where we pitched and could be next to each other. Another real bonus for us was being able to help ourselves to one of the several firepits that are dotted around the site. We cooked for 8 people on ours most days and the lovely Ros reliably delivered logs (£6 per bag) when we needed.The compost toilets and washing up facilities were fine but the newly built toilet and shower block was the best we've ever experienced. There are various private room combinations of toilets/sinks/showers so you can choose the most appropriate for your needs and all of which had plenty of soap, toilet rolls and paper towels. They were extremely clean with plenty of hot water, hooks for towels and toilet bags, big mirrors and some even with chairs. It is a short and enjoyable walk through the adjacent field (full of clover and happy bees) and over the river into the beautiful town of Hay On Wye, which has an abundance of gorgeous shops, a great butcher and places to eat and drink. There is also a large Coop about a 15 minute walk from the campsite. I would highly recommend Want to Canoe for an idyllic and extremely relaxing paddle down the river for 5 or so miles to the pub where they will come & pick you up in a minibus. They were very laid back with timings (take as long as you like to canoe!) but the whole operation, including the instruction beforehand was slick and highly professional. Overall, a wonderful few days and we didn't want to leave.
Aug 7, 2019 by Louise

Response from Racquety Farm

Thanks Louise, Thats kind of you to leave a review. Glad you had a good time. Thanks so much for coming to stay here. Ros

★★☆☆☆

Nice location

This site is well located within an easy walk of Hay on Wye, and the field itself is pleasant. However, it's described as being by the river and actually you can't see the river from the camping field and you can't access the river (except for canoeing) without walking in to Hay. We were not impressed with the toilet and shower facilities, we are used to campsites with composting toilets but these ones were dark, smelly and covered in cobwebs and our children hated using them. Composting toilets can be fresh, bright and clean so it shouldn't be an excuse for inferior facilities! In any case the main toilet isn't a proper composting toilet, it's more like a long drop (into a bin) which is probably why it was smelly. The showers are behind the washing up areas so lose pressure when someone is washing up and again are dingy and cobwebbed. On the plus side the water was hot and we didn't need to wait to wash up. Admittedly we stayed over the bank holiday weekend but the facilities were not adequate for the number of people staying - the 2 toilets and 2 showers were supplemented with a couple of portaloos and a portable shower (which look very unattractive) but the site was very busy and we had to wait for the toilets and showers more often than not. The recycling facilities are just the standard council offer, previously when we have stayed at eco campsites they have used specialist recycling companies which mean you can recycle far more, such as plastic film etc, so I'm not sure why this is claimed as a particular feature of this site. The owners were nice but all in all we were really disappointed in this site, especially as it was not cheap. Definitely won't be going back!
Aug 27, 2018 by Lee

Response from Racquety Farm

Toilets of any kind need to be used properly - follow the instructions for using the compost toilets. We monitor and clean the toilets  3 times  a day. We ask guests to let us know if there is a problem. We have a very comprehensive toilet/shower block. We keep field showers and compost loos too by popular demand! No charge for showers. We provide good re-cycling facilities at Racquety Farm See other reviews.


★★★★☆

Beautiful and quiet

I loved this site. So relaxed and simple. The compost toilets weren’t as scary as I expected, and other facilities good. Ros was lovely, and the children enjoyed walking her dog around the campsite. The site seemed very quiet, given it was the summer holidays. We aren’t the most sociable of campers, but it was even a little quiet for us!
Aug 12, 2018 by Jenni
★★★★★

River idyll

Racquety Farm is wonderful. Really well run. Composting loos and showers are practical, well maintained and it all works. We camped in the corner of the top field, surrounded by perfect views and ripe blackberry hedges. A five minute walk down a public footpath took us to the perfect stretch of river for an evening swim. We took our canoe, and the team at Want To Canoe picked us up six miles down the river with minimal fuss. This whole business gets the balance just right - it feels informal and relaxed, but seriously well run by a team who really know their stuff.
Aug 7, 2018 by Anna
★★★★☆

Amazing views of Hay Castle

Warm welcome from Ros. Beautiful campsite, perfect for walking, cycling and canoeing. Short walk to Hay on Wye, where there are plenty of places to eat and drink. Would certainly return.
Aug 7, 2018 by Sue
★★★★★

Peaceful friendly campsite in beautiful countryside

Very relaxing 2 night stay in the orchard field. The owners Geoff and Ros are friendly and helpful without being intrusive, and their commitment to sustainability in all aspects of the site is inspiring. It’s great to enjoy your own camp fire in the evening, wander through the farm and down to the River Wye, or walk 10 minutes into Hay on Wye. Would recommend to anyone looking for a proper camping experience and hope to return.
May 1, 2018 by Phil Howe

Response from Racquety Farm

Thank you Phil, much appreciated. R
★★★★★

The relaxed and peaceful atmosphere

We, 4 adults, stayed for 3 nights with a toddler and a baby in 2 tents. There was plenty of space for the 2 year old to explore safely. Ros wandered around occasionally making sure we had plenty of wood for the fire and everything was ok for us. I was a bit unsure about the composting toilets but discovered they were no problem to use and were clean and odour free (mostly). It didn't take long to get used to them and they weren't at all unpleasant. It was a very short walk into Hay or down to the river and along the river path. Plenty to do and see and lots of places to eat. It was nice to go to sleep and wake up listening to the wild life, although the horses galloping along the next field was a bit of a surprise. We'll definitely be going back for another stay.
Apr 30, 2018 by Coffeholic
★★★★★

lovely site, a must visit

Lovely site with amazing location and facilities. Enjoyed being able to have campfires. Owners were very friendly and helpful with information about town, directions and local attractions.
Sep 24, 2017 by mcbrx

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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