Hay Festival Holiday

Join writers from around the world at this famous literary festival


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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Culture
  • Indoors
From £425.00 - 3 to 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

For almost 30 years Hay Festival has brought together writers from around the world to debate and share stories in the staggering beauty of the Welsh Borders.  

The 7-night holiday includes tickets to five festival events, the 3-night holiday to two events and the 4-night holiday to three events. 

Holiday highlights

  • Soak up the festival atmosphere with a like-minded group 
  • Enhance your festival experience with talks and discussions from our knowledgeable leader 
  • Free time to attend other events during the festival (book early to avoid disappointment!)

Price includes

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Coach transport to and from the festival
  • Good quality tickets for performances and festival sessions
  • Illustrated talks from your HF Holidays’ leader


4 star rating country house in Brecon


Nythfa House is a charming Country House, located on the edge of the market town of Brecon. Spacious public rooms, attractive gardens and indoor swimming pool make it a popular and relaxing place to stay.

Nythfa House has 28 bedrooms. Most are located in the main house, with others in garden annexes. 


'Good' Rooms 

An example of our rooms at Nythfa House, Brecon Beacons

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

An example of our Better Rooms at Nythfa House, Brecon Beacons

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

'Best' Rooms 

An example of our Best Rooms at Nythfa House, Brecon Beacons

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £20 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At the house

  • Excellent boot and drying rooms
  • Dining room and bar
  • Ballroom
  • Conservatory which looks out onto the garden
  • Free WiFi available in some public rooms
  • Range of board games and books
  • Indoor swimming pool in a separate building
  • The house is surrounded by extensive gardens
  • Putting green and croquet lawn
  • Mini-golf


An example of Brecon evening mealAll holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.


More details on Brecon accessibility

Additional Information 

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request. An under-pillow vibrating pad is available on request
  • A fridge is available in the first floor lounge for storing medication
  • Good signage for fire escape routes
  • One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff has had disability awareness training


Below is the 2018 itinerary, to give you a flavour of how the holiday works. The 2019 event details will be available in the spring. The reservations team can take your details and contact you when this programme is confirmed.

Enjoy a fantastic experience with us at this festival. We've reserved tickets for the following talks. We normally arrive around 9.30am and leave by 5.30pm so you've plenty of time to see other favourite authors and speakers - contact the Hay Festival directly to purchase tickets for any other events you'd like to see.

Saturday 26 May
Melvyn Bragg: William Tyndale
Venue: Tata Tent
Event 46

On the morning of 6 October 1536, a frail scholar was taken from a dungeon in the castle at Vilvoorde, just north of Brussels. Armed guards kept the crowds at bay as he was led through the streets of the small town. He was to be burned. He was allowed a few moments of prayer. As a priest, prayer had been the keystone of his faith. After the brief pause, he walked up the steps to be tied to the cross. As he waited for the flames, he called out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” This was Willi Tyndale, the man whose translation of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament was to bring about more profound changes to the English-speaking world over the next five centuries than the works of any other man in its history.

Sunday 27 May
Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Helen Mountfield and Simon Schama talk to Katya Adler: The Scramble for Europe
Venue: Tata Tent
Event 102

Europe, the richest economic area in the world, faces unprecedented challenges: a protectionist US administration, Russian interventions, a Chinese leader who has defied succession planning, and the parliamentary success of the far-right in Germany, Italy and Austria. And then there’s Brexit. Something must be done. But what? And how? And by whom? The distinguished diplomat Gourdault-Montagne is now Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry, Mountfield is a British QC, Schama is an historian. Chaired by the BBC’s Europe Editor.

Monday 28 May
3-night holiday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

4-night holiday: Welcome to the start of our Hay on Wye Festival holiday. We've started booking some 2018 events as they are become available by the organiser. Currently we have reserved tickets for the following talks, and you'll want to contact the Hay Festival directly to purchase tickets for any other events you'd like to see while we're at the festival. We normally arrive around 9.30am and leave by 5.30pm.

Tuesday 29 May
Philippe Sands: The PEN Hay Lecture: Words, Memory and Imagination - 1945, and Today
Venue: Tata Tent
Event 173

The human rights lawyer, author of East West Street and President of English PEN examines the state of the contemporary world in the context of the convulsive traumas of the Twentieth Century that resonate today across Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East. How do we find the language to tell these truths? What do we say? And how might we listen?

Wednesday 30 May

Jessica Harrison-Hall: China: A History in Objects
Venue: Oxfam Moot
Event 218

From the earliest archaeological relics and rituals, through the development of writing and state, to the advent of empire, Harrison-Hall, head of the China section at The British Museum, charts the country's transformation from ancient civilisation to the world’s most populous nation and influential economy, showing us a myriad historical insights and cultural treasures along the way.

Thursday 31 May

David Crystal: The Story of Be: A Verb’s Eye View of the English Language
Venue: Tata Tent
Event 277

It's the most simple, unassuming, innocent-looking verb: 'to be'. Yet it is jam-packed with more different meanings, forms and uses than any other English word. As he reveals ‘be's’ multiple incarnations, Prof Crystal takes us to the heart of our flexible and changing language. We meet circumstantial be ("how are you?"), numerical be ("two and two is four"), quotative be ("so I was like, 'wow'"), and ludic be ("oh no he isn't!"), and a whole swarm of other meanings.

Friday 1 June
4-night holiday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

3-night holiday: Welcome to the start of your weekend at our Hay on Wye Festival holiday. We've started booking some 2018 events as they are become available by the organiser. Currently we have reserved tickets for the following talk, and you'll want to contact the Hay Festival directly to purchase tickets for any other events you'd like to see while we're at the festival. We normally arrive around 9.30am and leave by 5.30pm.

Saturday 2 June

Philip Pullman, Marina Warner and Jack Zipes: Tales of Wonder, Magic, Resistance and Hope
Venue: Tata Tent
Event 376

'Fairy tales since the beginning of recorded time, and perhaps earlier, have been a means to conquer the terrors of humanity through metaphor.’ This is one of many challenging and thought-provoking observations made over a long career by Jack Zipes, one of the most eminent scholars of folklore, fairy tales and children’s literature, whose eightieth birthday was celebrated last year.  It identifies not only one of the key characteristics of ‘wonder tales’, but also proposes a much wider audience and more important function for such tales than is often recognised.  Joining Jack to discuss the past, present and future of the ‘wonder tale’ is Philip Pullman, one of the foremost writers of speculative fiction and author of Clockwork, the His Dark Materials trilogy, La Belle Sauvage and Daemon Voices; and Marina Warner, novelist, short story writer, mythographer and scholar and author of Stranger Magic, Fly Away Home, Once Upon A Time  and Forms of Enchantment. Chaired by Hamish Fyfe.

Sunday 3 June
Bridget Kendall: The Cold War
Venue: Tata Tent
Event 409

The Cold War is one of the furthest-reaching and longest-lasting conflicts in modern history. It spanned the globe - from Greece to China, Hungary to Cuba - and lasted for almost half a century. It has shaped political relations to this day, drawing new physical and ideological boundaries between East and West, that have suddenly and dramatically resurfaced with Russian resurgence and interventions. Kendall was foreign correspondent for the BBC in Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Formerly the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, she is now master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge.

Monday 4 June

Depart after a leisurely breakfast

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Local area

Discover the Brecon Beacons

During your stay at Nythfa House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Brecon:

Canal boat on Brecon canalBrecon is a quaint market town at the foot of the Brecon Beacons; an area of sweeping high moorland, and beautiful green valleys. The town has a good  range of facilities including shops, supermarkets, post office, chemists, banks, pubs and cafés. During your stay you may enjoy visiting Brecon Cathedral or take a scenic cruise from Brecon along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. www.breconcathedral.org.uk or www.dragonfly-cruises.co.uk


Visitors in hard hats exploring the mineBig Pit Mining Museum
Travel underground at the excellent Big Pit museum in Blaenavon and discover the life of a South Wales coal miner. Blaenavon is around 45 minutes' drive from Brecon. www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/bigpit



The quaint small town of Hay-on-Wye is about 30 minutes' drive from Brecon, and can also be reached by bus every 2 hours. The town is now famed for its annual literary festival, and extensive selection of second-hand book shops.

Hereford is an attractive city, around an hour's drive from Brecon, whose cathedral houses the famous Mappa Mundi, a 12th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org

Visitors walking through an impressive caveDan yr Orgof Caves
An impressive show-cave, one of the largest in Europe, with fine stalactites and stalagmites. The caves are around 30 minutes' drive from Brecon. www.showcaves.co.uk



Exterior of Tretower Court historic houseTretower Court
Located near the village of Crickhowell, about 20 minutes' drive from Brecon, Tretower Court is a fine Medieval fortified manor house. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk



The vibrant Welsh capital of Cardiff is also around 40 miles or 1 hour’s drive from Brecon. A visit could include the St Fagan’s National History Museum, Castell Coch, or the National Museum. www.visitcardiff.com


Tretower Court image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government, Big Pit image ©Big Pit National Coal Museum


Travel to Brecon

Our address is: Nythfa House, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7NN

How to get to us by train

By train:

The most convenient railway station is at Abergavenny. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

The 20 mile journey from Abergavenny railway station takes approximately 45 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £35 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nythfa House Manager.


By bus:

The X43 bus operates from Abergavenny station to Brecon. Alight at the bus interchange in Brecon. Facing the road, head left along Heol Gouesnou to the traffic lights. Turn right heading uphill along Cerrigcochion Road for around 70 yards, and then turn left into Belle Vue Gardens. Head along the road and turn right at the T-junction (still Belle Vue Gardens). Head up the road to another T-junction and turn left into Cerrigcochion Lane. Walk for about 15 yards and you will see the Nythfa House sign on your right. For bus times see www.traveline.info

Driving to us

By car:

Most guests approach Brecon via the A40 from Abergavenny or the A470 from the northwest. These two roads converge at a roundabout on the Brecon bypass. At the roundabout follow the B4601for a mile into Brecon. Turn right at the second mini roundabout, then go straight on at the cross roads with traffic lights.  After 500yds turn sharp right into Mount Street, then second left into Belle View Road.  Stop at the top of the road at the T Junction then go straight ahead up the drive to Nythfa House. 

 Travel by plane

Travelling from overseas

For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.

From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are trains to Abergavenny (1 change at Newport) - allow 3 to 3½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.

From Abergavenny you can travel on to Brecon by bus or taxi (see above).


Liz Lowry

Liz Lowry is a Blue Badge Guide living in the Heart of England. She has a continuing interest in history, literature and landscape and has loved sharing the heritage, people and character of this fascinating country with HF guests since 2009.

We really enjoyed her sense of fun, vast knowledge and complete devotion to the group.


Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
24 May 2019 BRALH - Hay on Wye Literature Festival - Brecon 7 £989.00 Book Now
27 May 2019 BRALH - Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival - Brecon 4 £599.00 Book Now
31 May 2019 BRALH - Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival - Brecon 3 £425.00 Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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