The route leaves Glasbury on a riverside path lined with poplars, then follows the grass verge beside the A438 for 875 yards (800m). Back on the footpath the route passes Cilcenni Dingle, owned by the Woodland Trust. Emerging from Bryn yr Hydd Common woods the view towards Llowes and across the flood takes in the Black Mountains, including Hay Bluff and the curiously named Lord Hereford's Knob or Twmpa.
Soon after St Meilig's Church in Llowes an alternative route avoids a stretch of roadside walking on the A438. It involves some climbing, but more stunning views of the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons makes it well worth it. The path then hugs the river most of the way into Hay, meeting Offa's Dyke Path to cross the bridge into the town.
There has been a Celtic Christian monk’s cell, early monastery, or church here for over 1300 years. Inside the church is St Meilig’s Cross (Meilig was a Scottish monk who settled here) which was brought to the church for safety in the 12th century, from where it stood on nearby Begwn Mountain Common. These types of crosses were used as monastic boundary markers, memorials or focal points for gatherings.
On the border between Wales and England, Hay Castle dominates the historic market town of Hay-on-Wye. After a 10 year restoration process, the revitalised Castle is now a centre for arts, literature and learning, with activities for kids and adults all year round. Hay is also home to the annual Hay Festival (May) and numerous book shops - hence its 'book town' title.
Hay Castle is entitled to bestow peerages in the tradition of our very own ‘King of Hay’, Richard Booth. Richard first started the Hay Peerage when he declared Hay-on-Wye an independent state as a publicity stunt in 1977. The titles are not real in any legal sense - you can’t use them on your passport or driving licence, but you use them casually whenever you want and your name will be entered in the Hay Peerage archive!
It’s a fantastic achievement to walk all 136 miles. Mark the miles by keeping a record of your journey, collecting (digital) passport stamps along the route…MAKE A PASSPORT