Literary lovers and a sense of decorum in the Black Mountains

Castle Farm

Landed houses, literary lovers and a sense of decorum in the Black Mountains


This year, in the Landed Houses office, one of our New Year’s resolutions (seems like ages ago) was to be organized and plan ahead. Hmnn, I’m not sure if we are quite there yet but we are certainly trying.


Can we combine an event with a stay in a Landed House?


There was much chatter this week about what big event we would like to get tickets for and if we could combine that with a stay in a landed house where would it be?.  Edmund plumped for a London Marathon place and a return to his own bed in Notting Hill (madness) Melissa fancied Wimbledon (being a tennis fiend) and I decided on the 2014 Hay on Wye Literary festival. This gave me the perfect opportunity to indulge a love of all things bookish and stay at a fabulous farm in the Black Mountains.


Being quick off the blocks will land a fabulous landed house in the countryside.


I have been to Hay on many occasions and love its ‘centre of the universe but away from the world’ ambience. I am delighted to have sourced early bird tickets. I can’t believe I will actually make it to the festival. In fact, being so quick off the blocks I have done more than that.


Our English mistress would raise an eyebrow in mock disgust at our lack of decorum


I am part of a group of literary types who have remained friends since school. We all have fond recollections of us trying not to giggle through Mansfield Park as the main character has the name Fanny as a Christian name. Our English mistress would raise an eyebrow in mock disgust at our lack of decorum. She once said, ‘When you are truly grown up you’ll appreciate Jane Austen’ ‘Oh charming’ I thought. Yet strangely enough she was absolutely right!’


Stay at a secret farm in the Black Mountains


So we are treating ourselves thoroughly by staying at a secret farm just above Hay on Wye. Surely this is something that would have appealed to Catherine Moreland’s sense of adventure in Northanger Abbey no doubt. Frankly I can barely wait. I went out on a recce and checked the place during the worst weather in the world and it was still utterly gorgeous.

Castle Farm

Spring lambs wild flowers and Castle Farm


By May I am certain we will be treated to Spring lambs and wild flowers that’s for sure.  Castle Farm is described as a health spa for the soul. Bearing in mind we will also be in a Jacuzzi for the mind during the festival, we should all come back to London thoroughly refreshed.


Castle Farm nestles in 40 acres and is extremely private. After the hustle and bustle of a packed literary festival it will be great to kick off our shoes and relax with our new purchases while dangling tired feet in the river.


It sleeps up to 30 so there will still be plenty of room for picnics by the water and barbecues too. Click here to see a range of fabulous pics of this extraordinary place, seven miles from Hay on Wye.


Hay on Wye have so far confirmed: Stephen FryJudi DenchToni MorrisonJoan BakewellCassandra Clare, Julia DonaldsonArianna Huffington, Jennifer SaundersFrancesca Simon, and Jacqueline Wilson . Oh, so no one important then! What a stunningly fabulous line up. The place will be packed and the scent of second hand books and the scratch of pens as new copies are signed will fill the air.


We shall also have the absolute luxury of knowing our accommodation is booked, our spiritual well-being has been taken care of and our old English teacher would be impressed. What more can a group of literary ‘ladettes’ want from life?




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