Westbrook Court

Near Hay-on-Wye, Wales, United Kingdom Book from

Reviewed by Kate Parsons
Stylish countryside B&B offering interior-design flair, great rates and warm Antipodean hospitality
You know you're in the countryside when you're woken at dawn by a runaway flock of sheep from the neighbouring farm - just hilarious! Aussie Kari and husband Chris moved from London to this delightful rural spot just outside Hay to create a contemporary B&B. They knocked down a collection of crumbling concrete outbuildings next to their incredible 17th-century farmhouse, and rebuilt a modern barn-style structure with just 5 spacious bedrooms. They are on hand for anything you need - and their warmth and enthusiasm for the locale make staying here a pleasure.

Each of the rooms is different, with clean lines, fabulous feature walls and classy colour palettes. Interesting details like enormous wire-ball lampshades and rustic crate shelving add a quirky edge. There's a nod to Wales in the soft Welsh-wool blankets across the beds, and bathrooms have gleaming claw-foot tubs and drenching rain showers. Come morning, a breakfast hamper is delivered to your door: smoked salmon, freshly squeezed OJ, warm croissants. Peace and quiet, style and comfort make for an idyllic escape - and Kari promises the maurauding sheep were an untimely one-off...


  • Excellent value
  • Tasty breakfasts using a cornucopia of local produce, plus inventive cooked options served in the main farmhouse at the weekend
  • Kayaking, biking and horse riding in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, and just 10 minutes from Hay-on-Wye, the town of books
  • Romantic but also family-friendly, with kit to borrow and a relaxed vibe
  • All rooms have a private terrace, looking out over the valley


  • Half the joy of staying here is the rural bliss but it does mean no eateries within walking distance; you'll need to drive or cycle out for other meals
  • This is a B&B so don't expect fancy extras like robes and slippers
  • Books up way in advance for the Hay Literary Festival
  • Check-out is at 10am
  • Set just off the road but there's very minimal traffic - there was more noise from local sheep and pheasants during our stay

Best time to go

Springtime in Wales is really beautiful, with wild flowers and green, green mountains. Summer is best for walking, and summer evenings on your terrace are magical, admiring the view and soaking up the peace. Hay Literary Festival is in May/June. Westbrook is open all year.

Our top tips

Murder and Mayhem don't usually feature in a weekend away, but this tiny bookshop in Hay is a must for crime and thriller lovers.

How The Light Gets In is a philosophy and music festival in Hay, which runs concurrently to the Literary Festival (May/June), featuring lively discussion and acts such as Ghostpoet and Zero 7.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5
  • Breakfast only; restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


We stayed in Room 1 - a huge, airy, one-level space with minimal furniture. We loved the faux exposed-brickwork wallpaper behind the modern four-poster bed, and the pops of colour from turquoise velvet armchairs. The bathroom has a wood-clad walk-in rain shower but no tub.

The other 4 bedrooms are double-height mezzanine rooms, with a lounge and bathroom downstairs, and the bedroom tucked in the eaves. Each has a quirky individual style - perhaps petrol-blue walls and an orange bird-cage lampshade, or sage walls and a royal blue skinny floor lamp, plus contemporary images from the farm and traditional trunks as tables. Bijou dining terraces out front make the most of the views and, if it's fine, are a lovely spot for breakfast.

Room 5 was our favourite of these rooms - furthest from the road and the farmhouse, so the most private. We liked its book-print wallpaper and porthole-style window in the side with incredible views over the valley. All the mezzanine rooms have claw-foot tubs in their bathroom plus separate showers.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi


On weekdays (Mon-Fri), a luxury breakfast hamper is delivered to your door at a time of your choice. Inside, flaky croissants, homemade bread and jam, granola, smoked salmon, creamy Welsh yoghurt and fresh fruit. At the weekend (Sat and Sun), cooked breakfasts are on offer, served at a communal table in the farmhouse. We were sad to be staying midweek as they sound excellent! (Smoked salmon with creamy scrambled eggs; locally sourced sausages with oven-baked herby tomatoes and fresh sauteed mushrooms.)

For other meals, most guests drive into Hay, where there's a huge variety of cafés and restaurants. Kari has a detailed list to help you make a decision, and as phone reception at Westbrook is iffy, she's happy to make bookings for you. We loved Booths (a famous bookshop, with a San-Fran style café), and we've heard great things about Tomatitos Tapas in Hay. The Felin Fach near Powys is a superb gastro pub. If you'd prefer to stay in, Kari can whip up charcuterie and/or local cheeseboard with crackers, bread and grapes.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal dining


  • Spend a day kayaking down the River Wye, independently or with an instructor
  • Rent a bike (they can be delivered to Westbrook) and explore the Wye Valley on 2 wheels
  • Kari can arrange a foraging course of hedgerows/woods with a local expert
  • Don your walking boots and head out with a map. The area is teeming with stunning waterfalls and dramatic dells
  • Spend a day perusing Hay-on-Wye's 2 dozen bookshops and enjoying the artisan shops and cafés
  • Climb Hay Bluff for spectacular views, or try a hearty ascent of neighbouring Dorstone's Arthur's Stone
  • Fishing, point to points and geocaching can all be done locally; Kari can advise

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Festivals
  • Fishing
  • Foraging
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being


Children are very welcome and stay for free in a baby cot, or there is a small surcharge for an extra bed. Various bits of equipment can be borrowed (see below). Although there are no specific kiddy facilities, little ones will enjoy the sense of space, and the free-range chickens!

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Room 1 can fit 1 baby cot or 1 rollaway bed; this room is all on one level but doesn't have a bath. Rooms 3, 4 and 5 can fit 2 baby cots or 2 camp beds; note, these are split-level rooms. Room 2 (also split-level) can fit 2 baby cots or 2 camp beds, or has a sofabed which can sleep 1 adult.

Baby equipment:

  • Stair gates
  • Potty
  • Nightlight
  • Baby bath
  • Baby monitor
  • High chair
  • Small fridge (on request)

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

Books and toys

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Playgrounds
  • Picnic spot
  • Petting zoo
  • Ice-cream parlour
  • Riverside pebble beach near Hay
  • Kayaking
  • Pony trekking
  • Pick-your-own-fruit farm


  • Airport: 1.5 hour's drive (Cardiff)
  • Hospital: 20 minutes' drive (Hereford)
  • Shop: 5 minutes' drive
Kid Friendly:

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