Enjoy Luxurious Treetop Glamping in the Lap of Nature at By the Wye

Whether you are planning a weekend of adventure, an inter-generational holiday, a digital detox retreat or a romantic getaway, By the Wye riverside glamping has something for everyone. With its beautiful riverside location, luxurious treetop safari tents and a welcoming team, By the Wye is the perfect place to escape from the normal and enjoy a relaxing break in the lap of nature.

By the Wye Treetop Glamping

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We spent the Coronation weekend at By the Wye and had a wonderful time. The whole experience exceeded our expectations. Read on to know more.

By the Wye is an off-grid, luxury treetop glamping site set in a beautiful location on the banks of River Wye and in the heart of the lovely town Hay on Wye. The site has five spacious en-suite safari tents that are elevated on stilts so you get to stay and sleep up in the tree canopy.

By the Wye is a family-run business so all the team are family members (Dawn and Steve, their son Dan and daughter-in-law Edith) and this gives the business a really friendly and welcoming vibe. We interacted with Edith via email (before our visit) and met all the others on site and they are superb hosts. They were at hand for anything we might have needed and Dawn even showed us around the site.

At present, there are 5 safari tents on the site that is spread over 10 acres of mixed ancient native woodland on the banks of the river Wye. A sixth safari tent, that will be wheelchair accessible, is currently being added to the collection.

The tents currently on site are Ash, The Ivy, Holly and Meadow (all sleeping 5) and The Cwtch (that sleeps 2). All the tents have gas ring cookers, a large cooler to store food, en-suite bathrooms with flushing loo, a shower, a sink and a log burning stove to keep warm.. The Cwtch, Holly, Ash and Meadow have a firepit while The Ivy has a BBQ on the deck instead. 

Cwtch Tent at By the Wye Riverside Treetop Glamping

The Cwtch

We stayed in the Cwtch which is the smallest safari tent on site and is ideal for couples.

The Cwtch is located a few minutes away from the car park and is accessed via a private path. 

The entrance to the Cwtch safari tent

A wheelbarrow is provided to transport your luggage. As we made our way to the tent, the melodious sound of the river and the chirping of birds set the stage for the enchantment that lay ahead.

Cwtch Tent at By the Wye Treetop Glamping

Cwtch Tent at By the Wye Treetop Glamping

The tent itself was a beautiful blend of rustic charm and modern comforts. Essential amenities included in the tent were a king-sized bed, a gas cooker, kitchen sink, a cool box, and running hot water. 

Cwtch safari tent at By the Wye

Cwtch safari tent at By the Wye

The bed is the centerpiece in any room and the king sized bed in The Cwtch was certainly an eye-catcher. Rustic yet very comfortable, it was not just a piece of furniture but a celebration of excellent craftsmanship and By the Wye's connection with nature (the bed is made by Steve with wood from the site). Amazing, isn't it?

Inside the Cwtch Tent at By the Wye

Inside the Cwtch Tent at By the Wye

Inside the Cwtch Tent at By the Wye

Infact, from our chats with Dawn we learnt that the entire site setup, right from putting the stilts in place to building the framework and from setting up the tents to building most of the furniture inside the tents, everything has been done by Steve, Dawn, Don and a friend of theirs. Hats off to their passion, hardwork and creativity.

The kitchenette had all the tools and utensils to cook up a feast. A welcome hamper was also provided that included a selection of tasty local goodies.

Welcome Food Hamper at By the Wye

There is also the option to order different food hampers (in advance) including a full Welsh or continental breakfast, ingredients for a meaty or vegetarian dinner, various cakes and bakes as well as a picnic for days out, birthday cake or a celebration hamper with bubbles. We ordered the Vegetarian Breakfast hamper which was great!

Full Welsh Veggie Breakfast Hamper at By the Wye

The tent had an en-suite bathroom with a power shower and fluffy towels and luxury, eco-friendly bathroom toiletries were provided.

Private en-suite bathroom at By the Wye Treetop Glamping

Luxury linen & blankets were also provided. A pair of cosy socks were also provided for both of us - a thoughtful touch.

At the heart of the tent is its log burning stove. Plenty of logs are provided to get a fire roaring away. There are also a number of cosy welsh woollen blankets and hot water bottles provided. So, even if you are visiting in the colder months, you can be assured that you will stay warm.

Log burning stove in the tent
Log burning stove in the tent

All tents have their own solar power source and that provides minimal LED lighting inside as well as a means to charge your phone.

The Cwtch also has a private deck that overlooks River Wye and provides the best spot to unwind and take in the beautiful scenery. Seating options are provided on the deck and this is where we enjoyed our breakfast and evening drinks on all days during our stay. 

Covered deck area with seating

Relaxing with a drink

Cooking on a fire pit

View from the deck at the Cwtch

What a beautiful setting it was - comfy seating, feeling the cool breeze, listening to the melody of the flowing river and the lovely bridsongs! It was like time slowed down for us to relax.

And finally, another highlight of The Cwtch - a cedar barrel wood-fired sauna installed on the lower decking along with an outdoor shower. Sitting above the woodland floor, the sauna offers lovely views of the river Wye by way of the floor-to-ceiling glass at one end. It was wonderful basking in the warmth of the private sauna while watching the birds flitting about in the branches. A special little luxury.

Wood-fired sauna at the Cwtch

Wood-fired sauna at the Cwtch

Wood-fired sauna at the Cwtch

Cedar barrel wood-fired sauna

Overall, the tent was spacious and was done up beautifully exuding the ambience of a safari. Not only was it beautiful but also well-kitted out & comfortable and provided a restful sanctuary after a day of exploration. We loved it.

We spent some time on the site enjoying the quiet & peace it offered but we also managed to visit a number of places nearby.

What to see and do while staying at By the Wye

There is lots to do and see on site (at By the Wye) and in the surrounding areas. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Birdwatching at By the Wye

Birds are fascinating creatures with unique behaviours and songs and birdwatching provides an opportunity to witness these natural wonders up close. The By the Wye glamping site is ideal for birdwatching and we saw so many different species of birds while staying at the Cwtch.

It was so relaxing and enjoyable observing the birds, listening to their songs while being surrounded by natural settings. We spotted blackbirds, pigeons, robins, blue tits, sparrows, a kingfisher and even caught a glimpse of a tawny owl. But what we loved the most was watching a family of long-tailed tits. They have a complex social system and we saw a group of 3 adults and 11 fledglings moving from tree to tree. The adults were taking turns in foraging and bringing food to the fledglings.

Long-tailed tit

Long-Tailed Tit Fledglings

We later learnt from Dawn that long-tailed tits build nests made out of moss, cobwebs and lichen etc. She even showed us one. It was beautifully made and so intricate!

Experiences at By the Wye

Wilding Activities

Dan is By the Wye's resident Woodland Ranger. He is passionate for the local wildlife and is happy to share his woodland skills and knowledge with guests. You can join him on one of the many family activities on site like the Woodland Discovery Walk, the Ultimate Woodland Survival Experience or the Scavenger Hunt and Mindful Nature Walk.

Relaxing Treatments

Did you know that you can add pampering treatments to your stay at By the Wye? There are a number of pampering treatments like Reiki sessions, relaxing massages, Reflexology treatments, Aromatherapy massages and more. You can check out all the treatments available at By the Wye here.

Walking Trails

For those who enjoy walking, you can take a stroll along the riverbank or travel a distance on the Offa's Dyke Trail, which passes by the glamping site. There are a number of other trails close by too like the Wye Valley Walk.

River Wye Activities

River Wye flows next to the By the Wye glamping site and offers opportunities for various activities. You can go canoeing, kayaking, or fishing along the river, or simply enjoy a leisurely riverside walk.


Canoeing on River Wye


Visit Hay on Wye, the 'Town of Books'

Hay-on-Wye is a charming town known for its bookshops and literary festivals. It is often referred to as the 'Town of Books' due to its numerous independent bookshops. 


We loved exploring the town; we took our time to browse through the shelves of iconic stores like Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay Cinema Bookshop, and Addyman Books. You can find a wide range of new, used, and antiquarian books.

Bookshops in Hay-on-Wye

While in the town, also visit Hay Castle, a medieval fortress that has been transformed into an arts and community center. You can explore the ruins, enjoy the beautiful gardens and discover exhibitions and events held within the castle walls.

Hay Castle

If you visit during late May or early June, don't miss the Hay Festival, one of the world's leading literary festivals. The festival brings together renowned authors, speakers, and artists for a week of stimulating talks, discussions, and performances.

Drive through the Gospel Pass

Gospel Pass Drive is a scenic route located in the eastern part of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park (Brecon Beacons National Park) connecting Hay-on-Wye and Llanthony in the Black Mountains.

The drive takes you through breath-taking landscapes characterized by rolling hills, green valleys and sweeping moorland. As you ascend the pass, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the iconic Black Mountains and the Herefordshire countryside.

Gospel Pass

The drive gets its name from Gospel Pass, which is the highest road pass in Wales. At an elevation of 549 meters (1,801 feet), it offers stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The pass itself is a narrow road that winds its way through the mountains, providing an exciting and picturesque journey. We absolutely loved this drive.

If you enjoy outdoor activities, you can park your car and explore the surrounding hills on foot. The area is also home to wild ponies, sheep, and other wildlife that roam freely in the open landscapes.

We stopped at a number of points along the route to take in the beautiful surroundings. We highly recommend this scenic drive.  Whether you're a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful drive, this route offers a delightful experience.

Scenic views in Wales

Scenic road in Wales

Hiking in the Brecon Beacons National Park

By the Wye is located close to the Brecon Beacons National Park, a stunning area of natural beauty. If you enjoy outdoor activities, then you should take advantage of the proximity and go hiking, cycling, or horseback riding through the park's rolling hills, waterfalls, and mountains.

Pen y Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park and one of the most popular hiking destinations in Wales.

Brecon Beacons - Climbing Corn Du and Pen Y Fan

There are several routes to reach the summit of Pen y Fan, each with varying levels of difficulty. The most popular route is the 'Pen y Fan Horseshoe' or 'Four Peaks' route, which involves ascending Pen y Fan from the Pont ar Daf car park (around 35 minutes' drive from By the Wye) and continuing to neighbouring peaks like Corn Du and Cribyn. You can opt for a hiking route that best suits your abilities. Whichever route you choose, it will provide a rewarding outdoor experience and the opportunity to enjoy the breath-taking landscapes of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Visit Llangorse Lake, the largest natural lake in South Wales

Llangorse Lake, located in the Brecon Beacons National Park, is the largest natural lake in South Wales. It offers visitors a beautiful setting for various recreational activities and the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature.

Llangorse Lake

The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and offers picturesque views of the surrounding countryside, including the nearby Black Mountains. The lake is also a popular spot for watersports enthusiasts. You can enjoy activities such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and windsurfing on the lake. The calm waters and scenic surroundings create a perfect setting for leisurely paddling or adventurous water-based activities.

We saw a lot of anglers too at the lake.

Llangorse Lake is a haven for wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. There is a selection of walking paths and nature trails as well for those who enjoy walking.

We also enjoyed our visit to the Welsh Crannog Centre that is housed in a traditionally built roundhouse along the shores of the lake. The centre provides an insight into the history, myths and legends of the Welsh Crannog.

Welsh Crannog Centre

Discover the history of Bronllys Castle

If you love castles, then you can explore the nearby Bronllys Castle.

Bronllys Castle serves as a reminder of Wales' medieval history and provides a glimpse into the architectural and strategic significance of castles during that time. Though now in ruins, it still holds historical significance and attracts visitors interested in Wales' rich heritage. 

Bronllys Castle

The castle was built in the 12th century by Philip de Braose. It was strategically positioned on the border between England and Wales and played a role in the turbulent conflicts between the Welsh and the English during that time.

The castle was constructed with a stone keep, curtain walls and a central courtyard. The layout followed the typical motte-and-bailey design, with a large mound (motte) topped by a wooden tower and an enclosed area (bailey) surrounding it. Over time, the wooden structures were replaced with stone buildings.

Bronllys Castle changed hands multiple times during its history and eventually fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Over the centuries, the castle gradually deteriorated, with much of its stone being reused in other local buildings. Today, only ruins remain, including parts of the curtain walls and the motte.

The castle is open to the public, and visitors can explore the ruins and imagine its former grandeur. The site offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and is often visited by history enthusiasts, photographers and those interested in Welsh castles.

This is just a small selection of things you can see and do while staying at By the Wye. There is much more to explore further afield and the team at By the Wye will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Book your stay at By the Wye

We loved our glamping experience at By the Wye. It was a unique holiday, one that we will remember forever. The accommodation was beautiful, super cosy and very well equipped with everything we needed for our glamping getaway. We also enjoyed the quiet and the privacy. We left the glamping site a little bit more relaxed than we arrived. Overall, it was a wonderful chance to get back to nature and spend quality time together... what could be better than that? Sounds like something that you would enjoy too? Then, it's time for you to book your stay at By the Wye.

Cwtch safari tent - By the Wye

Prices at By the Wye during low season are from £370 for a two-night midweek stay and £605 for three nights over a weekend for up to five people sharing a safari tent. During high season (weeks with school and bank holidays and during the Hay Festival 25 May – 4 June) the price is £835 for a three-night weekend stay and £980 for four nights midweek (there is no two night offer during peak times) stay.  You can book online at www.bythewye.uk or call 01497 828166.

By the Wye | The Start, Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR3 5RS
Email | [email protected]
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At By the Wye Riverside Glamping

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