Six miles from Old Radnor, Presteigne is famous for its two arts and music festivals, the Presteigne Festival of Arts and Music which takes classical music to unusual local venues, and the rock-and-pop festival Sheep Music, which takes over a local field in late July. The VSCC holds its Welsh Rally of Pre-war vintage cars in the surrounding hills over a weekend in October. Presteigne is quiet and sleepy with an excellent fishmonger, greengrocer, butcher, deli and bread on a Saturday by artisan baker, Alex Gooch. There are card and book shops, library, a leisure centre with swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, a Lloyds Bank and a wide range of pubs. A trip to the award winning museum The Judge’s Lodgings is recommended. The river Lugg, just below the medieval church of St Andrew, marks the border with England and for this reason Presteigne is one of the many local towns with both a Welsh and an English name; Presteigne’s Welsh name is Llanandras.
Kington is an attractive town five miles from Old Radnor, with a large Norman church, many Georgian buildings, and many quirky lanes and alleyways to explore. It has a medium-sized Co-op supermarket and a NISA supermarket, as well as an Indian and a Chinese takeaway and two fish-and-chip shops. There are also several pubs serving food, especially The Swan and The Royal Oak. The market takes place on Tuesdays, when there is a bus service from Old Radnor into Kington. Barclays Bank has a branch in Kington.
Knighton is a quirky town about twelve miles from Old Radnor, with a large Tuffins supermarket, lots of independent shops, an Indian restaurant and the Cottage’s nearest hospital! It also has the nearest railway station to Old Radnor, with daily trains to Crewe and Shrewsbury and along the Heart of Wales line to Swansea.
Hay-on-Wye famous for its many bookshops, is a pretty and thriving town on the River Wye. It is a wonderful place to browse for hours. Hay is best known for the Hay Festival at the end of May. The Hay Festival is, in Bill Clinton’s phrase, ‘the Woodstock of the mind’. HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest philosophy and music festival takes place at the same time.
Further afield, Ludlow and Hereford are roughly twenty-five miles from Old Radnor. The beautiful town of Ludlow is famous for its food shops, restaurants and foodie pubs and also has some great independent shops selling everything from mugs to clothes. The town’s market has food, clothing, plants, picture frames and pet supplies. The outstanding local produce market takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursday every month.
Hereford has an imposing Norman cathedral and big supermarkets, as well as an interesting old town and the new shops on the Edgar Street Grid.