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Charming inn in “the town of books” sold to first time hoteliers

16 08 21 Charming inn in the town of books sold to first time hoteliers hero

Stylish, traditional Hay-on-Wye inn the Old Black Lion has been bought by first time hoteliers in a deal secured by Colliers.

The Grade-II listed ten-bedroom inn, with well-regarded restaurant, has been sold to Gill and James Walton following the current owner’s retirement.

The charming inn is thought to have its origins in the 13th century, although the current building is mainly 17th century and took its name from the ‘Lion Gate’; the original walled entry to Hay-on-Wye which is infamous for its book stores and literary festival. As well as ten-bedrooms, which have been upgraded since it was last purchased in 2005, The Old Black Lion boasts a 40-cover restaurant and bar, sporting wooden beams and a stone fireplace.

Peter Brunt, director in the hotel agency team at Colliers said: “The Old Black Lion has been lovingly cared for by its previous owner and has a strong reputation among locals as well as visitors. It has plenty of charm and I’m excited for Gill and James to start their hospitality business journey here.”

The couple have relocated from the south east of England to embark on their new adventure as hoteliers many years earlier than planned, with the COVID pandemic having a large bearing on their change of direction in both work and life.

Gillian said: “We have dreamed of owning and running a gastro pub in the beautiful Welsh countryside for quite a while now but didn’t think this would happen for a number of years. When the opportunity to purchase the Old Black Lion came up we couldn't resist its character and charm. I am originally from South Wales and we both thought we would end up back here nearer retirement. We love the area, especially Hay-on-Wye and are so glad we have the opportunity to work and raise our family in such a beautiful place.”

The inn is located close to Hay Castle which is currently undergoing restoration works to become an events venue, it is also close to the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains, making the hotel an ideal place to stay for those looking for an adventure outdoors, alongside a traditional hospitality experience.

James added: “The building alone is historic, cosy and inviting, but the staff that work here make it a wonderful, welcoming place to come and eat, drink or stay. It has a unique place in the community and we will continue to ensure it delivers food, refreshments and rooms of the highest quality, with a welcome and service to match!”

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Peter Brunt

Director of Hotels Agency

Hotels Agency


Peter is a chartered surveyor who first started dealing with the hotel and pub market in 1988.  He joined Robert Barry & Co in 1995 and after many years as a valuation professional has now been selling hotels and pubs for over 20 years. He is the director in charge of our operations in the west midlands and south west. This covers the south and south west of England including the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, Hereford, Worcestershire, Shropshire, as well as the West Midlands, Staffordshire, south and mid Wales as well as more major instructions in the south west region generally. 

If you used to deal with former colleagues, Jon Wren, Alastair Murchie, James Richards, Chris Kent, Simon Wells or Mervyn Cully please feel free to contact Peter.

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Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


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