Known as the ‘town of books’ Hay-on-Wye is a small, historic market town on the Welsh/English Herefordshire border. It sits on the north eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and is famed for its abundance of bookshops stocking new, second-hand and antiquarian books.
The Hay Festival is an internationally acclaimed art and literature festival featuring a dynamic programme of debates, performances, book signings and book launches. The festival has been described by former US president Bill Clinton as ‘the Woodstock of the mind’ and has spawned a number of Hay Festivals across the world. Many themed events take place in Hay throughout the year including a food festival, winter literary festivals and fairs.
A real outdoor playground, Hay sits at the foothills of the Black Mountains, which are a popular destination for walking in Wales and it is also adjacent to the gentle River Wye offering ample opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. A traditional weekly market takes place every Thursday around the Butter Market and town clock, packed with market stalls selling everything from antiques and bric-a-brac to local cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, home-made cakes, breads and preserves.
The town is also home to the Summerhill Golf Course, a parkland course owned by American entrepreneur Elizabeth Haycox who moved to Hay for the books and who has renovated the iconic Booths Books and opened the Booth’s Bookshop Cinema. Hay-on-Wye has two Norman castles, and accommodation includes B&Bs, pubs and inns, hotels and holiday cottages. It hosts a number of events throughout the year. Compare prices and book Hay-on-Wye accommodation online now.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.