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.