If you are a bibliophile and you are looking for a“Disneyland” filled with books, Hay-on-Wye is definitely the place you need to visit. Located just at the border of England and Wales, the town lies on the south-east bank of the River Wye, and is credited as the National Book Town in Wales.
Probably the best time to visit is in May, when the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts kicks in. Lasting for 10 days from the latter part of May to the first of June, this festival is a time of celebration for bibliophiles, and has been described as “the Woodstock of the mind” by Bill Clinton. Currently, the festival is sponsored by The Daily Telegraph and its associate media groups. The festival includes other activities, such as music shows and film previews as well, and writers from all over the world are invited to witness and speak at the occasion.
Even if you visit during other times of the year, there is much to make your trip truly worthwhile. Hay-on-Wye is a hub for books with over 30 major bookstores, and numerous other bookstores as well. Most of the bookshops sell second-hand books (in fact, the largest second-hand bookstore is located here!), and some shops also sell general antiquities.
You can enjoy long, inspirational walks at Leaping Stiles or take anastounding break in Mid Wales or the Brecon Beacons National Park. If you’re about to get married, do it in the classic style at a country hotel in Mid-Wales!
If you are looking for a place to stay during your visit, The Swan at Hay is a delightful family-operated hotel, with relaxed surroundings and a peaceful atmosphere. It is open throughout the year, and you can enjoy a short break here and at affordable rates. Other affordable inns are the Baskerville Arms Hotel, The Famous Old Black Lion and the Riverside Festival Luxury Yurts. The last is in the center of Hay, and is well-positioned for both How theLightGets in Festival and the Hay Festival.
While you are at it, don’t forget to visit the Hay Castle, a remarkable historical landmark in the heart of Hay-on-Wye. If you need anuplifting breathe rafter a difficult trudge through the scenic beauty, visit The Three Tuns Pub, acclaimed by The Independent as “streets ahead of most gastropubs.”
Hay-on-Wye is the perfect place to spend a calm and soothing holiday. If you are a writer, this is your heaven. If you are not, there’s much else you can enjoy in Hay as well.