Perfectly secluded on the lovely Welsh border lives the dream destination for any book-lover. An entire town devoted to all-things literature-related, Hay-on-Wye is the ultimate bucket list destination for bibliophiles.
A Book Shop on Every Corner
From all-new to second hand, antique volumes to comic book wonders, Hay-on-Wye celebrates them all. If you are after a certain niche, there are tons of themed book shops covering every single topic imaginable (murder mystery boffins will be in heaven). Each shop has its own charms and distinguishing features with a ton of quaint alcoves to curl up in. There are a ton of pop-up sales to explore too for those who love a bargain.
Explore the Castle
Situated right slap-bang in the middle of the town lies and unexpected sight. Hay-on-Wye has its very own castle to explore with lovely grounds to roam around in during the summer. Even this historical site is not lacking in bookish-loveliness. Just behind the stone walls sits an honesty book shop year-round. Here you can find tomes of every shape, size and topic for pennies, simply leave your money in the box for anything you take away.
Watch the World Go By
Hay-on-Wye is also home to a massive range of cafés and eateries of all sorts. If it’s home-made grub you’re after, you won’t be disappointed with a ton of comfy spots to sit and watch the world go by, tea in hand.
The Biggest Book Festival
Each year Hay–on-Wye hosts a massive festival covering everything book-related and more. The Hay Festival draws the biggest names with authors, television personalities, philosophers and more giving speeches and attending book-signings in the mass of connecting tents that make up the festival show ground. Having attended the event for the last few years (and screamed in Ed Balls’ face on one occasion) I can testify that it is the event of the year. The festival even has its very own giant book tent to purchase all of your bookish needs. I definitely nerded out and bought far too much the last few times.
And the Rest…
Although the book town is famous for its paper-back goals, there are also a huge amount of quirky independent shops to explore from the little to the large with a wide variety of trinkets and speciality goods to purchase. Window shopping couldn’t get better in this tiny Welsh town.
From murder mystery specialists to shops boasting endless rows of books, you can find a bookshop map as you enter the town but here is a list of my favourite bookish shops to explore within the town.
- Hay-on-Wye Booksellers
- Murder & Mayhem
- Hay Cinema Bookshop
- The Addyman Annexe
- The Festival Bookshop (during the Hay Fest)
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