Hay on Wye - a bibliophile's paradise
The small town of Hay-on-Wye lies on the east bank of the River Wye just inside the Brecon Beacons National Park.
“Hay-on-Wye is a charming market town, and a must visit destination on any Wales itinerary”
Hay on Wye is famous for one thing – books. It's a bibliophile's paradise. There are millions of them, and they are everywhere. The castle's a book shop, the cinema's a book shop, the fire station's a book shop even the alleyways are book shops. And, if you’re lucky enough to visit in May you'll catch the annual Hay Festival of Literature.
Mix with the glitterati at the annual Hay Festival. An event with a laid-back party atmosphere and a global reputation. Former US president Bill Clinton once called it the ‘’Woodstock of the mind”. You’ll also get comedy, music and current affairs crammed into its cosmopolitan programme.
Hay-on-Wye has almost 40 bookshops over spilling with thousands of titles - so you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for. But it’s not just about books. The town has a number of galleries, antique shops, and craft shops to tempt your wallet. Just a mile away in Clyro you’ll find some small unique commercial art galleries.
Hay-on-Wye has plenty to keep you busy. Explore the atmospheric ruins of nearby Llanthony Priory an early 13th Century Augustinian church. The site is open all year and entrance is free. The towns’ location just inside the Brecon Beacons National Park offers visitors stunning scenery and a wealth of outdoor activities including he Monmouthshire and Brecon canal making Hay-on-Wye the ideal base for exploring.
Try a sheep’s milk ice cream at Shepherds, there are 16 delicious flavours to choose from.
Enjoy the spectacular sunset over the Brecon Beacons from nearby Hay Bluff.
Visit the Hay Castle Bookshop, and remember to use the honesty box to pay before you leave.
Enjoy fine wines, cask ales and home cooked local food at the Three Tuns.
Sample one of the famous Xtreme Organix burgers. All the meat comes from the farm just down the road.
Stock up on fresh local produce at the weekly traditional Farmers Market (Thursday). Look out for seasonal vegetables, Welsh cheeses, local fish and game, locally baked organic bread and homemade preserves and chutneys. Visit the Three Tuns the oldest pub in Hay-on-Wye. The Michelin Guide 2010 calls it ‘One of the best dining pubs in Britain’.
Nightlife in Hay-on-Wye is generally relaxed and low key. It centres around the pubs in the town, which provides a great excuse to sit back, relax and sample some of the local ales. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know the locals.
To make your trip to Hay on Wye easier, you can buy tickets to attractions, travel passes, and much more at our online shop, and avoid the queues. For more great offers, go to VisitBritain Shop .