The famous town of Hay on Wye Herefordshire
This lovely little town on the banks of the River Wye just inside the Welsh border, has developed a reputation beyond its size. Since the 1960’s it's become the world's second hand book capital, and now hosts the UK’s largest and most prestigious literary festival in late May. The small-town centre is made up of narrow sloping lanes, a variety of interesting shops, and many books that will attract people from all walks of life.
A region of dramatic scenic beauty, where the rich and wild River Wye meets ancient farmlands as it flows through the valley, shaping the borders between England and Wales. And rising from the Wye, the historic market town of Hay sits picture perfect on the hillside. In the 1960’s Hay on Wye developed into the world’s first book town, Hay is also home to the Hay festival of literature and the arts, a glorious celebration of world cultures and ideas.
Summoning the focal point of the town, stands Hay castle nearly 900 years old but one of the best saved of this period. The highest point of the castle can still be seen. Hay castle was attacked on numerous occasions by both the English and the Welsh, yet Hay castle survives. The castle’s Iron portcullis is a distant memory; however, the medieval wooden doors remain, believed to be some of the oldest in Britain.
A fire destroyed the west wing in the 1930’s, but remarkably part of the Jacobean manor house is still in use today, Hay castle continues to reinvent itself through the ages. Hay castle trust is committed to the restoration and conservation of this ancient monument, opening the site to community use and tourism for the first time in its history. The castle is the very heart of Hay, and Hay castle trust aims to give it life for another thousand years.
Hay on wye, one of the true treasures of the Welsh borderlands
Annual Hay Festival: In the early summer the town bustles with excitement as writers, artists and entertainers provide endless entertainment during the ten days of the annual Hay Festival of Literature. Founded by Norman Florence and his son Peter, an eminent actor in 1988, excellent accommodation available and restaurants with superb local food, all provided with the pride and excellence for which the Welsh are well known, makes Hay the place to spend a holiday.