Britain’s Book Paradise at Hay-on-Wye

Wales isn’t only home to Llanfairpwll, the town with the longest name, but also the smallest city! Famous across the world for being a readers paradise and it’s festival of literature and arts, any visitor to Wales must add Hay-on-Wye to their stack.

Where is the 'town of books' in Wales?

Hay-on-Wye is a charming small market town on the Welsh English border, known as the 'Town of Books', is one of the gems of Britain. Head down to Powys to discover it's quirky delights and it's beautiful countryside surroundings.

Bookshops are literally everywhere in this town! In castles, antique stores, even to shelves on the streets, there’s over twenty to choose from. The town hosts a great selection of independent stores and food & drink venues, from clothes and crafts to beer gardens and high-end restaurants. Apart from its reputation for the written word, the town makes a perfect base for any outdoor adventures located along the river Wye.

Fascinating Facts about Hay-on-Wye

Before you head off to this little charming town, here are a few interesting facts that may impress the locals:

  • Hay-on-Wye is twinned with famous city Timbuktu!
  • Despite it’s size, the town has actually been visited by famous former president of the USA, Bill Clinton, who described it as the ‘Woodstock of the mind’.
  • The late Richard Booth, famous bookseller of the town, declared Hay-on-Wye an independent kingdom in 1977, where he was crowned as king and ruler! His horse was somehow named as Prime Minister.
  • The town itself is home to 38 bookshops, and with a population of only 1500, that means there is roughly one bookshop per 40 residents!

Hire a canoe from Want to Canoe? to embark on a river adventure where you’ll explore the picturesque of South Wales, or, if you prefer going on foot, The Wye Valley walk passes right through the town, where hikers can head south to Hay Bluff for some cracking views over Brecon Beacons. Further southeast you can explore the Golden Valley with it’s wild countryside and rural settlements in the shadow of the Black mountains. Hay-on-Wye would make a fantastic day trip or a holiday away from the big city plenty of activities come rain or shine!

  • Accommodation on the whole in Hay-on-Wye is highly-rated, with options available to see at:
  • Want to Canoe? Hiring service can be found at:
  • A list of their bookshops, restaurants and other venues can be found at:
  • Detailed directions to the town can be found at:

Things to do in Powys