Hay on Wye is home to a plethora of second hand bookshops, vintage emporiums, cafe’s, bars and much more. It’s easy to lose yourself for a few hours whatever your age and taste in literature!
As well as Hay’s famous bookshops, you’ll find an array of vintage, fashion, home and map shops plus an abundance of cafe’s, restaurants, pubs and even a music venue.
Whether you just want to soak up the atmosphere, or are visiting for the internationally renowned festival, our apartments make the perfect bases for enjoying all Hay has to offer
All about the books
Hay on Wye has more little boutique book shops than you would have thought possible.
It all started when Richard Booth opened the town’s first second hand bookshop in the old fire station in 1961. He had heard that lots of libraries in the USA were closing down, and stocked up on a huge supply of books. Shortly afterward, others in the town followed his lead, opening their own bookshops, many specialising in their specific niche.
Now, with around 20 book shops int he town, you’ll find stores dedicated to crime, children, rare books and many more.
The Hay Festival
The ‘Woodstock for the mind’ (as Bill Clinton famously called it) takes place for two weeks each year, during which the town of 1500 swells to around half a million people.
It includes book events, speeches, signings, and live performances – over 600 events in total – as well as plenty of food stalls and other distractions. A children’s book festival ‘Hay Fever’ also runs simultaneously.
The festival takes place at the end of May and beginning of June and is free to enter (although many of the events will require you to buy tickets).
For more details visit https://www.hayfestival.com
Dates for your diary
There’s often an event or a market in the town square so do check out the Hay Calendar of events before your stay to see if there’s anything that takes your fancy.
Events range from Walking and Cycle festivals to Food Markets and History Weekends.