Hay-on-Wye, with a man-made mountain of books

Known as ‘the town of Books’ Hay-on-Wye is famous for its specialist and second-hand book shops. A visit to Herefordshire wouldn’t be complete without nipping across the border to sample all the delights that Hay-on-Wye has to offer.

With more than 30 antique and second-hand bookshops Hay is a treasure-trove for bookworms. Whether you’ve a thirst for facts or fancy a bit of fiction, Hay will have it.

And what better setting to enjoy reading? You will be delighted by your green surroundings - the rolling hills of Radnor, the uninterrupted Brecon Beacons National Park and Black Mountains, the amazing 8th century earthworks of Offa’s Dyke.

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Hay Festival

Hay Festival

The Hay Festival of Literature and Arts – or simply ‘Hay Festival’ as it has become known – is one of the most highly regarded events in the international literary calendar. The festival takes place across 10 days in late May and early June.

It’s a delightful carnival gathering that presents some 500 events from writers, poets, musicians, politicians, philosophers, comedians, television and radio presenters – in fact anyone who is anyone in literary art.

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival

The world’s largest philosophy and music festival, HowTheLightGetsIn, is going digital this September with a new festival experience: HowTheLightGetsIn Global. The festival, taking place on the weekend of 19th-20th September, will be a fully interactive online experience set on a virtual festival field, with 8 venues containing hosting livestreamed debates and talks, as well as music and stand-up comedy, throughout the weekend.

The festival will offer three event programmes tailored to the time zones of the UK, Delhi, and New York – aiming to create the world’s first international forum for debate without borders!

Each of the three programmes will be fine-tuned to the political tensions, philosophical dilemmas, and scientific debates preoccupying each region of the world. The aim is to bring the world’s leading thinkers debating the biggest ideas to a bigger audience than ever before.

The speaker line-up is nothing short of spectacular this year, with the world’s leading thinkers accessible right from the comfort of your computer screen! Speakers will include Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who’ll battle it out with opponents over the right way for public policy after coronavirus; Bianca Jagger, champion of human rights and fierce denier of moral relativism; Vandana Shiva, one of the world’s most prominent environmental activists; Daniel Dennett, cognitive scientist and one of the famed “Four Horsemen” of atheism along with counterparts Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens; and Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist and quantum gravity expert. The huge list of great minds includes Nancy Fraser, Abhijit Banerjee, Samantha Power, P.J. O’Rourke, Grace Blakeley, Rory Stewart, Polly Toynbee, Rupert Sheldrake, Joanna Kavenna – and many more! Find out more HERE

Canoe and camp

Hay is also a great place to begin a long-range canoe trip down the Wye through Herefordshire. With several river bank campsites to stop off at canoe camping is truly wonderful way to see the Wye Valley at its very best.
Accommodation in Hay on Wye
Find a mix of luxurious self catering and B&B accommodation in Hay-on-Wye.
Food and Drink in Hay on Wye
Discover the taste of Hay on Wye by visiting the local food and drink outlets around the town and surrounding areas.
Contour Outdoor
There's plenty of things to see and do in Hay on Wye, from walking and climbing the Wye Valley to canoeing down the River Wye.
What's on in Herefordshire
There's always something happening around Hay-on-Wye with countless festivals and shows taking place, you're never short of activities for the family.