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 returns to a gorgeous spot by the River Wye from 22nd-25th May for its 11th annual instalment, featuring over 100 debates and talks and 200 music and performance events plus comedy, cabaret, documentary screenings, a dedicated children's programme, and more.

The world's largest philosophy and music festival, HowTheLightGetsIn, returns to Hay-on-Wye next May after a spectacular debut in London this September. On the edge of the Black Mountains, alongside the River Wye, you'll find the world's leading thinkers debating cutting edge ideas as well as an inspiring programme of music, comedy, culture and performance. HowTheLightGetsIn will be back with all of the big ideas, the show-stopping performances and late night parties you’ve come to expect, but this time you’ll have even more energy to dance into the night with everything just a stroll away.

Previous speakers have included Steven Pinker, Deborah Levy, Diane Abbott, Noam Chomsky and many more - announcements are coming soon. Part of the music programme has already been released, with prolific composer Nitin Sawhney, two DJ'ing members of Scottish indie group Belle and Sebastian, electroswing rascals The Correspondents, and iconic cellist/singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

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.