The small town of Hay-on-Wye (or, simply Hay) is known for it's annual (book) Hay Festival in late May that regularly attracts top authors but the city itself is worth a visit for it's numerous independent book stores and cafes, it's small town market and the beautiful scenery.

The Hay

Located on, of course, the Wye river it is also right on the England/Wales border as well on the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The small castle on the hill in the town is a ruin but offers some good views of the surrounding countryside.


The small central car park at the base of the castle is home to the Thursday market but the “Cheese Market” building often has small booths selling crafts.

Cheese Market Building

To be sure, it can be quite busy with tourists so best to try to avoid weekends or bank holidays when visiting.

Book Stores

Some of my favourite book stores in Hay:

  • Addyman Books (39 Lion St, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5AA) is one of my favourite with it's numerous small rooms piled high with books…often on the floor. A great source of unusual, used books.

Addyman Books

  • The Addyman Annexe (27 Castle St, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5DF) is much smaller than the main store but often has some interesting finds.

The Addyman Annexe

  • Hay Cinema Bookshop (Castle St, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5DF) is easily the biggest book store in town with discounted new books as well as a huge assortment of used. Worth a short walk from the town centre to visit.

Hay Cinema Bookshop Inside

  • Richard Booth's Bookshop (44 Lion St, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5AA) is key bookstore in Hay having a fantastic and difficult-to-miss facade with three large wooden-floors and an amazing (though expensive) café towards the back (see my review here). Used books are in the basement.

Richard Booth's Bookshop Inside Richard Booth's

Getting Around

The town is easy enough to get around on foot. The biggest car park is the “Oxford Road Car Park” in the south of the town having great views of the Brecon Beacons which is a “pay and display” (you need to enter your car's number plate and when I last visited the machine was accepting plastic and cash). Conveniently, this is also where the small town visitor centre (and pay toilets) are also located.

Oxford Road Car Park

I would never, unless absolutely necessary, consider driving through the narrow, steep streets of the town…Most of the roads are one way.

Further Information

For additional information please see: