One of the bookstores in Hay-on-Wye
Photo by: whiskymac , Creative Commons

Explore an intriguing Welsh village called Hay-on-Wye. Hay-on-Wye is perched on the east bank of the River Wye and is situated north of the equally intriguing Black Mountains. A small village, home to less than two thousand people, Hay-on-Wye is home to more than thirty bookshops. Some accounts number those bookshops close to forty. This is quite a feat for such a small place with very few people. Bibliophiles, tourists and locals alike, are giddy at the thought of getting their hands on the many specialist and pre-owned literary goodies found in the village. The village is surprisingly the first book town in the whole world.

The Annual Festival of Literature

Because Hay-on-Wye is recognized as a book town, it is only fitting that a literary festival should be hosted in the village annually. At this time, the village is saturated by visitors numbering about 80,000, several times the number of the local population. Even writers from all over the world are attracted by the festival. It is no wonder: the village is home to over a million books.

Remnants of Antiquity

Aside from the numerous books and the fact that there are only 36 people for every bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, the village is also a dream-like place from medieval times. There are buildings that still showcase medieval architecture. You may even want to visit the Normal Castle nestled in the village. You could take one of the specialized, antique books from a shop with you on your visit to the castle.

Restaurants and Accommodations

You need not worry that the village is all reading and history. In Hay-On-Wye, you may also take a bite of modern delicacies and stay in comfortable accommodations. The cool restaurant to be, called Three Tuns, go back to the sixteenth century, however. The place boasts of delicious home-style cooking, heated beer and fine wines. The accommodations combine the old and the modern. Bed and breakfasts, such as The Old Castle Inn, are great examples. The service is very homey and traditional. The rooms, however, are complete with flat-screen television and other modern facilities.

Weather in Hay-on-Wye

If you want to go to Hay-on-Wye for the literary festival, the antiquated buildings and the unique accommodations then better prepare for the unpredictable weather. The whole of Wales is known for mostly wet weather. Even the mild months can experience some rain, at the most unexpected times. If you are up for an adventure, however, the weather should not detract you from your enjoyment.

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