Hay On Wye - is a little market town on the River Wye, in Brecknockshire, Wales, and very close to the border with England, it is within the Brecon Beacons National Park and surrounded by spectacular countryside. Reputed to be the jewel in the crown of Wales and known as the Town of Books.it is twinned with Redu, a village in the Belgian municipality of Libin.
Hay on Wye the 'Town of Books' in the county of Herefordshire
Hay-on-Wye is a mecca for bibliophiles, boasting "thirty major bookshops", most selling second-hand books.
The bookshops for which the town is famous are a relatively recent innovation. The name most closely associated with the book trade in Hay-on-Wye is that of Richard George William Pitt Booth, who, on April 1, 1977, sought publicity by declaring Hay an "independent kingdom" with himself as its king. The tongue-in-cheek micronation of Hay-on-Wye and its "king" (who wields an old toilet-plunger in place of a sceptre) is today known chiefly for selling novelty low-cost "peerages" to bemused tourists.
The Hay festival was started in 1988 by Peter Florence, then a young actor. His mother's family came from the Black Mountains in Wales, and Hay, with its antiquarian and second-hand bookshops, seemed the ideal place for an offbeat literary festival. He funded the first festival with the winnings of a poker game. The Festival, which claims to draw some 80,000 visitors is held over ten days at the beginning of June and is now sponsored by The Guardian newspaper.
Spectacular views over the Brecon Beacons can be seen just a short drive from Hay at Hay Bluff which rises some 2,227ft.