Welcome to Hay on Wye – Book Town

Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, Hay on Wye or Hay, as it is know to the locals, is famous as being the town of books, with over 20 independent Book Stores, and for the annual Hay Literary Festival.

In the 1960s, a young man, Richard Booth, bought Hay Castle and declared the town an independent state with him as King. With his cardboard crown, and a sceptre made from a ballcock, he set out to put the town of Hay on Wye on the map. Improbably, he succeeded. He made Hay on Wye World famous as ‘The Town of Books’.

Today Hay-on-Wye – or Y Gelli Gandryll as it is known in the Welsh language – is friendly, lively and vibrant and, unsurprisingly for a town with such individuality and literary associations, is twinned with Timbuktu, which itself has the oldest Islamic library in the world.

In 2020, The Hay Festival will take place from Thursday the 21st of May until Sunday the 31st of May.

“For 10 days in May, Hay on Wye is full of stories, ideas, laughter and music”

We recommended you book accommodation well in advance because the event is extremely popular. By the Wye Riverside Glamping is perfectly situated for Festival go-ers. Our beautiful Safari Tents sleep 4-6 and are a 15minute walk from the Festival Site. For other local accommodation information and bookings check out Visit Hay or click here for Hay Festival Official Camping Site – Tangerine Fields.

What is the Hay Festival and where is it held?

The full name for the ‘Hay Literary Festival’ is actually Hay Festival of Literature & Arts and for over 30 years Hay Festival has brought together writers from around the world to debate and share stories at its festival in the staggering beauty of the Welsh Borders. Hay on Wye celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, and the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking. It’s believed the exchange of views and meeting of minds that the festivals create inspire revelations personal, political and educational. Hay on Wye is, in Bill Clinton’s phrase, ‘The Woodstock of the mind’.

Hay Festival was founded around a kitchen table in 1987 and continues to attract the most exciting writers, filmmakers, comedians, politicians and musicians to inspire, delight and entertain.

Essential Information about Hay on Wye Book Festival

Hay Festival Address – Dairy Meadows, Brecon Road, Hay on Wye, HR35PG

There are numerous ways in which you can get to the Hay Literary Festival; though bus and car are the most accessible. There are several charity car parks surrounding the Festival Site and in Hay on Wye, you will have no problem finding parking once you arrive.

The nearest train station in Hereford, some 21 miles away from Hay on Wye. Luckily, regular buses run from Hereford to Hay on Wye, with extra services provided during the event period. During the Hay on Wye Festival, bus services run between Hereford Coach and Bus Stations, as well as Worcester Crowngate Bus Station and Hay on Wye itself. Single tickets are £7.50, while return tickets are priced at £10. Contactless payment is available on the bus.

For those travelling between the Festival site and the town of Hay on Wye itself, a regular shuttle bus service runs between the Festival site and the town centre throughout the Festival. Day tickets for the shuttle bus are just £1.50. Pick up and drop off points are Oxford Road Car Park and the Festival site. Alternatively the festival site is a pleasant 15 minute walk through Hay town centre.

For more information and news check out The Hay Festival Website.

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