The Town of Books

Things to do in Hay on Wye

Things to do in Hay on Wye. The town of Hay on Wye is a stone’s throw from By the Wye. Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Hay on Wye is famous as the town of books, and for the annual Hay Festival.

In the 1960s, a young man, Richard Booth, bought Hay castle and declared the town an independent state with him as king. 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.

Shopping in Hay on Wye

Hay on Wye is a town where its 40+ bookshops are absolutely the centre of attention, closely followed behind with great places to eat, independent clothing and gift shops, general stores and galleries, florists, Deli’s and antiques and vintage stores, not forgetting the incredible Market held each Thursday.

Whether its second-hand vinyl or books, or retro homewares, clothes and furniture, there is something for everyone on Hay on Wye’s High Street.

The River Wye

Fun on the River

The River Wye (Afon Gwy) stretches 134 miles from its source on Plynlimonin in mid Wales to the Severn estuary. For much of its length the river forms part of the border between England and Wales. The Wye Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is plenty of fun to be had on the River Wye and we are spoilt for choice in Hay on Wye with local activity providers.

Fun on the Wye

Book canoe hire with Celtic Canoes, canoe coaching and guided trips with Sandeman Canoe Company, Paddleboarding with Peter Mayall Paddlesports and Canoeing, Gorge Walking with Fred Wright at Interactivities and enjoy some Wild Swimming.

Fishing Holidays

Our glamping site offers easy access to over a mile of fishing along with glamping onsite for accommodation perfectly situated next to the River Wye. The stretch of the River Wye in Hay on Wye offers some fantastic public fishing for barbel, chub, roach, dace, pike, grayling, trout and salmon. Learn more about fishing the River Wye.

The Great Outdoors

Activities to write home about

When it comes to outdoor adventures you’re spoilt for choice in Hay on Wye. The stunning natural backdrops of Herefordshire and the Brecon Beacons National Park are not fenced off preserves, but living, working landscapes which will bring out your adventurous sides.

Hay on Wye is also an excellent holiday base for serious walking with two national trails, the Offa’s Dyke Path and the Wye Valley Walk passing through the town, and the protected countryside of the Brecon Beacons National Park on it’s doorstep. If you’re not confident walking without a guide, but are keen to explore, Sarah at Walk Hay specialises in providing expertly led Guided Walking in Hay on Wye and the surrounding areas

Hay on Wye offers masses of paths and trails for walkers, runners, cyclists, mountain bikers, horse riders and wildlife-watchers. There is a brilliant range of organised activities on offer in Hay on Wye. Book cycle hire with Drovers Cycles, on-site Archery with Fred Wright at Interactivities, Horse Riding at Tregoyd or Free-Rein, Wild Foraging with Adele Nozedar or Indoor Climbing at Llangorse Multiactivity Centre.

Fantastic Food & Drink

Feeling hungry?

From gourmet restaurants with their own cottage gardens to cosy pubs serving local Welsh lamb for Sunday lunch, Hay on Wye and the surrounding area have plenty of fine eating places to tempt you. The traditional Welsh breakfasts are legendary. Gorgeous cafés and tea shops are enough to make you sigh with happiness. And you’ll find some wonderful goodies for family picnics and gifts at the delis, food festivals and farmers’ markets. Read our blog about where to eat in Hay on Wye.

Choose from our selection of food hampers available to order for your stay. Locally sourced and seasonal, book BBQ and Breakfast hampers or a comforting Camp-fire Casserole.

Festivals & Events

What’s on Hay on Wye

You are sure to find things to do in Hay on Wye to suit the whole family, whatever the weather. Attend family-friendly annual agricultural shows like The Royal Welsh Show and The Brecon County Show. Take a trip down memory lane at the Vintage Steam Rally nostalgic vintage items for the older generation and entertainment for the children. ‘How the Light Gets In’ is the world’s largest Music and Philosophy Festival. The famous Hay Festival held over 12 days, more than 200 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators inspire, examine and entertain in events for all ages.

Richard Booths Cinema shows current film releases and screens live productions from the National Theater and Ballet. The Globe at Hay is an independent arts center with a programme you of films, live music, talks & debates, workshops, art exhibitions, courses and schools’ opportunities.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Different Days Out

People have lived and worked in the Brecon Beacons for nearly 8000 years. With each passing century, different communities have left their mark on the landscape. Together, our monuments, settlements, churches, castles, canals, industrial sites and museums speak of times gone by. Today, the story continues. Our hills, lakes, caves, forests and waterfalls are fascinating to explore on holiday, and there’s much to discover in our characterful towns and villages. Why not dive in?

For more holiday ideas and information on things to do in Hay on Wye check out the following websites or give us a call.

Brecon Beacon Tourism

Visit Wales

Day out with the kids

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