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This is for all book lovers.  If you love books, like me, this will be heaven to you.  I nearly bought a whole bookshop load of books myself.  Well, I would if I could… 

A picture-pretty little village in England combined with the love of books is just priceless.  You get both in the village of Hay-on-Wye.  This pretty little village has become world-famous for its bookshops, as it has so many of them.  It is also known as “the world’s first book town” (established in 1962) or “the town of books”.

If you love books, this little village is the place to visit over a weekend, (but also during the week)…  There are literally secondhand bookshops everywhere;  open air (the honesty bookshop), hidden gems, combined with bric-a-brac, and antiques, you name it…


Get ready to go back home with a much heavier bag than the one you came with.  🙂


Best book town in England bookshops Hay on Wey in England
Hay on Wey in England Book Town for Book lovers Solo travelers Travel destinations for Introverts

It is great fun snooping through each bookstore, finding the spooky “bat cave”, the vampire books, or the ‘crime bookshop’, or just that classic you’ve been looking for.

Richard Booth’s bookshop is a real treat as this shop also houses a café and cinema as well as new, 2nd hand and vintage books.  Here you can spend a few happy hours.  More info is available on their Facebook Website.

The weekly Hay Market Day is a vibrant local market that is held in the center of Hay-on-Wye every Thursday, from 8 am to mid-afternoon. The locals refer to the market day as: “the best day in Hay!” and seeing that it has been operational for over 700 years, you should definitely go and see what it’s all about.

Things to do in the area

Go on a canoe ride on the Wye River. (

Take a walk along the Wye River and maybe find a peaceful spot outdoors to enjoy your book.

At the time of this article, they were busy with repairs on Hay-Castle, but with the Hay Castle Trust looking after this well-preserved part of history, you can still enjoy its beauty.

The Hay Festival is an event not to be missed.  (You can use this link to get early bird tickets.)

In 2022 the Hay Festival will begin on
Thursday, 26 May and it ends on Sunday, 5 June.
The clocktower in Hay-on-Wye was built in 1881 and it is of the same design as the clock tower in Knighton, another border town which is about 20 miles north of Hay.
How to get there

The closest Train station, approaching from England, to Hay-on-Wye is in the city of Hereford, approximately 21 miles east of Hay-on-Wye.  You can enjoy a scenic bus ride there, as a regular Bus Service runs from Hereford Rail Station.

How long should I stay?


Although this is an easy weekend visit, we can also recommend spending a week here.  Especially if you love sitting somewhere snug reading a book, browsing at leisure, taking your time enjoying the books and the surroundings.

  After all, there is nothing like the smell of books, the feeling of the pages beneath your fingers, and the peace and quiet of a cozy corner to sit and read…

Booklovers dream destination Book Towns around the world Solo Travelers Introvert Travel Destinations Hay on Wey in England

Hotels, Guesthouses, Glamping and more

If you're going to the Hay Festival or just planning a trip for the weekend - check out these fabulous and popular places to stay:

There are many pretty places to stay.  Here is a list of the most popular places.  You can also book direct with our accommodation link.

In conclusion, I loved this little town and I hope they restore and keep the beauty of the town up and running for many years, as it is a paradise to all our book-loving travelers.  Here’s to many fabulous years still to come.  I’ll be back…