Several months ago, before we even began planning our recent UK trip, I saw a short segment on a travel show about the town of Hay-on-Wye. Hay-on-Wye is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park and is in Wales, sharing a close border with England. The town looked beautiful on the show, but what really caught my attention, is that Hay-on-Wye is referred to as "The Town of Books".
I love books!
Clearly, this town was calling my name.
Dan was a good sport and planned our road trip so that we could have a night-stop in Hay-on-Wye, allowing me to live my dream of visiting a whole town devoted to reading.
Hay-on-Wye takes books very serious. Kindles are banned. I'm not sure if this is a real ban, but the anti-ereader sentiment is heavily enforced.
Another fun fact, in 1977 a local bookseller, Richard Booth, decided to declare Hay-on-Wye a Kingdom and make himself the king. The whole "Kingdom" bit stuck around. Hay-on-Wye is delightfully quirky.
My favorite bookshop with an anti-Kindle message goes to the Murder and Mayhem store.
Admittedly, I discreetly broke the ban by spending the afternoon reading on my Kindle in our hotel lounge. I was nearly done with Alissa Nutting's Tampa and just needed to know how it was going to end. I'm sure that Hay-on-Wye also has a ban on smut books, so my choice in "literature" was likely doubly insulting.
Bookstore are absolutely everywhere. One of favorites was located in a castle. Actually, the castle had more than one book store. I felt like there was a surprise around every corner.
The lower level of the castle has a covered outdoor book case with an honor system for payment.
We walked up stone steps to explore the ruins.
At the top, we peeked around a corner...
and found more books!!!!
We spent several hours walking around and exploring the bookstores. Unfortunately, I have a rather severe allergy to dust and mold, which prevents me from spending too much time in used bookstores and libraries. I know, it's crazy. What book lover avoids libraries? It killed me to not be able to spend more than a few minutes in each store. On the upside, I didn't buy a single book to add to my enormous to-be-read pile.
Some of the stores were really cool.
I took a bunch of pictures of non-book related things in the town. Hay-on-Wye has beautiful old churches and a war memorial statue.
After walking around the town, we went down a path to explore walking trails on the bank of the River Wye.
Hay-on-Wye is a beautiful small town with a ton of character. if you love books, this is a must-visit destination!