As I’ve mentioned in many blog posts, my husband and I love books so it seemed only natural that we would end up “honey-mooning” in Hay-on-Wye in Wales, which is located just along the English border and is also known as the town of books.
After getting married in Bristol, the next day we hopped in our car which we found decorated with lipstick drawings of hearts …
and the obligatory “just married” words on our car windows. I remember some cars honked our way, which we translated to ‘Congratulations’, or on hindsight, could’ve also meant ‘Get out of our way!”
So off we drove to Hay-on-Wye with the Blackdown mountains as backdrop, made famous by Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings. We arrived well before sun-down into the little town that’s known for its two dozen bookshops dotted all over. It is also actually famous for its literary festival in June that brings over 80,000 visitors hoping to catch their favourite authors/personalities or just to browse through its bookshops.
Among my favourite was the poetry bookshop, I was hoping to get a copy of Nika Turbina, the Russian poet known for her haunting poems penned when she was just ten years old, but sadly, they didn’t seem to have any copy of her books.
And there was also a Murder and Mayhem bookshop, perfect for people who love mystery or crime novels.
As for bibliophiles, they can browse through hundreds of books to their heart’s content at the Richard Booth bookshop. Incidentally, Richard Booth is also known as the man who wanted Hay-on-Wye to be an independent kingdom, and even declared himself the monarch.
Then there’s the Castle Bookshop that is difficult to miss because it is in the centre of the town and has shelves upon shelves of books in its garden.
And if you can’t find the book you’re looking for at the castle bookshop, you might just be able to find them in the bookshop next door, or the next.
Don’t be surprised to see your favourite characters in the shop, they’re just browsing too and it would be nice and polite if you just left them alone and not ask for their autographs or worse, have your photo taken beside them. Remember, they value their privacy too 😉
My husband and I left with our pile of books. We’ve been wanting to go back and introduce little T to this town of books, do you know I don’t even remember seeing a Children’s bookshop there. But I’m sure they do, there you go, I’ve just found another reason to go back 🙂 And if you haven’t visited, you absolutely have to put Hay-on-Wye on your list!
This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story.
Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!