When I told one New Yorker about my Welsh heritage, his response was simply, ‘isn’t Wales a mythical place?’ Dungeons, dragons and damsels in distress may not prowl the land, but if you ever want to travel far far away from the city sprawl, Hay-on-Wye is the next best thing.
Located near the Brecon Beacons, just north of the Black Mountain (sounding pretty mythical already), Hay-on-Wye is the land of literature and has even been titled the ‘town of books’. You can spend hours pursuing the cobbled streets searching for that special page-turner. From fantasy to facts, Hay is filled with over 30 beautiful bookshops. Walking through the countless isles of (reasonable priced) second hand books can only bring inspiration.
With so much global press on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it can be easy to forget other British Arts events. This May, why not check out the Hay Literature Festival? This ten-day experience covers all the arts and literary genres, the main prerogative being to inspire, examine and entertain. Its triumph has resonated on a global scale, hosting in Ireland, Spain, Bangladesh, Mexico and Columbia.
But it’s not just the written word that makes Hay so noteworthy, it’s the authentic beauty of the town itself. Immerse yourself in the time of yore, and be transported into an ancient place. With no big company names in sight, Hay feels like a world away from the buzz of city life.
Be sure to check out the medieval castle, and afterwards why not try some sheep’s milk ice cream at Shepherds. If shopping takes your fancy, head up to the horse stables for £1 antique purchases. To round off a great morning, try out ‘The Old Black Lion’ pub for a traditional British lunch and maybe a pint.
Millie Morgan | London