The town of books

The spines of Penguin books sitting on a shelf in Hay-on-Wye in Wales.

My mum, dad and brother and are now safely back in Australia and I can hardly believe their six week stay in the U.K. is over. The time truly flew by and at the end of their holiday it felt quite ‘normal’ to have them here with us in Malvern. It was lovely for our families to spend time together and it’s a little sad everyone is back spread out across two hemispheres once again.

In our final few days together we took a little trip to a town called Hay-on Wye, right on the England/Wales border.

It’s known as the ‘town of books’ due to its abundance of second book shops and for hosting the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts.

It’s an amazing little place…

Ever since I was child, I’ve loved book shops.  I’ve always been a voracious reader and enjoy wandering through book shops, flipping pages, reading paragraphs and daydreaming about faraway places and people.

Feet on wooden floorboards surrounded by dozens of books.

Unfortunately the book shop that was the catalyst for Hay’s evolution into the ‘town of books’ was closed when we visited, but there were still a heap of others to explore.

Murder and Mayhem is described as being Hay’s ‘most bizarre and outrageously decorated’ book shop.

Murder and Mayhem book shop in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

Inside it’s crammed full of allthe mystery, crime and thriller reads you could ever think of.

Across the road you’ll find Addyman Books (coincidentally run by the same people as Murder and Mayhem). It’s a rabbit warren stuffed full of any book you could possibly think of.

Addyman Books shop in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

I loved its little reading nooks, which are dotted over a number of floors. We escaped a particularly heavy shower of rain by ducking into Addyman’s and I could’ve easily spent the rest of the day curled up here reading.

Addyman Books shop in Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

Lunch was at the rather cool, The Old Electric Shop, a cafe/vintage/clothing/homewears retailer with great displays and the friendliest on-site dog.

The Old Electric Shop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

The dog at The Old Electric Shop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

No visit to Hay is complete without a stop at Shepherd’s Ice Cream Parlour, who make all their icy treats using sheep’s milk.

Shepherd's Ice Cream Parlour, Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

Our final stop of the day was the grounds of the Hay Castle, which is undergoing major restorative work. In the grounds of the castle is an honesty bookshop.  All books are £1 and proceeds go towards the restoration.

The honesty book shop at the Hay Castle, Hay-on-Wye, Wales.

Hay-on-Wye is definitely a place suitable to slow, meandering days where you can spend your time browsing. If you love a good book, it’s definitely worth reading up about ;).

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