Last week, Mum and I went on a little adventure to one of my favourite towns, Hay-on-Wye, otherwise known as the town of books. If you’ve never been there, you really must. It’s a pretty town, tiny and right on the border of England and Wales (It’s technically in Wales, just so you know!).
But before then, we travelled a little bit further down the road to Hereford, a cathedral city half an for away from Hay. We didn’t have much time in Hereford, but we did manage a little look round a few of the shops and the cathedral. Plus we ate a really nice lunch from a sandwich shop in one of Hereford’s alleyways.
The reason for our visit was that it was Mum’s birthday and we have a, kind of, family day trip tradition on birthdays. We’d also planned to visit a jewellery shop in the town for a little while and Mum’s birthday was the perfect excuse to go.
We arrived in Hay mid afternoon and we headed straight for the jewellery shop, with vague notions of buying a ring each as a memento for the day. Unfortunately, neither of us managed to find a ring we liked, but the Hay Festival is coming up at the end of this month and they promised to have more by then.
After visiting every jewellery and antique shop in the town, we stopped for a coffee in Shepherds, our go to coffee shop. By then it was nearing half five and there were still a few shops left to visit so we quickly rushed around the rest of the shops, before heading back to the car.
Every time I visit Hay there are noticeable changes. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the time I’ve been coming here is that there are now far fewer bookshops than when I was a child. If you know or have heard of Hay, you’ll know that it is known for its annual literary festival as well as its bookshops, so it’s weird to see another type of shop taking the place of a bookshop you used to go in every year.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that Hay has more to offer than bookshops and, believe me, there are still plenty of those. I just love exploring the different, irregular, rooms of those shops and choosing a novel.
My next visit will hopefully be for the festival, which is always an exciting time for the town.
Have you ever been to Hay? Are you looking forward to the festival this year? Who are you going to see?