I'm back from a lovely long weekend in Wales and wanted to share some photos taken in a place known as the 'town of books' - the beautiful Hay-on-Wye. Hay lies on the Welsh border near Hereford, and plays host to the popular Hay Literary Festival at the beginning of June each year. If you're a fan of second-hand bookshops, antiques and cute cafes this is the place for you! It even has a crumbling castle atop a hill.
My favourite of the many bookshops we visited there was Richard Booth's bookshop - which was also home to a cafe AND a cinema! When the rest of our group headed off on a long (drizzly) walk in search of a stone circle, I was glad I'd chosen to stay and explore the town when I came across this treasure trove. Inside was row upon row of books on every subject you could imagine (there was even a shelf dedicated solely to books about badgers!)
"On April 1, 1977, disdainful of big business and government indifference to the fate of little towns in Britain, (Booth) declared Hay-on-Wye an independent state. He crowned himself king, issued passports for carefree travel, a local currency and petitioned the local town council to ban automobiles in favor of bringing back the horse to create employment for blacksmiths, grooms and stable-boys. When a fire destroyed much of the castle in the early 1980's "King Richard" was forced to sell many of his properties."Richard Booth's bills itself as the world's largest second-hand bookshop (although I'm not sure if this spot my have since been taken?) It's definitely one of my all time favourite book shops and the perfect place to spend a rainy Sunday. I am just sad I can't make this event coming up in their cinema - puppet maker Peter Firmin talks about a lifetime spent creating characters such as Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog and the Clangers!