Back To: Hay-on-Wye


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Further photos from around the towns & villages of Powys

Hay-on-Wye (Welsh: Y Gelli Gandryll or Y Gelli), often described as "the town of books", is a market town in Powys, Wales. It is on the River Wye, very close to the border with England, and within the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is a town of around 1,900 people.

Hay-on-Wye is a mecca for bibliophiles, boasting "thirty major bookshops" (according to its Tourist Information Bureau). Most sell second-hand books.

The bookshops for which the town is now famous are a relatively recent innovation. The name most closely associated with the book trade in Hay-on-Wye is that of Richard George William Pitt Booth, who, on April 1, 1977, sought publicity by declaring Hay an "independent kingdom" with himself as its king. The tongue-in-cheek micronation of Hay-on-Wye and its "king" (who wields an old toilet-plunger in place of a sceptre) is today known chiefly for selling novelty low-cost "peerages" to bemused tourists.

Hay-on-Wye appears to continue over the border into Herefordshire. This part of the town is administratively separate, and is called Cusop.


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