Friday, 30 October 2015


Hay-on-Wye is lovely small Welsh town close to the border with England. It is known as the 'Town of Books' with over thirty bookshops in it's narrow old streets selling both new and second-hand books. Every summer the town holds the Hay Festival of Literature, ten days of talks and entertainments. It's a lovely place to visit and impossible to leave without buying a book (or few!)
This week the windows are dressed for Halloween with a paper moon and a bat flying across the display in Richard Booth's glorious bookshop on Lion Street. He is the person responsible for transforming this small market town into the world's first book town. It's definitely something to crow about!
The exterior of the shop is full of interesting ornamentation
and it is hard not to be tempted inside.
Upstairs the Folio Society Reading room has comfy chairs
and for Halloween, a Dracula cushion to lean against!

Other shops are equally pleasurable
and sell not only books
all manner of covetable things.
 There's a pair of matching corner cupboards from France in the window of Llewelyn and Company.
"Where can we put them?"
"We can't, we haven't got enough room."
"Oh, what a pity!"
We have only got enough room for the tiny furniture on these shelves.

Another shop is selling 'best quality old tat'!
There is nothing remotely tatty about the greengrocer's shop. 

I look with pleasure at what is on offer, it's a delight to see local produce, quince and Ribston Pippin apples, a name that I remember from childhood, long since banished from our supermarket shelves.
A large red apple called 'American Mother' is for sale. It's a variety that I've never heard of and I'm just remarking on the fact when the supplier happens to walk by. The shopkeeper comes out, amused at our enthusiastic conversation. He can't promise to always introduce me to his suppliers, he tells me, although he'll do his best!
 It's market day
and the town is busy.

But Hallowe'en is coming
so we better get home before dark!


  1. Oh what a wonderful town. Such lovely photos. If I could I'd fly there today. Hmmm...what shall I read on the flight over?

    1. Did you spot the Edward Gorey jigsaw in the window display, Connie? You introduced him to me on your blog and Wee One bought me a book. I'm sure you would love poking about this town.

  2. Great pictures! Thank you for taking me along...

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed looking around with me, Michelle. (I didn't take you into the shop where we bought a tasty pasty!)

  3. So many wonderful shops! Thank you for this tour. I love your photo of the moon with the bat and the best quality old tat - hahaha.

    1. It's true, there was a fair bit of tat for sale about the town, but one person's tat can be another's treasure - I always travel hopefully!

  4. Hello, and thank you for stopping by my blog while searching about "American Mother" apples. I've never heard of them either! But I have heard of Hay-on-Wye and wish I didn't live so very far away - would love to peruse all those book shops someday! Also (read your following post as well), my paternal great-grandfather came over here from Halifax, Yorkshire in the late 1800s - that whole side of the family also worked in the textile mills. It's a small world sometimes!

    1. I'm delighted to have found your blog, and find the shared interests of bloggers make the world seem a very small place! I looked at your photos of Wells, twenty minutes or so from where I live, (Elizabeth Goudge's 'City of Bells'). I hope that you will holiday in this area again sometime so that we can meet up.

  5. I love this! What a wonderful place to visit! I would never leave that bookstore.
    Lisa at Tales from the Love Shaque