Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival

Today’s BBC Radio 4 Broadcasting House show was broadcast from the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival. You can listen to it online or by Podcast. Broadcasting House is a Sunday news show that reviews the weeks news and picks interesting stories from the newspapers.

The Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival is held every year in this town in the Black Mountains, on the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, right on the border between England and Wales. Some sources say Hay-on-Wye is in the county of Herdfordshire (England), some say it is in Powys (Wales), so I suspect part of the town is on each side of the border. Read more about Hay-on-Wye. The town is famous for its used bookshops.

This is the festival’s 21st year. Their website is a bit confusing to me, but you can download the program as a PDF. The festival is on this week – May 22 – June 1. Many well-known British authors speak at this event.

Symonds Yat
Symonds Yat

I have never been to this festival, but hope to attend some year. I thought we had been to the town of Hay-on-Wye years ago, but when I look at the map I see we were in Ross-on-Wye and Symonds Yat, on the edge of the Forest of Dean. So the photo for this blog entry is from Symonds Yat, not Hay-on-Wye, where we did a hike down the River Wye, across on a bridge, up the other side, to return by a small ferry shown in the photo.

At the end of the Broadcasting House program there is a charming interview with the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Mitford, the last surviving Mitford sister. The six Mitford sisters grew up in the Cotswolds, in the village of Asthall, just east of Burford on the eastern edge of the Cotswolds. Nancy Mitford wrote “The Pursuit of Love” (1945) and “Love in a Cold Climate” (1949), semi-autobiographical novels about the family (link to Amazon).

According to the program, it was pouring rain today at the festival. You could hear the rain in the background. Accuweather shows rain all next week. Looks like rain in the Cotswolds too. We had rain for the last two weeks in Santa Fe, but it looks like hot sunny weather is starting again today.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

One thought on “Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival”

  1. We actually went to Hay-on-Wye 4 years ago in August. It was not during the festival but the books shops were mind boggling. By the way, I am planning a summer sojourn to cotswolds for our family–the first time we will actually spend a week there—and your website is a source of much wealth for the planning.

    Thanks a millon

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