Father/Daughter weekend in Hay-on-Wye

Published: Tuesday 7th Jul 2015

Written by: Amy Jones

I love my children and partner dearly, but sometimes you just need to get away from it all, sit down and be able to read a book without anyone tugging on your top and that includes my partner! I got into reading at a young age through my Mum and Dad who are also big readers.

Ever since I was a little girl I have always used books as my way to escape the real world and delve into someone else’s. However since I’ve had my children I only have time to read after they’ve gone to bed and before long I’m in bed myself!

So imagine my surprise when my Dad rang a few weeks ago and said that he has booked accommodation for us both at Hay-on-Wye for 3 nights! Even though my Mum loves reading, she is not one to wander for hours round bookshops and in fact had even fallen asleep in a bookshop the last time my Mum and Dad went to Hay-on-Wye! My Mum therefore decided that she wouldn’t come and will stay at home to look after the children when my partner was working. Hay-on-Wye watch out, the Jones’s are coming to town!

If you don’t know much about Hay-on-Wye, the town is renowned for its bookshops, and has therefore become known as the ‘Book capital of the World’. The small rural town is a true gem tucked away in the Welsh countryside, and is filled to the brim with new and second hand bookshops. A lot of my friends couldn’t understand why I was so excited when Hay-on-Wye is only an hour and a half away from where I live, but as I said, the thought of reading a book without anyone needing my attention was great.

The fact that I could also read during the day, and all day long if I wanted to, was even better!

Dad and I arrived Thursday afternoon, and as we both had a book on the go that we had nearly completed, we decided to sit down outside with a cuppa and a homemade cake that we had picked up on the way, and finish our books ready to buy and start a new one the next day. It was a very relaxing evening!

Friday morning and we were up bright and early ready to start browsing. I was organised and had brought a Wales Cottage Holidays tote bag with me – perfect for carrying all my books that I intended to buy! Our first stop was at the Richard Booth Bookshop. The three storey shop has a range of new and second hand books with sofas and high-backed armchairs for those people who would like to sit down and have a proper look at books they have found. The bookshop also has a café with an indoor and outdoor seating area.

A floor plaque found on the pavement just outside the front door declares the Richard Booth Bookshop as the ‘World’s largest second hand bookshop’ and after spending over 2½ hours in there (and we still hadn’t looked at the many different genres of books they have), I would tend to agree. We would have to come back to this one! Time for dinner. We found a little café down an alley that sold the biggest bacon and sausage baps I have ever seen!

Here’s a picture of Dad outside the café proudly carrying the Wales Cottage Holidays tote bag – he thought he would carry the bag to help promote us to holidaymakers. Well done Dad!

After dinner, and a stop at a different café for a mocha, we were all set ready to browse all the other bookshops. Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time in the day and by early evening the bookshops started closing. So off we went back to our accommodation, to sit down and start reading one of our new books. Saturday arrives and we do the same thing all over again!

This time, by late Saturday afternoon we had managed to browse every bookshop in Hay-on-Wye. On Friday, we had walked past Shepherd’s Ice Cream Parlour that sells an amazing range of ice-creams. If you’ve read my blogs before, then you know that ice-cream is my shortfall … I just can’t get enough of it! As a thank you for bringing me away for the weekend, I told Dad that I would buy him a coffee and an ice-cream.

This photo shows Dad bringing out our coffees from Shepherd’s. When we’ve finished our coffee, it’s time to have our ice-cream, woohoo! In he goes, and out he comes with a double cone!! He just couldn’t decide between the Toffee and Honeycomb flavour, or the Peanut Butter and Chocolate one, so he had a scoop of each.

Well if he’s having two, and I’m paying, then I’m having two scoops too! I chose the Toffee and Honeycomb which was absolutely delicious! I absolutely loved my weekend in Hay-on-Wye, and even though I was missing my children, I could have easily stayed there for another few nights! Never mind, I think I may start hinting that Dad and I should go back again soon. Situated close to the Wales/England border, Hay-on-Wye is easily accessible for a lot of people.

If you love books as much as I do, then please make sure you visit the town one day. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Amy Jones
Amy Jones



Return to blog article index