Famous literary town limbers up for Hay Walking Festival

The five day event takes place in Hay-on-Wye and the Welsh Borders and runs between 10 and 14 October.

For those of us who spend far too much time with our heads buried in books, whiling away the hours in the dark recesses of some second hand book shop, Hay on Wye is Nirvana.   For lovers of the written word around the world this picturesque town is the destination for an annual pilgrimage to the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival.  But there’s much more to Hay- on-Wye than books.  

Those visiting the literary festival, many returning to the town year after year, do so not only because of their love of books but because of the town itself and its beautiful setting – nestling beneath the Black Mountains to the west and quenched by the River Usk from the north.    

Few places can boast such diversity of landscape, with unspoilt views of the Bannau Brycheiniog countryside protected by the National Park.  Walkers are spoilt for choice with the magnificent Offa’s Dyke National Trail and the Wye Valley trail, both passing through the town.   

To all intents and purposes, the Hay on Wye Walking Festival is all about bringing the landscape to the people and the 48 guided walks, catering for people of all ages and varying fitness levels, is very much a reflection of that. 

Organised by the Hay Tourism Group, a not for profit organisation, an exciting  programme of events, stretching over 5 days includes general and special interest walks, new skills walks and family friendly walks.  The general interest walks, range from between 2 and 25 miles and offer some breath-taking views of the Bannau Brycheiniog, the Black Mountains and the north Herefordshire countryside. 

People looking to learn new outdoor skills can experience walking with Nordic poles, map reading and terrain navigation.  There is also an introduction to hill walking and sketching tuition outdoors.   

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Member, Ann Webb said, “This is an increasingly popular event in the Hay-on-Wye calendar that allows people to enjoy the region’s landscape in a variety of ways and at a pace at which they feel comfortable.  Not only is it an opportunity to appreciate some fantastic walks and spectacular views, but it’s also a chance to learn about the area’s history in a way that’s inspiring.”   

Hay Tourism Group is part of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Rural Alliance Project which is funded by the EU’s Interreg IVB NWE programme together with the Welsh Government’s Targeted Match Funding programme. 

For further information on the Hay Walking Festival visit www.haywalking.org