I’ve wanted to attend the Hay Festival for a while, and now we live in Wiltshire it’s a very doable day trip so decided to go on Tuesday 31st May.
If you haven’t heard of Hay before, it’s a festival dedicated to books (my kinda festival!) set in the rolling hills of the Welsh border on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Running for nearly 30 years, Hay Festival brings together writers from all over the world to celebrate great writing.
This was my first visit to Hay and being a bit of a self-confessed book worm, it was everything I dreamt of. Made up of a tented village of bookshops, workshops, restaurants and lecture theatres with bunting everywhere, there is a very relaxed and enchanting atmosphere.
We were extremely lucky with the weather as it seemed to be raining everywhere else but Hay that day and was actually really sunny, which made it even more enjoyable. Although it would still be great on a rainy day as it’s nearly all raised off the ground and under shelter so you could avoid getting soggy.
From Andrew Davies, the screenwriter of the BBC adaption of War and Peace, to Caitlin Moran, Jojo Moyes and Melvyn Bragg, there are plenty of fascinating writers to hear from. The festival is free to enter and the talks range from £5-£19, which makes it a very affordable day out. You can even make a trip of it and stay in the campsite nearby or in the idyllic town of Hay-on-Wye.
In the afternoon my dad went to a debate on the EU Referendum with a panel including Liam Fox, Roger Bootle, Nick Herbert, Allison Pearson, Roland Rudd and Alan Johnson, which he said was very lively. My mum and I other on the other hand, not feeling up for a political discussion, or one about the modern world at least, went to a talk by Ancient Historian Tom Holland on his book Dynasty; the Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar.
It was a lovely day spent browsing books, listening to interesting talks and lazing in the sunshine; I’d definitely recommend paying a visit. Hay Festival is held from 26 May to 5 June 2016 so you still have time to go this week.