Many people enjoy a good read on holiday. But if browsing the shelves of bookshops is one of your joys, why not have a break that’s centred on books?

Have you considered visiting a ‘book town?’ A handful of communities have been given this designation because they offer book lovers multiple vendors with hundreds of thousands of titles. It’s an international movement and book towns include Hobart in the desirable Catskills area of New York state, Bredevoort, a small medieval town in the Netherlands, Redu in Belgium, Fjaerland in Norway and Wigtown, which is near Dumfries in South-West Scotland.

The original book town is in Wales at Hay on Wye, 80 minutes north of Cardiff and 40 minutes drive from Hereford. The concept was created by Hay entrepreneur Richard Booth back in the 1960s in an attempt to put the market town on the map. Historic Hay is set on the River Wye and boasts two castles so it’s the perfect setting for a book lovers’ break.

Keri Jones of the Great Destinations Radio Show spoke with Hay’s Mayor Fiona Howard and also Wigtown bookshop owner Shaun Bythell about what their respective towns had to offer book lovers.


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