Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Having missed the Hay Literary Festival in the summer, I was really excited to get the chance to work at the Hay Winter Festival last weekend. Smaller than the famous summer one, it coincided with the Christmas Light Switch On by Ben Fogle, a winter food fayre and a vintage fayre, so the town was both busy and festive.
I was honoured to get a free pass to one of the talks by children's author Piers Torday, and also a complimentary copy of his book, There May Be A Castle. His talk was aimed, naturally, at children but the message for clear for anyone, old or young, who is aspiring to write a book: write from the heart and never give up!
Hay is a lovely town, all winding streets, interesting shops and alleyways full of secondhand bookshops. I didn't get time to browse the bookshops, sadly, but did get in a lovely walk along the river Wye on my first morning. The weather was festive too, crisp and sunny, and the rolling landscape absolutely stunning.
Since I was there promoting nature, and birds in particular, I was really chuffed (pardon the pun) to spot Redwings, a Kingfisher and - best of all - a Yellowhammer, all of them birds I'd never seen, on farmland near the lovely guest house I was staying at a few miles away at Glasbury.
Hay is definitely a town worth visiting any time of the year, especially if you're a book lover! And if not, there's the very good coffee shops, the rather upmarket charity shops, the beautiful surrounding countryside and of course, the atmospheric Hay castle!