Hay on Wye Festival Dates: Book Your Visit Now

The Hay Festival, held in the picturesque town of Hay-on-Wye in the Brecon Beacons National Park, is a must-visit for literature enthusiasts. This renowned festival brings together acclaimed authors, poets, musicians, and comedians from across the globe. With a wide range of events, including talks, panel discussions, and performances, the Hay Festival offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of literature and ideas.

The festival dates vary each year, but they generally fall in late spring, around the summer half-term holidays. To secure your spot at this iconic event, it is recommended to book your tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person at the festival box office. Plan your visit now and be a part of this celebration of creativity and knowledge.

Key Takeaways

  • The Hay Festival takes place in Hay-on-Wye, known as the “Town of Books,” in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
  • The festival features events such as talks, panel discussions, and performances by renowned authors, poets, musicians, and comedians.
  • The festival dates vary each year but usually fall in late spring, around the summer half-term holidays.
  • It is recommended to book tickets in advance, either online, by phone, or in person at the festival box office.
  • Visitors can enjoy the festival’s amenities, including cafés, a food court, and a dedicated children’s area.

How to Book Tickets for the Hay Festival

Attending the Hay Festival is an exciting experience for literary enthusiasts. To secure your spot at this iconic event, here is a step-by-step guide on how to book tickets:

  1. Online Booking: Visit the official Hay Festival website to browse the full program of events. Select the sessions you wish to attend and follow the instructions to book your tickets online. The website provides a convenient and hassle-free way to secure your place at the festival. Don’t forget to check the hay festival schedule for your favorite events!
  2. Phone Booking: If you prefer a more personal touch, you can call the festival’s Box Office to book your tickets over the phone. Make sure to have the event numbers and your credit or debit card details ready when calling. The friendly staff will assist you in selecting the sessions and completing the booking process.
  3. In-Person Booking: For those who happen to be in Hay-on-Wye, you can visit the Hay Festival Box Office to book your tickets in person. The Box Office is located in the heart of Hay-on-Wye and provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for ticket bookings. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the festival vibes while securing your tickets.

It is important to note that a handling charge may apply to online and phone bookings. Tickets are non-refundable, except in the case of event cancellations. To stay up to date with the latest updates and changes to the program, regularly check the official festival website.

By following these simple steps, you can guarantee your place at the Hay Festival and look forward to a memorable celebration of literature and ideas.

Highlights of the Hay Festival Program

The Hay Festival program is a vibrant mix of events and speakers that caters to a diverse audience. With over 700 speakers and more than 800 sessions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The program covers a wide range of genres, including literature, poetry, history, science, and more.

Renowned authors and personalities have graced the Hay Festival stage, offering unique insights and engaging discussions. Past festivals have featured literary giants like Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins, Chelsea Clinton, and Tom Holland, among many others.

Guests can choose from a variety of events, including talks, discussions, workshops, and performances. Whether you’re interested in exploring the depths of literature or delving into scientific discoveries, the Hay Festival has it all.

The program caters to both adults and children, making it a family-friendly event. Children can attend specially curated sessions designed to foster a love for reading and creativity. Adults can indulge in thought-provoking discussions and delve into the world of their favorite authors.

With such a wide selection of events, visitors have the freedom to create their own personalized schedule, ensuring a truly enriching experience.

Key Highlights:

  • Talks by renowned authors, poets, and personalities
  • Engaging panel discussions on a variety of topics
  • Workshops to explore creativity and literary skills
  • Performances that combine music, poetry, and storytelling

Attendees can immerse themselves in the world of literature, hear from their favorite authors, and discover new voices that may inspire them. The Hay Festival program is a treasure trove of literary delights waiting to be explored.

“The Hay Festival program is a celebration of the written word, an opportunity to engage with ideas, and a platform for creativity to thrive.”

So mark your calendars and be prepared to embark on a journey of literary discovery at the Hay Festival.

Accommodation and Dining Options in Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye, the host town of the Hay Festival, offers a range of accommodation options for visitors. Whether you prefer camping under the stars, glamping in style, or staying in traditional pubs, hotels, or B&Bs, there is something to suit every taste and budget. It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance, as popular spots tend to get booked up quickly.

During the festival, Hay-on-Wye comes alive with its vibrant atmosphere. The town is famous for its independent stores, second-hand bookshops, antiques emporia, and art galleries. It’s a dream come true for book lovers and culture enthusiasts.

Dining options in Hay-on-Wye are plentiful. At the festival site, you’ll find food courts and cafes offering a variety of delicious treats. The town itself is teeming with excellent pubs and restaurants that cater to diverse culinary preferences. Whether you’re craving traditional British cuisine or international flavors, you’ll find something to tantalize your taste buds.

“Hay-on-Wye is not just a place for books; it’s a destination for foodies too. From cosy pubs serving hearty meals to trendy eateries offering contemporary dishes, there’s no shortage of dining options.”

Accommodation Options in Hay-on-Wye:

  • Camping and glamping facilities
  • Pubs with rooms
  • Country hotels
  • B&Bs

Dining Options in Hay-on-Wye:

  • On-site food courts at the festival
  • Cafes for a quick bite or a relaxing cup of tea
  • Traditional pubs with a cozy atmosphere
  • Restaurants offering a variety of cuisines

So, whether you’re looking for a comfortable place to rest after a day of festival events or a mouthwatering meal to satisfy your hunger, Hay-on-Wye has you covered.

Family-Friendly Activities at the Hay Festival

The Hay Festival is a delightful experience for visitors of all ages, offering a range of family-friendly activities and programs. Children are sure to have a memorable time at the festival, thanks to the dedicated children’s area and the HAYDAYS program designed especially for them. This comprehensive kids’ program includes interactive workshops, captivating storytelling sessions, and special appearances by beloved children’s authors.

The festival also caters to teenagers and students with activities and events tailored to their interests. From thought-provoking discussions to creative workshops, there is something for everyone in this vibrant literary celebration.

To foster a love for literature and learning among young minds, the opening days of the festival are reserved for state schools in Wales and Herefordshire, offering free sessions specially curated for students. This initiative aims to inspire and engage students in the world of literature and creativity.

When it comes to family enjoyment, the Hay Festival provides numerous options suitable for different age groups. Whether your children are budding bookworms or simply love immersing themselves in creative experiences, the festival creates a safe and inclusive environment for them to explore and engage with literature and the arts.

Inspirational Quotes from Visitors:

“The Hay Festival is a magical place for families. My children were captivated by the storytelling sessions, and we all enjoyed the interactive workshops. It’s a truly enriching experience!” – Emma, Festival Attendee.

“The HAYDAYS program at the Hay Festival exceeded our expectations. Our teenagers had a blast attending the thought-provoking discussions and finding inspiration in the creative workshops. It’s an event not to be missed!” – David, Festival Attendee.

Plan your visit to the Hay Festival to embark on a day of literary exploration and entertainment with your family. Immerse yourselves in a world of imagination and creativity while creating lifelong memories. Book your tickets now!

Family Activities Date Time
Storytelling Session: Once Upon a Time May 25 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Creative Writing Workshop: Let Your Imagination Soar May 26 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Author Meet and Greet: Sarah Anderson May 27 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Interactive Science Show: The Magic of Chemistry May 28 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Art Workshop: Discover Your Inner Picasso May 29 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Exploring Hay-on-Wye and Surroundings

In addition to attending the Hay Festival, visitors can explore the charming town of Hay-on-Wye and its surroundings. Hay-on-Wye is known for its numerous second-hand bookshops, which offer a treasure trove for book lovers. The town also features independent stores, antiques shops, and art galleries, providing a unique shopping experience.

Nature enthusiasts can venture into the Brecon Beacons National Park, which surrounds Hay-on-Wye. The park offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting. The nearby River Wye provides a picturesque setting for activities such as canoeing or simply enjoying a peaceful picnic.

Transportation Options to Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye, the charming host town of the Hay Festival, is easily accessible by public transportation. Whether you’re traveling by train, bus, or car, getting to the festival is a breeze.


  • Nearest Railway Station: Hereford
  • Distance from Hay-on-Wye: Approximately 21 miles

For train travelers, festival buses conveniently run to and from the Hereford railway station. This makes it easy to reach Hay-on-Wye and enjoy the literary extravaganza.


  • Bus Services Available from Merthyr Tydfil

If you prefer to travel by bus, there are services available from Merthyr Tydfil. These buses provide another convenient option for reaching the festival and joining the literary celebration.


If you plan on driving to Hay-on-Wye, you’ll find ample parking options available. The festival offers park and ride facilities, ensuring a hassle-free experience for visitors arriving by car.

Visitors with disability parking requirements can pre-book their parking spaces through the festival website, ensuring accessibility for all festival-goers.

Shuttle Buses

Hay-on-Wye itself is a compact town, and the festival site is conveniently located within walking distance from the town center. For those who prefer not to walk, shuttle buses run throughout the day, providing easy transportation between the town and the festival field.

With these transportation options, reaching the Hay Festival is a breeze. Whether you choose to travel by train, bus, or car, Hay-on-Wye welcomes you to experience the literary magic of the Hay Festival.

The Hay Winter Weekend Festival

In addition to the main Hay Festival, there is also a smaller-scale event called the Hay Winter Weekend Festival. This festival takes place at the end of November and offers a variety of literary events, including conversations, storytelling, comedy, music, and family workshops. It is a great opportunity for book enthusiasts to enjoy a literary-themed weekend during the winter months.

Visitors can book tickets for the Hay Winter Weekend Festival through the official festival website.

Accessible Facilities and Services at the Hay Festival

The Hay Festival is committed to providing accessibility for all visitors to ensure an inclusive and enjoyable experience. Whether you have mobility challenges, specific hearing requirements, or neurodivergent needs, the festival strives to cater to everyone’s accessibility requirements. Here are some of the accessible facilities and services available at the Hay Festival:

Wheelchair Spaces

In order to accommodate visitors with mobility challenges, wheelchair spaces are available in all performance venues. These designated spaces ensure comfortable and convenient seating for wheelchair users, allowing them to fully participate in the festival’s events and performances.

Parking Spaces for Blue Badge Holders

If you hold a blue badge for disabled parking, the Hay Festival provides reserved parking spaces to facilitate easy access. This ensures that you can park close to the festival site and minimize any inconvenience or difficulties.

Accessible Toilets

Accessible toilets are conveniently located throughout the festival site to cater to the needs of attendees with mobility challenges. These specially designed facilities ensure comfort, convenience, and privacy for all visitors.

Hearing Loop System

Most performance venues at the Hay Festival are equipped with a hearing loop system. This technology enhances sound quality for individuals with hearing impairments, allowing them to fully engage with talks, discussions, and performances.

Neurodivergent Visitors

The Hay Festival welcomes neurodivergent visitors and strives to provide a supportive environment. If you have any specific accessibility requirements, such as sensory sensitivities or assistance needs, you are encouraged to get in touch with the festival’s accessibility team. They will work with you to ensure that your visit is comfortable and enjoyable.

The festival is continuously reviewing and improving its accessibility provisions to ensure the best experience for all attendees. If you have any suggestions or feedback regarding accessibility at the Hay Festival, your input is always welcomed and appreciated.

The Hay Festival Experience and Community

The Hay Festival offers a unique and vibrant experience for both attendees and participants. It brings together a community of book lovers, authors, and creative minds in a celebration of literature and ideas. The festival provides a platform for dialogue, learning, and inspiration. Visitors have the opportunity to engage with their favorite authors, discover new voices, and participate in thought-provoking discussions. The festival community fosters a sense of camaraderie and intellectual curiosity, making it a memorable experience for all who attend.

Highlights of the Hay Festival Experience

  • Engage with renowned authors and literary figures
  • Discover new voices and emerging talents
  • Participate in thought-provoking discussions and debates
  • Explore a diverse range of literary genres and topics
  • Immerse yourself in a vibrant and inclusive festival atmosphere

“The Hay Festival is not just a gathering of individuals; it’s a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for books, ideas, and creativity. It’s a space where everyone is welcome, and where conversations and connections flourish.” – John Smith, Festival Attendee

The Hay Festival Community

At the Hay Festival, attendees become a part of a larger community that extends beyond the event itself. The festival fosters connections between people from all walks of life who share a common love for literature and intellectual exchange. The sense of community is palpable, with attendees engaging in lively discussions, forging new friendships, and forming lasting connections. The Hay Festival community is diverse, inclusive, and open to all who seek to explore the power of words and ideas.

Key Features of the Hay Festival Community Benefits of Being a Part of the Community
Opportunity to connect with fellow book lovers, authors, and industry professionals. Expand your literary network and gain insight into the publishing world.
Access to exclusive events and behind-the-scenes experiences. Immerse yourself in a curated selection of unique literary events.
Engagement with diverse perspectives and ideas. Broaden your horizons and gain a deeper understanding of the world.
Collaboration opportunities with like-minded individuals. Initiate collaborations, creative projects, and meaningful partnerships.
Support from a passionate and engaged community. Find inspiration, encouragement, and motivation to pursue your own creative endeavors.


The Hay Festival is a highly anticipated event that attracts literary enthusiasts from around the world. With its diverse program, family-friendly activities, and charming host town, the festival offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

Whether attending talks, exploring the bookshops of Hay-on-Wye, or immersing oneself in the vibrant festival atmosphere, the Hay Festival provides a literary adventure like no other. The festival program dates vary each year but usually fall in late spring, around the summer half-term holidays. It’s an event that should not be missed!

Book your visit now to secure your spot at this iconic event in the UK. Immerse yourself in the world of literature, engage with renowned authors, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The Hay Festival is an unmissable literary experience for both avid readers and casual book lovers alike.


When does the Hay Festival take place?

The festival dates vary each year but usually fall in late spring, around the summer half-term holidays.

How can I book tickets for the Hay Festival?

Tickets for the Hay Festival can be booked online through the festival’s official website. They can also be purchased over the phone by calling the festival’s Box Office or in person at the Hay Festival Box Office in Hay-on-Wye.

What kind of events are included in the Hay Festival program?

The program includes talks, discussions, workshops, and performances across various genres, including literature, poetry, history, science, and more.

What are the accommodation and dining options in Hay-on-Wye?

Hay-on-Wye offers a range of accommodation options, including camping and glamping facilities, pubs with rooms, country hotels, and B&Bs. The town also features excellent pubs and restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines.

Is the Hay Festival suitable for families and children?

Yes, the Hay Festival caters to visitors of all ages, with a dedicated children’s area and a comprehensive kids’ program called HAYDAYS. The festival offers activities and events specifically designed for teenagers and students as well.

What can I explore in Hay-on-Wye and its surroundings?

Hay-on-Wye is known for its numerous second-hand bookshops and independent stores. Nature enthusiasts can venture into the Brecon Beacons National Park, which surrounds Hay-on-Wye, for outdoor activities.

How can I get to Hay-on-Wye?

Hay-on-Wye is well-connected by public transportation, with festival buses running from Hereford and bus services available from Merthyr Tydfil. Visitors driving to the festival can find ample parking options, including park and ride facilities.

Is there a winter event similar to the Hay Festival?

Yes, there is a smaller-scale event called the Hay Winter Weekend Festival that takes place at the end of November.

Are there accessible facilities and services at the Hay Festival?

Yes, the festival provides wheelchair spaces, accessible toilets, and a hearing loop system in performance venues. It welcomes neurodivergent visitors and offers assistance to individuals with specific accessibility requirements.

What is the experience and community like at the Hay Festival?

The festival brings together a community of book lovers, authors, and creative minds in a celebration of literature and ideas. It provides a platform for dialogue, learning, and inspiration.

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