Wales: A Fantastic Destination for Bookworms
|March 25, 2013||Posted by under Places|
If, like me, you enjoy spending hours devouring the pages of a good book, you might be looking for holiday destinations that enable you to enjoy your pastime in much cosier surroundings than your home. One place that will definitely tick all the right boxes is Wales and, in coming here, you’ll discover things that appeal to bibliophiles of all ages and interests.
To help give you an insight into what exactly Wales has to offer literature enthusiasts, I’ve listed a few of the places that you ought to visit.
Although you’ll find high street chains that sell books throughout Wales, if you’re looking to buy a couple of books during your holiday, I think it’s much better to do so at an independent retailer. Doing so, I feel, makes for a far richer and rewarding experience. After all, what’s the point of going away on a vacation if you’re just going to go in exactly the same stores that you do back home?
Standalone shops, on the other hand, tend to be much more interesting, not least of all because they give you the chance to take in unique settings that you don’t have access to where you normally live. Who knows, you might even come across titles you would never find in mainstream outlets! This could certainly be the case if you’re staying in Brecon. Take a break to Wales here and you can shop at the Andrew Morton Books store, which specialises in second-hand books with a particular emphasis on history, art and military titles.
Brecon is just a short distance from Hay-on-Wye. As this is home to over a dozen independent bookshops – not to mention having the nickname ‘the town of books’ – I’m quite confident you’ll find at least one title you want to buy. Murder and Mayhem on Lion Street stocks detective fiction, horror and true crime books, while the Francis Edwards shop specialises in antique and rare titles, some of which date back as far as 1855.
Hay-on-Wye isn’t just a great destination for book-lovers for its range of bookshops, but also because it’s the home of the exciting Hay Festival. This annual event takes place every May, bringing together writers and artists from all over the globe. Here you’ll get to attend a number of lectures, book signings, readings and concerts, all with the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park lying in the backdrop.
The full line-up for this year’s festival is yet to be confirmed, but with John le Carre – who penned The Constant Gardener – and Elif Shafak among the writers who are set to appear, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time.
Wales is the birthplace of dozens of great writers, including Thomas Parry and Bertrand Russell, but I think one of its most famous literary sons is Dylan Thomas.
Among the iconic poet’s most well-known works are And Death Shall Have No Dominion and In My Craft Or Sullen Art, and, if you want to get an insight into what inspired him to write, I suggest you visit the Dylan Thomas Boathouse. This attraction, which is situated in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, is where Thomas lived with his family from 1949 until his death in 1953.
By wandering around the well-preserved period building, you’ll get to learn more about Thomas’s personal and professional life, with dozens of his possessions (including handwritten letters, photos and books) on display. You can take in audio and video recordings of the poet performing his own work too, while there is also the opportunity to soak up amazing views of the nearby River Taf.
These are just some of the best attractions and activities that Wales has to offer book-lovers, but if you can think of any other wonderful things to see and do, please let us know by leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!