Home > Culture > The Hay Festival Winter Weekend returns to Hay-On-Wye for the twentieth year

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend returns to Hay-On-Wye for the twentieth year

Prepare for four days of literature, talks and culture as the Hay Festival transforms the town of books for the winter season

Hay-On-Wye will be decked in festive lights for the winter festival. Image provided by the Hay Festival.

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend is an intimate, fireside version of the Hay Festival held in spring. Expect candle-lit storytelling, conversation, comedy, music and family-friendly workshops in this corner of Mid Wales from 28 November to 1 December. 

The weekend includes talks with leading experts such as author Bernardine Evaristo, comedian Russell Kane, broadcaster Emma Barnett and historian Tom Holland. The festival also runs a programme of arts and crafts activities, local woodland walks, writing classes and more

Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival, said, “It’s a weekend to hang out in the inns and cafés of Hay, browse the bookshops and boutiques, sing carols, walk by the river, gaze at the stars, dance a little, laugh a lot and share some stories.

“The Hay Festival is a live public party that invites everyone to join in,” Peter said. “Come on your own, come with family and friends or meet new ones here. Truly, it’s for everyone.”

Events will be held at venues across the centre of Hay-On-Wye. The iconic bookshops will be illuminated by festive lights with the town switch-on happening on 29 November. Highlights of the weekend are the winter food festival on Saturday, with an artisan market and vintage, antiques and collectables fair on Sunday. 

It’s the most twinkingly-lovely start to the festive season,” said Michelle Walder, an executive director of the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts. 

The winter weekend festival will also pay tribute to the ‘King of Hay’, the late Richard Booth who is credited for transforming Hay-On-Wye into the town of books. 

Events will be held at venues in the town centre of Hay-On-Wye. Image by Marsha Arnold.
This marks the twentieth year of the Hay Festival Winter Weekend. Image by Marsha Arnold.

“Books are portals to different worlds, real and imaginary,” Peter ended. “Writers reveal intimate truths about our lives and we invite audiences of the Hay Festival to imagine the world as it is and as it might be.”

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