For one fortnight a year, the sleepy Welsh town of Hay-on-wye comes alive with the Hay Festival, a celebration of literature and culture. It was dreamt up around a kitchen table 31 years ago, and has now gone global (who knew there was a Hay Cartagena in Colombia, or Hay Arequipa in Peru?), but the flagship remains the jewel in the crown. This year’s highlights include design critic Alice Rawsthorn’s ‘field guide to design’. Accommodation-wise, Pottery Cottage Clyro (£80 per night; potterycottageclyro.com) and Harp Cottage, with its charming, but neutral interior (£321 for a three-night stay; harpcottage.co.uk) are ideal (24 May–3 June; hayfestival.com).