CASTLE STREET, Hay-on-Wye
Market town Hay- on-Wye on the Welsh border has more to it than books, and its main road, Castle Street, is where you’ll ! nd intriguing stores aplenty. Sally Forwood of Mostlymaps (mostlymaps.com), who has been selling antique maps on the street for 29 years, says the shops have changed from grocery stores to boutiques since she’s been here. ‘ There is still the same butcher ( CJ Gibbons) though – his daughter runs it now,’ she says. ‘ We have old-fashioned-style shops that are all independent. We are not your run of the mill. We are quirky and o"er unusual and interesting things you won’t ! nd elsewhere.’ One of the most popular shops is Athene English’s The
Great English Outdoors (greatenglish. co.uk) at the end of the street, selling Welsh blankets and beautiful handmade leather goods. Next door you’ll ! nd new arrival The Story of
Books (thestoryo# books.com), which celebrates the history of the tome, and on again there is Castle Greengrocers,
The Addyman Annexe bookshop and Mostlymaps, which is opposite the towering Norman Castle that gives the street its name. The fortress is currently covered in sca "olding while it undergoes a major restoration project by the Hay Castle Trust (haycastle trust.org), with the plan to turn it into a centre for the arts and learning. Built in the late 12th century by the Norman lord William de Braose, with a later Jacobean manor added in the 17th century, it has been the scene of great ba$les and ! res over the centuries. ‘ There’s a lot happening in Hay at the moment,’ adds Sally. Find good food further into town at The Old Electric
Shop (oldelectric.co.uk), which has a cafe alongside its interesting vintage and new wares.
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Hay-on-Wye is referred to as ‘The Town of Books’ due to its many second-hand bookshops; Castle Greengrocers; The Old Electric Shop is on nearby Broad Street.