The 10-day Hay Festival is Britain's leading festival of literature and the arts – a kind of bookworms' Glastonbury. Like an iconic music festival, it has the gravity to attract the brightest stars in its corner of the artistic galaxy. Entry to the festival site is free; individual events are ticketed.
As well as readings, workshops, book signings, concerts and club nights, there's also a parallel children's program called Haydays, where youngsters can meet famous children's authors and enjoy workshops, games and other distractions. There are shuttle buses from Hay-on-Wye and surrounding towns to the site, in fields on Hay's southwestern fringe.
It's proved such a popular formula that there are now Hay Festivals in Mexico, Spain, Peru and Colombia.