Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why, its Hay on Wye!

It's been a fair while since hubby and I (and our youngest too), had one of our jolly weekend jaunts, so we decided to go a little further afield than we would normally yesterday...
Over the Second Severn Crossing and briefly into Wales...

How I love the countryside over the bridge - so picturesque, green and wild, with just a sprinkling of sheep on the hills.
Looks like we weren't the only ones enjoying the scenery...
(You may need to enlarge the photo below to see these guys enjoying the thermals! - sorry, I took the photo whilst going along in the car)
By mid-morning we arrived at Hay on Wye, often described as 'the town of books' as there are so many bookshops in the town, many of them selling second-hand and antique examples.

There are other shops too: 'Goosy Gander' sells continental chandeliers and mirrors. This fabulous French beaded creation was hanging outside.

The Hay Antique Market is a wonderful place to mooch around...

My favourite stand inside is run by Louise, who has exquisite vintage taste.

I bought this sweet little 1930's beaded bag from her, with its very unusual barrel shape...I was tempted by several other items, but was being very self-controlled!

A further explore of the town and we found this little beauty! - Lots of vintage French style...yummy!
Update: I've just received a fascinating comment from Floss regarding the name of this shop. Please take a look in my comments if you are interested - thanks again Floss!

Definitely worth a delve inside...

Look at this gorgeous c1920's tunic top (on the right) hanging in the doorway...hmmmm...very tempting indeed...

Hubby treated me to this little number though. It's a French, long length cardigan knitted in the softest yarn, with purple lace trimmed edges. He said it was just my style...with its slightly tatty look (!)...was that a compliment? heehee...he's right though...;-))

Onwards to discover quaint little shops filled with traditional pure wool Welsh blankets

and country antiques.
And we couldn't finish our tour of the retail establishments without visiting one or two of the book shops!
One of the most unusual is Hay Castle Bookshop, with much of the stock being on shelves outside in the gardens!
Our daughter bought a lovely old set (pre movie) of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which she was thrilled to bits with.
And before making our way back home, we felt we aught to say a quick hello to the River Wye from the bridge...

And then it was "Goodbye" to lovely Hay on Wye.

Hope you're having a fun weekend,
Niki x


  1. I look forward to your pictures!! I enlarged the one of the parachutists coming over the hill. How wonderful!!! I can't tell you how in awe of all things English. Your weekend trip would be a dream-come-true for me!! Thanks for the pictures and God bless. Love the sweater, by the way!! : )

    ~ Wendy

  2. Anonymous2:14 pm

    Ahhhh....A trip to Wales and I'm still in bed in my pjs. Thank you.

  3. Fabulous day and finds!

  4. One of my favourite places - lucky you. Those blankets look scrummy!

  5. That looks like my kind of place...I would have loved a look in those wonderful shops, love the picture of you all looking over the bridge at the end....have a good week and hugs H

  6. The beaded bag is just stunning, I love it.

  7. Hello Niki

    What a lovely day out. One of those places I keep meaning to visit but still haven't been too. Now that I have seen what is there, I am all the keener! Sage Femme really is a must..
    The beaded bag is really beautiful! I can see why it had to come back with you.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  8. It looks like a beautiful place. It's one of the many places we've talked about going to but not got around to it....maybe someday.

  9. Beautiful! As a young teenager I bought a few books in Haye on Wye (mainly archaeology ones, I think) and I remember how amazing it is. The 'Sage Femme' shop is wonderfully named - I guess you know what it means, but just in case someone doesn't, it literally means 'Wise Woman' but, specifically, it's the word for a Midwife. That's why she (it must be a she) has found vintage 'Sage Femme' signs. The French would enjoy the wordplay.

    Keep the lovely trips coming, Niki!

  10. Oh how lovely! Now that I have some "free" time on my hands... I should plan a little holiday! haha! In all seriousness, if I could, England would be the first place I would return to. Thank you for such wonderful photos, Niki.

  11. That looked like a lovely trip. Your daughter is so lucky to have got such a lovely set of old books. And that tarty cardy of yours is really nice, does that make me a bit tarty too? Oh I hope so too!

  12. Really enjoyed reading about your trip to Hay on Wye and seeing the lovely photos.I have never been there but it is now on my 'places to visit list'

    Best Wishes,


  13. havent been to Hay and Ross since my daughter Kate was little and we used to stay with relatives in Cheltenham. Since her terrible accident 6 years ago I dont get out much - and now I look after my dear old dad too. Love your cardi,I am a cardi person, Best wishes Elizabeth

  14. How very lovely! I know you had a great time!
    Hugs, Lisa

  15. Errr...Sarah, that was 'tatty' not 'tarty'! ;-))
    Thanks for your comments ladies!
    Niki x

  16. I visited Hay back in April and posted some photos too. It seems we like the same shops! Both women of great taste eh?


  17. Niki...
    I loved seeing this posting...I felt like I was in your back pocket. Thank you for a lovely tour. What fine and dandy day on the Wye! I spent the same day going to "Underground Seattle" in old Pioneer Square in Seattle Washington. Postings coming of that in October. Blessings from Washington State!

  18. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Hay is one of those places on my list of must visits, bought a wondeful Hannah Appleton illustration childs book for my American cousin from the Chilren's Bookshop there, they have a wonderful selection of books.

    Love the cardigan and the bag.

    Now need to plan my weekend away....

  19. I loved your photos and being able to travel to England via your blog is wonderful!

  20. Ohh, I am green with envy! I did not know about Hay-on-Wye until a couple of years ago when I read Sixpence House. Ever since, I have longed to make the trip--and NOW, why I had no idea of the OTHER attractions than books! sigh

  21. If your looking for somewhere to stay near hay I can recommend yewtrees cottage.

    A lovely old romantic stone cottage just outside of hay on the blackmountain.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx