ON THE border between England and Wales is a market town with plenty of charm that attracts book lovers from all over the world.

Located in the county of Powys, Hay-on-Wye is a town in the old Welsh Marches - the territory between the two countries.

Some have described it as “Wales’ answer to Notting Hill” because of its thriving book festival, but there’s a lot more to this town than books.

The streets are steeped in history and the town is first referred to between 1135 and 1147 as ‘Haya’.

It later became ‘Hay’ in the 16th century, and the name of the river in the town (the River Wye) was latter added to make it the name we know today.

The Welsh names of ‘Gelli’ and ‘Gelli Gandrell’ have also been used for the town.

The dramatic Black Mountains and the river Wye have always been a draw for visitors and it is used as a base by many walkers who come to enjoy the Brecon Beacons.

There are plenty of quirky shops and corners to be found in the town, and even its history is colourful.

You may not know it but there was once a king of Hay-on-Wye

On April 1, 1977, Richard Booth declared Hay-on-Wye to be an ‘independent kingdom’ with himself as its king.

It even had a national anthem written by Les Penning.

He had bought the town’s old fire station in 1961 and turned it into a second-hand book shop, and so began the town’s life as a literary centre.

More second-hand bookshops followed and so did the world-famous literary festival.

In 2005 he sold his bookshop and his reign came to an end.

Another little known fact is that the town has also been twinned with Timbuktu - itself a literary centre - since 2007.

Now you can spend hours looking at old and new books around the town and stop off for a coffee or a pint.

You can find out more about the town and its events at hay-on-wye.co.uk.