Hay-on-Wye is a pretty and thriving market town on the Wales/Herefordshire borders and is the north eastern gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park. Situated on the banks of the River Wye in an area of high scenic value, it is set in some of the prettiest borders scenery in the area with the nearby Black Mountains offering some of the best walking, mountain biking and riding in the country. For a town of its size, it has amazing facilities, principally because of its importance as a tourist destination and has about 20 bookshops including reputedly the largest second hand bookshop in the world. These are augmented by restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, clothes, gift and antique shops and a thriving Thursday street market which provides a further attraction for tourists throughout the year. The town is also famous for its Hay Festival of the Arts which in recent years has included visits from people like Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Jeremy Clarkson, Germaine Greer, Jacqueline Wilson, Monty Don, Barbara Erskine and Ken Dodd to name just a few. The town also serves as a strong service centre for its surrounding villages and agricultural hinterland with banks, accountants, solicitors, cattle market, estate agents, etc all of which provide further facilities to its residents. The surrounding countryside has a number of pretty and well serviced villages and a variety of country cottages, smallholdings, farmsteads and country houses.