Year of Legends 2017!

Wales enjoys a rich and vibrant culture with a curious mix of myth and legend.

From the medieval Welsh Folk tales of The Mabinogion to the epic and iconic tales of King Arthur, which have been told the world over.

Infusing the old with creating new and celebrating new Welsh legends, we are proud of our past as we look forward to the future with confidence.   2017 is the Year of Legends!

The dramatic and stunning Welsh coastline provides the perfect backdrop to these legendary tales and we’ve selected a few here for you to discover and enjoy whilst on your coastal walk! 

 

Saint Dwynwen - Llanddwyn Island, Isle of Anglesey

undefinedA tragic tale of lovers Dwynwen and her lover Maelon ends on Llanddwyn Island (Ynys Llanddwyn in Welsh) in the south west corner of the idyllic Isle of Anglesey in North Wales with the sweeping backdrop of Snowdonia mountain range and the Menai Straits. 

It is a love tale that we celebrate 25th January as St Dwywen's Day – the Welsh version of Valentine’s Day.

Discover the amazing coastal and impressive sand dune system of Newborough Warren and Ynys Llanddwyn National Nature Reserve (NNR) by downloading the Saint, Sand and Sea audio file and map to accompany your walk.

Expect some amazing coastal and forest views and some of the very finest examples of geological features.  Remember to take your camera!

Find out more about short and long walks on our Isle of Anglesey page.

(Image:  Llanddwyn Island ponies, Visit Wales)

 Cantre Gwaelod, Ceredigion

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At low tide, you can also see the remains of the 4,000 year old oak, pine and birch trees sunken in the sands of Borth and Ynyslas – the gateway to the Dyfi National Nature Reserve. 

According to legend, this is Wales’ very own Atlantis, the lost land of Cantre’r Gwaelod was stood here ruled by Gwyddno Garanhir.  Protected by sluices and dykes from the ravages of the sea, this city was lost one stormy night when a drunk guardian of the city’s sea gates forgot to shut them.  

Some say that you can still here the ringing bells of Cantre Gwaelod, if you listen very carefully…..

You can appreciate the different aspects of the Cantre’r Gwaelod landscape by walking two different routes:

  • The first is a spur off the Wales Coast Path at Borth to Ynyslas, a loop following a river and wetland route returning along the beach.
  • The second is a clifftop route from Borth (South) as far as Sarn Cynfelyn along the Wales Coast Path. 

Find out more about short and long walks on our Ceredigion page.

Download the maps for Borth to Ynyslas and Borth (South) from our Resources Section below.

(Image: Cantre'r Gwaelod, Borth. Janet Baxter)

 

Carreg Bica, Ceredigion

undefinedLegend has it that a Ceredigion giant called Bica was suffering from terrible tooth ache that he spat out the offending tooth in anger.  The weathered rock known as Carreg Bica juts out majestically at Llangrannog beach – it has certainly stood the test of time!

Just up from the beach is a fantastic viewpoint of Llangrannog village itself where you will come across the statue of St Carannog, a saint of many miraculous deeds.

Find out more about short and long walks on our Ceredigion page.

(Image:  Carreg Bica, Llangrannog. Janet Baxter)

 

St Govan’s Chapel, Pembrokeshire

undefinedHere in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Britain’s only coastal National Park, you will discover a tiny quirky chapel wedged in a gap in the heart of Pembrokeshire coastal cliffs.  At least 1,000 years old, this chapel was the home to the 6th century Irish monk called St Govan who was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.

 Legend has it that the number of steps doing down to the chapel is never the same going up - let us know if this is true!

Find out more about short and long walks on our Pembrokeshire page.

(Image: St Govan's Chapel, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park)

 

Chepstow Castle, Monmouth

undefinedThe oldest castle doors in Europe can be found right here in Chepstow Castle along the South Wales coast line.  At over 800 years old and made entirely of wood, we reckon these would be rather difficult to replace! 

Chepstow is also the Southern start/finish point of the Wales Coast Path and the 177 mile long Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.

The National Trail follows the dyke that King Offa ordered to be constructed in the 8th century probably to divide his kingdom of Mercia from rival kingdoms in what is now Wales.    

Whichever path you take, you’ll be walking through a land of legendary proportions!

Find out more about short and long walks on our South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary page.

(Image: Chepstow Castle, Monmouth.  Ian Metcalf)

 

Follow us on social media!

We’d love to know about your Welsh coastal walks.  Remember to tag us on social media with the hashtags:

#walescoast #afordircymru #FindYourEpic

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Resources