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Blwyddyn Chwedlau 2017 Year of Legends - Castell Harlech Castle

2017: Wales' Year of Legends

Wales' Year of Legends has arrived. Snowdonia Mountains and Coast will celebrate the year by offering you the opportunity to experience our rich culture, heritage, landscapes and help you discover legendary gems of the area.

Come and explore and learn about our legendary past and visit our legendary attractions.

What type of legendary experience would you like? Need inspiration? 

To see more videos visit our YouTube channel and to see images of the locations go to our Flickr pages.

Legendary Paths and Walks

There is no bigger legend in Snowdonia Mountains and Coast than the main attraction, Snowdon. To give the Welsh name, Yr Wyddfa is the highest mountain in Wales and England and stands proudly 1,085 metres / 3,560 feet above sea level. Learn more about the six main walking paths up Snowdon. Which path will you take? 

North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is a 130 mile path linking St Winefride’s Well at Holywell to Bardsey Island and makes full use of existing footpaths and sections of the Wales Coast Path. Following in the footsteps of centuries of pilgrimages to Bardsey, the path is an opportunity for modern day pilgrims to follow the path whilst visiting many interesting historical sites along the way and to marvel at the area’s natural environment.

Below are more walks where you can experience our legendary history:

> Top 10 legendary walks in Wales - National Trust

> The Mary Jones Walk - In 1800, when she was 15 years old, Mary Jones walked barefoot from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant to Bala to buy a Bible from Reverend Thomas Charles.

> Cader Idris - It is said that anyone who spends the night alone on the mountain will either die, become insane or become a poet.

> Cwm Idwal - It is said that no bird flies over the lake’s surface and that a wailing voice can be heard when there is a storm in the Cwm.

Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia 610 233

Legendary Locations  

Blaenau Ffestiniog has a reputation; they say it always rains. But that old reputation has been put to bed and today it has a reputation as one of the best places for legendary adventure! Visit Blaenau to try Zip Titan or Zip Caverns, take a trip on the Deep Mine Tour in Llechwedd or bring your bike and venture to Antur Stiniog! 

You can’t miss the slates in Blaenau, this little town was said to have ‘roofed the world’, and if your all worn out from the activities follow the slate trail on  Ffestiniog Railway. 

If you fancy a legendary experience but with a more relaxed atmosphere how about Tŷ Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen?

Tŷ Coch can not only boast at being right on the door step to a beautiful beach and stunning views of the sea but can also boast about being officially named as one of the top ten beach bars in the world!

Opened originally in 1842 to serve the local shipbuilders this local gem is the ideal location to unwind.

Want more ideas on legendary locations?

> Come to Llŷn Maritime Museum to learn about the shipping past or perhaps about the newly found grave and skeleton...!

> Cast your mind to Dinas Emrys in the 5th century AD and it’s here Wales received one of its biggest legends – the Red Dragon!

> The longest held Roman Fort in Wales can be seen in Caernarfon. An important military base in Britain that can also be found in the Mabinogion in Macsen’s Dream.

Antur Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Kings and Castles

Castles of Edward I - Concentric defences; massive curtain walls and towers; massive curtain walls and towers and powerful gatehouses!

Step into the dramatic, historic landscapes of Wales and discover the story of the Princes of Gwynedd,Princes of Gwynedd Wales’ most successful medieval dynasty.

King Arthur, Merlin and Camelot are alive and well in Wales. Plan your own early medieval adventure by visiting our ancient hill forts, standing stones, mysterious lakes and dented rocks, said to have been struck by the hooves of the great king’s horse.

> Caernarfon Castle is world famous thanks to its World Heritage status, but have you climed to the top of Eagle tower for yourself?

> Come and see the Castle Owain Glyndŵr burned during the last major Welsh rebellion. It’s said that Criccieth was named after this beautiful Castle.

> Castell y Bere is a Welsh Castle built by the mighty Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great) in 1221.

Folk Tales

Nant Gwrtheyrn, located in Llithfaen at the foot of Yr Eifl is a magical place to visit. Originally a quarrying village, Nant Gwrtheyrn is now known for being a Welsh language and heritage centre.  But another obvious reason to visit is the landscape; take in views of Porthdinllaen and all the way to Anglesey’s South Stack. Above Nant Gwrtheyrn is the earliest archaeological evidence of inhabitation in the area, Tre’r Ceiri. 

If this isn’t enough, one of Wales’ most famous love stories was based here. The story of Rhys and Meinir. Read more about their story, can you find the old oak tree?

Beddgelert is roughly translated to Gelert’s Grave. Gelert was a loyal and faithful hound of Prince Llywelyn in the 13th century, and was left one day to guard the infant son of Llywelyn. When Llywelyn returned he found Gelert covered in blood and his son’s cot empty. Llywelyn acted quickly and out of anger killed Gelert with one stab of his sword. Gelert’s dying cry was met by the baby’s cry. 

Llywelyn rushed to find his son and found the boy unharmed, but close by was the body of a mighty wolf. A wolf that Gelert had killed to protect the young boy. Llywelyn’s heart broke and he never smiled again. Gelert was buried and the village has been known as Beddgelert ever since. 

Come visit the hero’s grave and marvel at the beautiful village. 

Here are a few more to wet your appetite... 

> You can’t get better folk tales than the Mabinogion. Snowdonia is mixed within many of the tales, which one will be your favourite?

> Llyn y Dywarchen has links with the ‘Tylwyth Teg’ (fairies). Einyr a local farmer fell in love with a fairy girl and married her before she had to return to the world of the fairies. Can you spot the Tylwyth Teg?

> Tegid Lake in Bala is said to be the home of a local sea monster called Tegid! Well this is the biggest natural lake in Wales.

700 267 Yr Wyddfa Snowdon Llyn Dywarchen_355A

Local Legends

Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd, stands as its own legend, representing one of Wales' most famous Bards, Ellis Evans. Hedd Wyn, to give him his bardic name, died six weeks before winning the bard's chair at the 1917 Birkenhead National Eisteddfod. Yr Ysgwrn was the family home to Hedd Wyn, his parents and ten siblings. The farmhouse has been passed down for generations but has kept its original character.

Come and step back in time and reflect on the history and witness the black chair for yourself. 

It's hard to speak of Welsh legends and not speak about Owain Glyndŵr. Owain was the Prince of Wales and the instigator for the Welsh Revolt against Henry IV in the 1400’s and it is said that Owain, like Arthur before him, is waiting for a call to return to liberate the Welsh!

An important place in Owain Glyndŵr’s history is Harlech Castle. Here is where he was crowned Prince of Wales and where Owain summoned his supporters. Could Owain be waiting here?

The lists goes on... 

Eric Jones is a famous climber, best known as the first British solo ascent of the north face of the Eiger in 1981. Head on over to Eric's cafe in Tremadog where you can see photos of all his legendary adventures.

When thinking of myths and legends there is one name that comes up time after time, Arthur! Head on over to Corris to visit King Arthur's Labyrinth to learn ancient stories and tales Wales has to offer all while enjoying being underground. A real adventure for the all..

Sir Dave Brailsford is a cycling legend, and it just so happens that he was brought up in Snowdonia. In order to celebrate our legend and highlight the beautiful routes of Brailsford's childhood we have launched two cycling routes; Ffordd Brailsford Way. Come take a look for yourself!