The Defynnog Yew – the eternal wonder of one of Britain’s oldest trees

A tree, you say? Ah, but the Defynnog Yew is no ordinary tree… Hidden away in the hush of an overgrown churchyard in the little-known hamlet of Defynnog, near Sennybridge, is one of Britain’s greatest arboreal treasures. Said to be 5000 years old by those in the know, this mighty yew has supposedly been around since the Bronze Age, which, if true, would make it … Continue reading The Defynnog Yew – the eternal wonder of one of Britain’s oldest trees

Claerddu Bothy: far-removed (and free) accommodation on the Mid Wales moors

Most people, in our experience, don’t know what a bothy is. Of those that do, most think these life-saving wilderness shelters are only located in Scotland. Of those that know there are actually eight or so in Wales, only a handful harbour a desire to stay at one and of those, not many ever do. Suffice it to say, then, that Claerddu Bothy, becalmed on … Continue reading Claerddu Bothy: far-removed (and free) accommodation on the Mid Wales moors

Porthmelgan: hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to a thrilling smugglers’ cove near St Davids

On a sunny day in St Davids, you might think it’s impossible to dodge the crowds. Yet the coastal honeypot is but a pebble-throw away from some deliciously secluded beaches: not least this sandy haven. From the broad sweep of Whitesands Bay, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (incidentally celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020) teeters along clifftops, scything its way through hedgerows stitched with thrift, campion, … Continue reading Porthmelgan: hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to a thrilling smugglers’ cove near St Davids

How to climb crowd-free up Cadair Idris (Penygadair): a hardcore alternative for hikers

Distance: 27km (one-way). The highest summit in southern Snowdonia, Cadair Idris (also known as Penygadair) is no secret. We wish it was, but it isn’t. Looming large above the twin lakes nestled breathtakingly beneath its crags, with staggering views of the Llŷn Peninsula and with two well-trodden trails snaking up to the top from the trailheads of Ty-nant (north side) and Minffordd (south), this is … Continue reading How to climb crowd-free up Cadair Idris (Penygadair): a hardcore alternative for hikers

Drygarn Fawr: a trip to the gaping gap on the map (and three ways to reach the summit)

Distance: Routes vary in length between 3 and 10 miles. On a hike in a totally different part of Wales at a totally different time last year, Undiscovered Wales met, on the trail, what you could only describe as a true veteran of the hills. A hardened, rain-lashed, wind-grizzled walker who imparted a knowing look whichever part of Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons or Mid Wales … Continue reading Drygarn Fawr: a trip to the gaping gap on the map (and three ways to reach the summit)

The Red Kite Estate: futuristic, first-of-their-kind getaways in the wilderness

Wilderness is one of those words bandied about too lightly these days: in Europe we do not in truth have very much of it. On a continent-wide scale, aside from Scandinavia’s northern fringes and parts of northern Scotland, one of the areas most deserving of the term is the tract of Mid Wales where the Red Kite Estate lies. The largest expanse of continuous moorland … Continue reading The Red Kite Estate: futuristic, first-of-their-kind getaways in the wilderness

Traeth Bach: the cut-off cove that eludes almost everyone

No one could term the beach destinations of Llangrannog, bustling one-time hangout of Dylan Thomas, and Penbryn, home to one of Wales’ best beach cafes, off-the-beaten-track. Both are pretty popular when the sun comes out. But there is a sandy bay in-between attracting about three visitors to every 300 Llangrannog and Penbryn pull in, and is so Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-picturesque it makes even its beautiful neighbours seem … Continue reading Traeth Bach: the cut-off cove that eludes almost everyone

Pembrokeshire through an illustrator’s eyes: Jackie Morris puts us in the picture

Goldfinches in mid-flight, a proud oak bent in the breeze, the unfurling of a fern, an owl gliding on a moonlit night, the slippery grace of an otter under water – Jackie Morris’ illustrations are the ultimate journey into the natural world through the simple act of turning a page. The British artist and writer lives in a cottage in Pembrokeshire on Wales’ wild west … Continue reading Pembrokeshire through an illustrator’s eyes: Jackie Morris puts us in the picture

Bodysgallen Hall: National Trust-owned manor in the far north ensconced in exquisite gardens

Turning off the busy Conwy-Llandudno road and bumping over the cattle grid past this palatial property’s gatehouse, itself more lavish than many hotels, it becomes apparent that a stay at Bodysgallen Hall is a firm, fine waltz back in time to a picturesque, peaceful pocket of Wales where the clock stopped some time in the 19th century – or possibly even earlier. Thought to have … Continue reading Bodysgallen Hall: National Trust-owned manor in the far north ensconced in exquisite gardens

Stargazing in the Cambrian Mountains at summer solstice with Dafydd Wyn Morgan

The Cambrian Mountains are home to some of the UK’s darkest night skies, with very little light pollution making for perfect stargazing conditions. We talk to Dafydd Wyn Morgan, project manager for Dyfodol Cambrian Futures, about the Cambrian Mountains Astro Trail that has recently put this remote, wild corner of Wales firmly on the celestial map. Taking in nine locations that have been awarded Milky … Continue reading Stargazing in the Cambrian Mountains at summer solstice with Dafydd Wyn Morgan