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

Paxton’s Tower: the fabulous folly far above the Tywi commemorating prospects lost

Protruding out of the wood-carpeted line of hills south of the River Tywi in bizarre neo-Gothic splendour, Paxton’s Tower is no retiring violet from the public eye – indeed it is among Carmarthenshire’s most distinctive landmarks – but its sheer comic oddness renders it the sort of spot we at Undiscovered Wales absolutely love. The surrounding parish of Llanarthne has, since 2000, become one of … Continue reading Paxton’s Tower: the fabulous folly far above the Tywi commemorating prospects lost

The great Welsh cheese-off: seven of the nation’s finest undiscovered cheeses face off in a taste-off, but which will be a cut above?

Despite all those cows and sheep scattered across the green hillsides, when it comes to naming famous Welsh cheeses most will get stumped right after Caerphilly. This National Cheese Day, we have hand-picked three of the many multi-award winning cheese producers across the country, each of which have hand-picked between one and three of their most iconic cheeses – we have (extensively!) tasted each, compared … Continue reading The great Welsh cheese-off: seven of the nation’s finest undiscovered cheeses face off in a taste-off, but which will be a cut above?

In search of the cave of Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood

Walk length: 4km. In almost all countries, it seems, there is a Robin Hood figure, usually treading that hazy space between fact and fiction in history: someone who takes from the rich, gives to the poor and then gets heroised in popular culture. In Wales, it is Twm Siôn Cati: a canny 16th-century Mid Wales outlaw about whom reams of stories have been written but … Continue reading In search of the cave of Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood

Cwmdu Inn: community-run tavern that could be Mid Wales’ most wondrous watering hole

Making the journey north from Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire, a distinct change takes place in the landscape. The county’s fertile lowlands, main towns and main roads are now behind you. The hills get bigger, the valleys deeper; communities more scattered. You are entering Mid Wales: the wildest tract of the country. Cwmdu village is about the most paradisal initiation to this region you could imagine, and … Continue reading Cwmdu Inn: community-run tavern that could be Mid Wales’ most wondrous watering hole

Dryslwyn Castle: one of the greatest Welsh-built fortresses

Despite Wales’ likely status as the planet’s most densely castellated nation (only the Czechs and Slovaks can justifiably vie for this title), it is regrettably a myth that a fortress seemingly crests every hilltop, as some tourist-oriented merchandise intimates. Travelling along the fertile Tywi River valley between Llandeilo and Carmarthen, however, is one of those zones where the myth holds true. Dryslwyn Castle is one … Continue reading Dryslwyn Castle: one of the greatest Welsh-built fortresses

In the footsteps of the Physicians of Myddfai

Walk length: 8km. What do a succession of medieval medics often attributed with being the forerunners of the NHS, Prince Charles and a boutique range of Welsh toiletries have in common? The unlikely answer lies in  – or, rather, scattered around – the sleepy hamlet of Myddfai on the northwestern fringes of the Brecon Beacons. A history of herbalists hereabouts… Sleepy today, perhaps. But back … Continue reading In the footsteps of the Physicians of Myddfai

A caffeine-fuelled catch-up with Scott James, Coaltown Coffee founder

Founder of the multiple award-winning Coaltown Coffee, Scott James has brought some of the finest roasted brews, fresh opportunity and an air of newfound cool to the former coal mining town of Ammanford. Here he tells us his story… Why Coaltown? My great-grandfather was a coal miner. Back in those days the community was thriving and industry booming in Ammanford, in Carmarthenshire in South Wales. … Continue reading A caffeine-fuelled catch-up with Scott James, Coaltown Coffee founder

The Caio Forest: the forest that foiled an English king

Discovering the truly undiscovered inevitably entails sometimes opening up the OS map, scouting out the sort of terrain you love, hedging your bets and just going there. So it was with the Caio forest for us: it had expanses of trees, some thrillingly close-together contour lines, a promising little network of marked paths and a proper parking place. So off we went. (The marked paths … Continue reading The Caio Forest: the forest that foiled an English king

Llyn Brianne: South Wales’ biggest body of water is a true recluse

When we moved to remotest Carmarthenshire, the place we heard recommended to us again and again for a day trip was Llyn Brianne. Some places fall far short of the hype. Some, you finally get there and think ‘OK, nice enough.’ Some just totally exceed expectations. Llyn Brianne belongs firmly to the latter group. This snaking reservoir nestles hidden in the upper Tywi Valley, spread-eagled … Continue reading Llyn Brianne: South Wales’ biggest body of water is a true recluse