Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Distance: 4.25km (loop) or 7.25km (with 3km out-and-back extension). The road north from Dolgellau is among Snowdonia’s best: a surprisingly straight, wide A-road ushering traffic south to north across the National Park with little to see, ostensibly, but dense belts of forest until you hit the coast around Portmeirion. Which is perfect, because forests and lingering in ostensibly-little-to-see areas are what we are here to … Continue reading Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

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

Between the sea and sky: Ynyslas Dunes

A vast, open expanse of sea and sky greeted us at the Ynyslas dunes. Rolling south of the Dyfi Estuary for as far as the eye can see, this dune dreamscape lifts gazes and spirits – particularly on a spring day, when a stiff breeze buffets the Irish Sea and clouds billow atmospherically in a sharp blue sky. Driving the Coastal Way, the 180-mile route … Continue reading Between the sea and sky: Ynyslas Dunes

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