Discover the myths and legends of Wales

Exploring the myths and legends that have shaped the landscape of Wales will take you to some fascinating parts of this ancient land. Here’s our guide to where to discover the best of them.

  • Mari Lwyd entering a bar as part of Christmas celebrations in Llantrisant
    Mari Lwyd, Llantrisant, South Wales Valleys by Paul Seligman

    Meaning ‘Grey Mare’ or ‘Holy Mary’, the Mari Lwyd is a horse figure carried from house to house at Christmas. Its wassailing singers indulge in a round of lampooning and, in a merry conclusion, an exchange of ales and cakes. Try it for yourself every December at the brilliant St Fagans museum.

  • Stream through Beddgelert village, Snowdonia
    Beddgelert village and stream, Snowdonia by HuwNeath

    Standing between two rivers, Beddgelert holds the grave of the hound owned by Llewelyn the Great, the Gwynedd Prince who ruled Wales more than 800 years ago. This sleeping dog lies in a beautiful village – depending on who you listen to, it might even have been named after him.

  • Llyn y Fan Fach in the Camarthenshire Fans mountain range, part of the western Brecon Beacons
    Llyn y Fan Fach and the Carmarthenshire Fans, Carmarthenshire by Paula J James

    Peer into Llyn y Fan Fach, in the Black Mountain range, and your fortunes might follow those of a young boy who, idly dreaming, rose the Lady of the Lake from the waters. She became his devoted wife, but his bad behaviour, legend has it, made her return to the lake.

  • Harlech Castle, Snowdonia
    Harlech Castle, Snowdonia

    On a spur of rock above the Irish Sea, breathe in and think of Owain Glyndŵr, the medieval ruler and last Welsh Prince of Wales. Harlech Castle was his brief home after a revolt against the English, but fell again in 1409. It remains one of the greatest castles in Europe.

  • Conwy Castle, North Wales

    Conwy Castle, North Wales

     by ir0ny

    Conwy Castle is an incredible complex of eight towers in a medieval fortification reached by bridge, there are endless stories to discover within the walls of this magnificent landmark of myth and legend. Edward I moved monks on to build it, but Owain Glyndŵr cunningly seized it in an early 15th century Welsh uprising.

  • Born in Tregaron during the 16th century but immortalised in literature and folklore ever since, Twm Sion Cati is a Welsh Robin Hood, once pardoned by Elizabeth I. See his statue in the square of the town where he once played, then head to the Cambrian Mountains to feel the magic he felt.

  • View of Dolwyddelan Castle and hilltop
    Dolwyddelan Castle, Snowdonia

    You might know the 12th and 13th century lands of North Wales from their immortalisation in the much-loved Princes of Gwynedd stories. Following in their footsteps is easy and evocative, but the ruined castle of Dolwyddelan, once the fortification of Llywelyn the Great, is a must-see on the crags of North Wales.

  • The gravestone of Guto Nyth Brân (Griffith Morgan)

    The grave of Guto Nyth Brân (Griffith Morgan)

     by Rhodri ap Hywel

    You might not make it round as fast, but you’ll be following Iwan Thomas and Linford Christie to Mountain Ash, a former colliery heartland whose famous local son, Guto Nyth Brân, was a legendary 18th century athlete (his real name was Griffith Morgan). They ran the annual race honouring him in a town where his statue stands.

  • Llanfair PG station sign, Anglesey

    Llanfair PG station sign, Anglesey

    As you might gather while trying to read any local road signs, a 19th century joker was responsible for naming this town in Anglesey (deep breath) Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. It is, naturally, a record-breaker and the stuff of films, music and books –enjoy the picturesque village, and go landscape for any photos with those signs.

More information on Welsh traditions & histories