Mari Lwyd, St Fagans Museum

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 National Museum of History.

The Princes of Gwynedd

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.

Beddgelert, Eryri (Snowdonia)

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.

Stone houses and bridge in Beddgelert by the river.
Statue of a dog with mountains in the background.

Beddgelert, Eryri (Snowdonia), North Wales

Lady of the Lake, Carmarthenshire

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 he broke the conditions of their marriage and legend has it, made her return to the lake.

Lake in Brecon Beacons National Park
Llyn y Fan Fach from above with cloudy skies.

Llyn y Fan Fach, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Harlech Castle, Eryri (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.

Little boy running through Harlech Castle with pretend wooden sword

Harlech Castle, North Wales

Conwy Castle, Conwy

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.

Photo taken on bridge leading into Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle, North Wales

Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle (Cadw)

Dolbadarn Castle
Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle (Cadw)

Dolbadarn Castle

Twm Sion Cati

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.

King Arthur

There are thought to be over 300 sites in Wales that claim some connection with King Arthur, including Arthur’s Stone, Gower, Caerleon and The summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).

Read more: Welsh places connected to the King Arthur legend

Guto Nyth Brân

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.


As you might gather while trying to read any local road signs, a 19th century joker was responsible for naming this town on 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.

Llanfair PG sign at railway station, with name in full.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch station, North Wales

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