The suggested itinerary is based on a five-night stay and would be led by knowledgeable, personable guides with contributions from many of Wales’ contemporary artists.

Day one

Experience uniquely welsh Aberystwyth through its wealth of resident and diasporic writers, from the ‘Aberystwyth Noir’ detective novelist Malcolm Pryce, to the Liverpudlian Welsh writer Niall Griffiths, to the Canadian expat writer Tyler Keevil. In the afternoon, journey to The National Library of Wales for a talk about Y Llyfrgell (‘The Library’) by novelist Fflur Dafydd, followed by a screening of the recent film adaptation. Enjoy dinner at one of Aberystwyth’s speciality seafood restaurants.

Aerial view of Aberystwyth showing the seafront.

Aberystwyth

Day two

Travel south to the picturesque seaside towns of Aberaeron and New Quay, where contemporary local writers Cynan Jones and Samantha Rhydderch will walk you through their perspectives on these places and communities. After a slight deviation to take in Dylan Thomas’ former home and writing shed, as well as the New Quay of Llareggub in 'Under Milk Wood', we’ll journey to Talgarreg for afternoon tea and Welsh cakes with the former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke. Dine and stay overnight at one of the many boutique hotels of the area.

View of Aberaeron and its colourful houses in front of the sea.
New Quay harbour from above.

Aberaeron and New Quay

Day three

Explore the legendary tales of The Mabinogion in the castle town of Cardigan, the location of the first National Eisteddfod, and the Tironian abbey ruins at St. Dogmaels. Return north for a pub lunch and walk along the pretty beach at Llangrannog, before a trip to the Grade I listed Llanerchaeron Mansion in the beautiful Dyffryn Aeron – a place of inspiration for both Dylan Thomas and TS Eliot.

The ruins of a Priory amongst lush green lawns and wild flowers.
An aerial shot of Llangrannog beach, sea and surrounding buildings.

St Dogmael's Abbey and Llangrannog

Day four

Uncover medieval Ceredigion through the words of the great medieval poet Dafydd ap Gwilym with a visit to 12th century Strata Florida Abbey and 6th century Llanbadarn Fawr. Return to Aberystwyth via the castle ruins (which may feature in another of his poems) for a talk by Eurig Salisbury on Welsh language poetry. The day will end with a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the exquisite medieval manuscripts held by The National Library of Wales. Followed by dinner and a show at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

The ruins of an abbey seen through an iron gate.
Dafydd ap Gwilym's gravestone.
An arched doorway on the ruins of an abbey.

Strata Florida Abbey

Day five

Journey north east into the heartlands of the Cambrian Mountains to the RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve in Eglyws-fach, combining the evocative poetry of RS Thomas with his favourite past-time of bird watching. Followed by lunch at The Brigands pub, where you’ll trace the steps of the legendary Red Bandits of Mawddwy.

A bird standing on the grass
Marshland and water in a nature reserve.

A lapwing at RSPB Ynys-Hir Nature Reserve

Literature Wales offers:

  • Free information and advice for those planning their own literary adventures;
  • Bespoke literary tour curation for tour operators or private groups;
  • Support, guidance and partnership for others’ literary tourism projects.

Please get in touch with Literature Wales for further information about their services, including to commission bespoke versions of the tours.

Related stories