Liven up your morning commute, lunch break or evening bath by taking a quick trip to Cymru, with the help of the Pod of Wales podcast.
Pod of Wales is the audio equivalent of hitching a ride around Wales with two of the country's funniest people, visiting well known landmarks and attractions, sampling regional cuisine, meeting local characters, and staying in the most stunning locations.
The show is co-hosted by Welsh comedians Kiri Pritchard-McLean, whose voice may be familiar to listeners from stints on popular panel shows such as Would I Lie to You?, and Esyllt Sears, as heard on BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra.
Produced by Little Wander, the team behind the internationally renowned Machynlleth Comedy Festival, the podcast follows the duo as they voyage across the country, from Wrexham in the north to Pontypridd in the south.
Esyllt says, ‘I always knew Wales was something special but allowing myself to be a tourist in my own country has opened my eyes to so much that I had never encountered or dared explore before. We have eaten, drank, laughed and spoken to so many passionate advocates across the length and breadth of this land in the hope it inspires others to come and experience it for themselves.’
I always knew Wales was something special but allowing myself to be a tourist in my own country has opened my eyes to so much that I had never encountered or dared explore before."
Stops on the pair’s action-packed itinerary include gin-tasting sessions at farms, paddleboard yoga lessons on lakes and one rather perilous narrow boat journey in Llangollen, which threatens to make Kiri 'violently ill'.
Thankfully, this brief brush with nausea didn’t sour Kiri’s experience while working on the podcast.
‘I already think Wales is the best country in the world,' she says, 'but as we’ve been travelling around and discovering just how many wonderful places she has to offer, I’m now confident I’d fight to the death over it.’
Episodes of the podcast are embedded below. It’s a fun-filled, whirlwind tour of the nation that should provide ample inspiration for your own Welsh overland odyssey.
Pod of Wales: Wrexham and Llangollen
The inaugural episode of the podcast sees Kiri and Esyllt crossing the precipitous, UNESCO-listed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on a narrowboat. Safely back on dry land, the pair join the home crowd at the Racecourse, home of Wrexham AFC (owned by Hollywood stars, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney), and sample some of the top tipples on offer at Gales, the oldest wine bar in Wales.
Pod of Wales: Portmeirion to Blaenau Ffestiniog
Kiri and Esyllt visit Portmeirion, an Italian-styled village on the Welsh coast, where they sample the tasting menu at the historic Hotel Portmeirion, prepared by head chef Mark Threadgill, a finalist on the BBC’s Great British Menu. From here, the pair hitch a ride along the Ffestiniog Railway, the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway, before testing their nerve on the high wires at Zip World Llechwedd.
Pod of Wales: Carmarthenshire
Kiri and Esyllt explore Carmarthenshire in West Wales. They spend some time in lovely Laugharne to discover more about poet Dylan Thomas, staying at the iconic Brown's Hotel, and visiting the Dylan Thomas Boathouse. The duo then go gin tasting at the organic, award-winning craft distillery Jin Talog, and make traditional Welsh cawl at Y Sied Cookery School.
Pod of Wales: Rhondda Valley and Pontypridd
This episode, Kiri and Esyllt head to South Wales, where they find out about the rescued ponies at the Fforest Uchaf Horse and Pony Rehabilitation Centre. Overnight, Kiri and Esyllt experienced glamping in style at Fernhill Valley Farm. They also visit Treorchy High Street, full of independent shops and eateries, and meet the people who are working hard to keep their communities vibrant and thriving.
Pod of Wales: Elan Valley and Cambrian Mountains
Esyllt and Kiri head to the astounding Cambrian Mountains area of Mid Wales, where local expert Dafydd Wyn Morgan takes them for a hike up Pumlumon mountain. Next, the duo take on a cycling adventure in the beautiful Elan Valley, which includes a tour inside a dam. From pedal-power to motor-power, they have a taster session on off-road bikes before heading off to explore the local area with the Yamaha Off Road Experience in Llanidloes. Kiri and Esyllt then experience the best spots for stargazing in the Dark Sky reserve.
Pod of Wales: Carew Castle and Llancaiach Fawr
Kiri and Esyllt are ghost hunting at some of the most haunted places in Wales for this spooky-season special! Listen to the spinetingling tales of Carew Castle & Tidal Mill's ghostly apparitions, and the intriguing stories about Llancaiach Fawr Manor from the people who work there.