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Literary Wales

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Literary Wales

We Welsh love to talk, so it's not surprising our literature all stems from the storytelling tradition.  We have a real love of language and a thriving literary culture, in both the Welsh language and in English (called Anglo-Welsh literature).   Here's a 3 day literary tour of South and West Wales.

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Day 1

In the Wye Valley you'll find the 12th century Tintern Abbey.   It’s one of the most serene and faithfully preserved ruin in Britain and was the source of inspiration for the poet Wordsworth.


Travel west to the World Heritage Site of Blaenavon - follow in the footsteps of Alexander Cordell's characters from 'Rape of the Fair Country'.


Travel through the Black Mountains to explore Hay-on-Wye, the town which is famous for its books. There are millions of them and they’re everywhere. The castle, the cinema, the fire station and alleyways are all book shops. It also hosts the annual Hay Festival of Literature & the Arts in May/June which has placed the town well and truly on the world literary map.   Bill Clinton referred to the festival as the "Woodstock of the Mind".



Day 2

Today, explore the city of Swansea, birthplace of the poet Dylan Thomas.  Start at the market - the stomping ground of Dylan Thomas and follow the town route to Cwmdonkin Drive where he was born.  Take in the Dylan Thomas Centre which pays homage to the great Welsh poet and writer.   Tours of Cwmdonkin Drive and the Dylan Thomas Centre can be arranged in advance.  The Centre can also offer a variety of talks and lectures to suit all requirements.


Day 3 

Explore the village of Laugharne, where Dylan Thomas wrote 'Under Milk Wood'.   You can still see his writing shed and his boathouse overlooking Carmarthen Bay. 


Travel north to the seaside town of New Quay where the film 'The Edge of Love' was filmed based on an episode in the life of Dylan Thomas.  Dylan Thomas spent a lot of time here, providing inspiration for his writing.  It's possible to follow a trail of significant locations around the town.

End your day in the university town of Aberystwyth and home to The National Library of Wales.  Explore some of the ancient legends of Wales drawn from The Mabinogion and other local tales.  They offer free weekly tours for individuals and groups. With prior notice, they can offer tours in French, German and Italian, also free of charge.


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