Snowdonia National Park
Breathtaking nature and unique summit landscapes – that is the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales. The UK’s third largest national park attracts millions of tourists and locals from around the world every year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Wales.
Snowdon: The roof of “Snowdonia”
One of the great highlights of the national park is Snowdon, which at 1,085 meters is the highest mountain in Wales. But the total of 2,170 square kilometers Snowdonia National Park, in which 26,000 people live, has significantly more peaks, spectacular hiking trails and a species-rich nature to offer. In total, the park has more than 1,500 kilometers of well-developed paths and trails, but also some raging waterfalls and deep gorges. Adventurers, hikers and mountain bikers get their money’s worth in the Snowdonia National Park as well as nature lovers. Among other things, besides martens and goats, ospreys, peregrine falcons and common ravens can also be seen in their natural habitat. The dense forests with deciduous and coniferous trees also make the National Park something very special. Snowdonia National Park is one of the wettest areas in Great Britain. On the eastern edge of the park is the Llyn Tegid, the largest natural body of water in Wales, one of the most popular fishing lakes in Great Britain.
Dylan Thomas boathouse
County Carmarthenshire is in south Wales and stretches to the Atlantic coast. A small town in Carmarthenshire has become very famous: In Laugharne, the most famous poet of Wales, Dylan Thomas, lived from 1949 to 1953 in a rather modest house at the mouth of the River Taf in the Atlantic Ocean. This boathouse is now a museum. Lovers of literature like to stop by this memorial to a great writer on their trip to Wales.
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
The poet was born in Swansea, Wales, and visited the small town of Laugharne for the first time in 1934. He liked it there and moved there in 1938. Thomas was almost always in need of money and dependent on patrons, although he had great success with his poems, essays and lectures. In 1949 a patroness bought him the boathouse, a two-story building in an idyllic location. He moved into the boathouse with his wife Caitlin and their two children, and the couple’s third child was born here. Dylan Thomas’s parents also lived in Laugharne from 1949 to 1953; he had rented them a house here. Thomas’ most famous work, the radio play “Under Milk Wood” (“Unter dem Milchwald”) was created during his years in the boathouse, and the town of Laugharne served the author as a model for the fictional village ”
Museum visitors strolling through the boathouse have the feeling that it is still inhabited. It looks so authentic! Original furniture from the Thomas family can be seen as well as many memorabilia from the poet. Films and sound documents illustrate the poet’s life. The small summer house by the boathouse is particularly romantic. There is a desk that Thomas worked on. From the small garden shed and also from the terrace of the boathouse, the view extends far out to the sea. Visitors to the museum can rest a little in the tea room after the tour. In the museum’s bookstore, of course, you can find works by Dylan Thomas. If you want, you could go to the cemetery and look at the family grave of Thomas and his relatives. There is also a three-kilometer walk through Laugharne,
Hay on Wye Festival
The town of Hay-on-Wye lies on the banks of the River Wye in the idyllic hill country of south-west Wales (County Powys). This community has become famous as the “book village”. Every year from the end of May to the beginning of June, the renowned Hay-on-Wye Festival takes place here, a meeting of writers and other celebrities. Lovers of literature like to come to the festival to see their favorite writers “live”.
The book village
In 1961 the bookseller Richard Booth founded an antiquarian bookshop in Hay-on-Wye. He named the community a “book village” and made it well-known beyond the region when he named himself “King of Hay-on-Wye” in 1977 (April 1st!). Today, Hay-on-Wye has at least 25 bookstores, antique, art and antique stores – a book lover’s paradise! Some of the shops specialize in certain areas of the book market, e.g. children’s books, illustrated books, crime novels.
The ten-day “Hay Festival of Literature & Arts” has been celebrated since 1988. Many famous authors have read from their works at this Hay-on-Wye Festival, e.g. Mario Vargas Llosa, Stephen Fry, Nicholas Stern, Salman Rushdie. Scientists and politicians and other celebrities have also appeared at the festival, including Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Harry Belafonte. In the first few years, only readings were held at the festival; over time, music and film were also added to the program.
The children’s festival
While the adult guests listen to the writers’ readings at the Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival, the children celebrate the “Hay Fever” festival, take part in workshops in a marquee and meet children’s book authors.
A beautiful neighborhood in County Powys
If you stop off in Hay-on-Wye on your journey through Wales, you could book a room at the four-star Llangoed Hall Hotel. The hotel is just a few miles from Hay-on-Wye. It is a historic mansion (built in 1632); a wonderful, almost 7 hectare park surrounds the castle-like building. 23 elegant guest rooms and suites are available in the hotel. Gourmets will love the Llangoed Hall restaurant, where Welsh specialties such as roast lamb and salmon are served at the highest level