Wales is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, but it’s also thought to be the land of giants, a lost kingdom and even a bridge built by the devil himself.
Its dramatic landscapes have inspired many folk tales over the years that are sure to send a shiver down your spine this Halloween!
Cadair Idris (Idris’ Chair)
Standing proudly at around 893 meters high at the southern gate of Snowdonia, is one of Wales’ most iconic and mysterious mountains, Cadair Idris, otherwise known as ‘Idris’s Chair’. The mountain is supposedly named after the giant and 7th century prince, Idris Gawr, who won a battle against the Irish on the mountain and used it as an armchair to gaze at the stars and heavens above. Legend says that those who are brave enough to spend a night on the slopes of Cadair Idris will awake as a poet, a madman or a corpse!
Cantre’r Gwaelod – The Lost Kingdom of Wales
There are many stories associated with the Lost Kingdom of Wales, but one of the most recent myths tells the tale of a stormy night, around 600AD, when a drunken watchman fell asleep, forgetting to shut the water gates of Cantre’r Gwaelod, a Kingdom ruled by Gwyddno Garanhir, causing the sea to rush in and flood the land. It’s thought that Cantre’r Gwaelod lies between Ramsey Island and Bardsey Island in what is now known as Cardigan Bay. Today, skeletal trees dating to 6,000 years ago stretch across the area. Some even claim they can hear the bells of the drowned church of Cantre’r on a calm and quiet day.
Llyn y Fan Fach – The Lady of the Lake
According to the legend of Llyn y Fan Fach, a remote lake in the Black Mountains of Wales, a local man named Gwyn fell in madly in love with a beautiful woman who arose from the water. On her third visit to Gywn, the woman agreed to marry him, however, she warned Gywn that if he struck her three times, she would leave him forever. After many happy years of marriage and starting a family together, Gywn playfully hit his wife for a third time, and so, she disappeared back into the lake, never to be seen again.
Situated in the soul of the stunning Dolaucothi Estate, lies the standing stone of Carreg Pumsaint which bares four mysterious indentations. It’s said that five saints set out on a crusade and were heading to St. David’s until they got caught up in a storm conjured up by an evil sorcerer who lived in the Dolaucothi Mines. Four of the saints took shelter against the rock, leaving impressions of their heads and shoulders due to the force of the storm. The fifth saint was unable to find shelter, and was instead taken to the mines, where he remains in an enchanted sleep.
The Devil’s Bridge
The devil is thought to have visited Wales around the 11th century after hearing about its breath-taking scenery. During his visit, he came across an old lady by a river who was upset as her cow was stranded at the other side. He struck a deal with the old lady and told her he would build her a bridge in exchange for the soul of the first living thing that crossed it. But the old lady was smart enough to catch on to the devils’ evil trick. When the bridge was built, she threw a loaf of bread across it for her dog to chase. Too embarrassed at being outwitted by the old lady, the devil left Wales and was never to be seen in the country again.
Intrigued to find out more about the myths and legends of Wales? You can visit the mountain of Cader Idris, the drowned land of Cantre’r Gwaelod, and cross the Devil’s Bridge for yourself with our Myths and Legends of Wales package… but only if you’re brave enough!
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