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Follow these legendary footsteps, from Monmouth in the south, west to Carmarthen and finally north into the splendour of Snowdonia.Famous battles and ghosts, an amazing scenery in a live History lesson.
From: 01 Jan 2012 - To: 31 Dec 2012
Arthurian Legend has its roots in the bustling market town of Monmouth where it was first popularized by Geoffrey of Monmouth's book "Historia Regum Britanniae". Continue the trail past the impressive ruins of Tintern Abbey and onto Chepstow Castle in the Wye Valley where Arthur and his knights are said to be sleeping in a cave below. the next stop is fascinating Caerleon, an ancient Roman Military Fortress and later King Arthur's supposed Court " Camelot". Continue west to Neath and the Craig-y-Ddinas cave system where Arthur and his knights are reputed to have guarded a huge treasure. Arrive in time to explore the maritime city of Swansea before dinner and overnight at the Ramada Hotel.
A scenic drive through the heart of the Gower Peninsula to Arthur's Stone at Cefn Bryn, an ancient burial chamber. Head towards the fringes of the Brecon Beacons National Park and enter a magical land of power and influence at Dinefwr Park, an iconic place in the history of Wales. In the "Fairie Queen" Edmund Spencer says Merlin communed with spirits in a cave below the castle. The final stop for the day is Carmarthen, the garden of Wales and named after Merlin who was said to have been born here. End the day with a visit to the superb National Botanic Garden. Overnight at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Carmarthen.
A detour south west to explore some of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park then onto Bosherston Lakes which are said to be the home of Arthur's sword Excalibur. Next head up the Cardigan Coast towards Machynlleth and visit King Arthur's Labyrinth, an underground journey through caves and tunnels. Then continue along the Dovey Valley where Arthur is said to have fought his final Battle of Camlan. Nearby is Cader Idris, named after King Arthur and one of Wales's most famous mountains, the southern starting point the beautiful and imposing Snowdonia National Park. Overnight at the Lion Hotel, Criccieth.
Explore the Snowdonia National Park, perhaps venturing up the Mountain Railway to the new summit visitor centre, Hafod Eryi. The area abounds in Arthurian legend: at Llyn Dinas, near Beddgelert, Arthur's Knight Owain battled with a giant by the lake; in the Llyn Barfog there reputedly lived a monster which Arthur killed, as well as a giant called Rhita Fawr on mount Snowdon itself; and Bwlch y Saethau ( The Pass of the Arrows) is the scene of a fierce battle between Arthur and his enemies. Arthurian treasure is reputedly buried at Marchlyn Mawr near Llanberis. Continue eastwards to Ruthin where Arthur sought revenge after he was wounded by an enemy called Huail.When they met again, Arthur beheaded him on a boulder which now stands in Ruthin's Peter's Square. Overnight at Beaufort Park Hotel, near Mold.
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