Wish you were here…Snowdonia

Panaorama view of the mountain range around Mt. Snowdon

For today’s destination, I chose a spot I came across while researching settings for one of my fantasy/paranormal stories. I have several tied together by reoccurring characters of a fae line. In one the young heroine of the story happens to meet the legendary Welsh goddess Rhiannon, most of us probably know thanks to Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.

While reading about Wales, I found the beautiful location of Snowdonia, (Eryri in Welsh). Just the names alone are almost mystical enough to be inspiration. 

The English name comes from Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales and in the middle ages rulers in the region used the title of Prince of Wales and Lord on Snowdonia together. One person to use this title was a lad by the name of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, personally, I am glad today’s Prince of Wales is named Charles, because I would hate to try spelling the other name, let alone pronounce it. I’m quite sure reporters across the world feel the same.

national park

One of the most visited places in Snowdonia is the Snowdonia National Park. One article describes the park as Lakes, castles, waterfalls, and steam railways create a surreal experience right out of Lord of the Rings. More than 26,000 people live within the park and over six million more visit annually.  While the park itself would be enough of a draw, there are many other sites that offer something to stir the creative mind.

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle and medieval town walls are some of the best preserved in Europe. The walls are a little over ¾ of a mile in length with twenty two towers to explore while weaving a tale of a prince cheated out of his throne or a princess masquerading as a maid to escape an unwanted arranged marriage.

Stone walls in Conwy

Another villiage in Snowdonia with a name that just begs to be in a story is Rhos on Sea. There is a legend which states  Madog, son of the Welsh Prince Owain Gwynedd, sailed from Rhos on Sea to discover America in 1170, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbus. If your heroine finds her true love while visiting here, the couple might elect to say their vows in the Chapel of St. Trillo, believed to be the smallest church on the British Isles. It would need to be a very small, intimate ceremony however; the church only seats six people.

St. Trillo Chapel

Inside view of the chapel

Before we leave, there is one place left to visit. The Snowdonia Society is a registered charity and is ran by a group of volunteers devoted to the protection of this spectacular region. If you need directions to their headquarters, just ask a local to direct you to the “ugly house” for that is the name of the house used as office and showcase for visitors. According to legend, it is a crude house built in the 15th century by two outlaw brothers as a ‘Ty Un Nos’ – or house built overnight. Under ancient law, he who built a house between sunset and sunrise, with walls, roof and smoking chimney, could claim the freehold. The house has been restored over the centuries by subsequent tenants, and is far from ugly.

This concludes this week’s travel into a magical land across the ocean. Sorry it is late, I really hate shopping for Christmas however when you take on the role of parent and now grandparent it is an evil requirement. I hope Shoe Station, TJ Max, Sears and J.C. Pennys are happy.

Until next week, wish you were here…

Snow in Snowdonia

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6 Responses

  1. What a beautiful place and tons of information. Thanks so much for sharing–made me proud of my Welsh roots that I know so little about!

    • Its surprising more history from Wales isn’t famous. You always here about explorers who discovered America before Columbus, but this was one I’ve never heard. I always learn something new when I do these.
      Maybe you have some of that royality with names I can’t pronounce in your family tree.

  2. Another great choice, Lizbeth. Beautiful imagery and place. I love the chapel- and the ugly house looks like a place I’d like to live.

    And Snowdonia is a good choice for a cold day!

    • I fell in love with that photo of the ugly house. I thought it looked like a drawing off a Christmas card instead of a real cottage.

      I actually started the written part on Saturday during our heat wave, but yes by the time it was posted most of the country was becoming its own SNOWdonia.

  3. What an intriguing place, Lizbeth. The entire place is fascinating!

    Thank you!

  4. Glad you liked it.

    I think Wales is a little left out when it comes to promotion of historical destinations. If it wasn’t for wanting Rhiannon in my story, I would have never thought to look at the place.

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