Mabinogion: Magic Medieval Welsh Myths

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Enchantments, shapeshifters, revenge, justice, wizards and the Celtic Otherworld

This tour will guide us through the breath-taking mountains of north Wales visiting sites of Medieval and Dark-Age legends, from cragtop castles, Roman fortresses to lakes, hillforts and mystical ancient stones. Explore the origins of Arthurian legends and listen to the tales, read where they occurred. We will be considering all aspects of these tales from their origins and authorship, to their literary qualities and relationship with the landscape. Visits will include many imposing archaeological and medieval sites in order to better understand and appreciate native medieval Welsh prose. We will experience the atmosphere of these fascinating stories and engage with the actual sites which figure so prominently in the tales. Discovering a range of tales from a fairly recent example to tales with their roots in ancient pre-Celtic Christian religion, our voyages will take us to Celtic fortresses, Roman forts, Early Medieval strongholds and Welsh castles. We will consider the authors and meet their characters, the giant Brân, his mistreated sister Branwen and the vicious Efnysien. Along with a Welsh king who mistakenly kills his loyal dog, shapeshifting wizards and Otherworld visitors. All this will occur in the stupendous scenery of the mountains and rugged coasts of north Wales. At the end we will have journeyed through much of north-west Wales and will have encountered stories, people and ideas spanning a thousand years, gaining new insights into how such stories function and evolve. Journeys will be accompanied by readings of the tales themselves, and rich commentary on their contents.

Tour highlights:

  • Explore imposing Harlech Castle, the opening scene of Branwen daughter of Llŷr and the Stone of Gronw
  • Visit Dinas Emrys stronghold (King Arthur, Merlin and the Welsh Dragon) and Dolwyddelan castle
  • See the Segontium Roman fortress and nearby Celtic fortresses of Dinas Dinlle and Caer Aranrhod

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Tour dates & prices

Included in your cost:

  • Expert Guide Lecturer
  • Professional Tour Manager
  • Local Guide
  • Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
  • Accommodation
  • Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
  • All taxes & gratuities
  • Field notes
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