St David’s Day - Leisure breaks in WalesPosted on: 01 March 2010 by Mark O'haire
Celebrate St David’s Day with a visit to ‘God’s country’ in 2010.
Dewi Sant – St David was born towards the end of the fifth century, less than a hundred years after the last Roman legions had marched out of Wales.
But not too much is known for certain about him. All that is known, is an account of his life written in Latin by Rhigfarch towards the end of the 11th century.
Dewi was educated in Cardiganshire and then went on pilgrimages, founding religious centres across Wales and England, including one at Glastonbury. He even travelled as far as Jerusalem where he was made an archbishop.
He eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn (now St David's), in south west Wales, where he established a religious community. Many miracles have been attributed to him, the most incredible being when he caused the ground to rise beneath him when preaching so that everyone could see and hear him.
The Cathedral of St David's in Pembrokeshire, where his remains are buried, became a popular place of pilgrimage. It was said that two pilgrimages to St David's equalled one to Rome and three equalled one to Jerusalem.
St David’s Day traditions
To mark the day, Welsh people around the world wear one or both of the Welsh national emblems - a daffodil or leek - and celebrate at special concerts and processions.
Public celebrations of St David's Day are becoming more commonplace. In many towns an annual parade through the centre of town is now held. Concerts are held in pubs, clubs, and other venues.
The flag of Saint David often plays a central role in the celebrations and can be seen flying throughout Wales.
Cawl, a traditional Welsh stew-like dish consisting of meat and vegetables is frequently prepared and consumed on St David's Day.
Cardiff - Wales' capital city
The compact capital city will be a-buzzing with events as usual this St David’s Day. Getting Welsh people into a patriotic mood is the St David’s Day Celebrations and Parade in the city on 1 March, featuring a parade with floats, flags, bands, dragons and participants in national or historic dress – www.stdavidsday.org
Crickhowell Walking Festival
If you need to walk off any excess pounds around the 1 March feasting, then check out the Crickhowell Walking Festival between 28 February – 8 March, which has fantastic guided walks ranging from tough treks to gentle strolls, as well as a full programme of supporting events from ‘Twmpath’ dancing to a craft fair – www.crickhowellfestival.com
Home to rolling hills, coastline and stunning scenery, South West Wales has moved artists, poets, writers and musicians throughout the ages.
The untouched beaches of Pembrokeshire, the green fields and forests of Carmarthenshire and the beautiful coast of Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula have brought the best out of the likes of Dylan Thomas and Turner.
The region's landscapes and seascapes have touched the human spirit since the dawn of time. Celtic saints and pilgrims were drawn to its shores, early folklore spins tales of Arthur and Merlin and legends surround its many beautiful castles.
From dramatic cliff tops over looking beautiful bays to moors and commons scattered with ancient standing stones and hill forts.
Swansea Bay's a place of impressive contrasts: city and country; historic and contemporary; grand parklands, and pounding surf.
Swansea, Wales' city by the sea, has Viking roots and a long, eventful history. Home to innovative attractions and renowned for its awesome nightlife, it's a vibrant cultural centre, and a regional shopping hub.
Just a stone's throw away, the charismatic seaside village of Mumbles offers galleries and boutiques, snug cafes and fine dining.
The Gower Peninsula extends west of Mumbles, in mile after mile of unspoilt coastal panoramas, award-winning golden beaches, and lush, rolling countryside.
And on the eastern edge of Swansea Bay, there's the Waterfall Country of Afan and the Vale of Neath: a must-see for walkers and cyclists alike. These steep-sided, wooded valleys are home to world-class mountain-biking, stately country parks, and the UK's second-largest forest south of the Scottish border.
Turn the clock back by visiting historical areas in Wales.
The Llyn Peninsula is a unique and beautiful part of North Wales, renowned for its natural charm and mild climate and the perfect destination for a weekend break, according to Paula Bardell.
Stretching from the peak of Snowdon to Bardsey Island (or Ynys Enlli - the Island of the Tides), the Llyn Peninsula is so spectacular that many thousands of acres of it's coastline have been protected by the National Trust, and vast tracts of land have been designated Areas of Special Scientific Interest.
It is a haven for wild flowers and its indigenous wildlife attracts naturalists from far and wide - it even boasts its very own breed of sheep (Llyn Sheep).
The headland at Dinas is one of the most spectacular along the Pembroksehire Coast (which is saying a great deal). At 463 feet in height, the cliffs at Dinas Head provide excellent views across Fishguard Bay to the south and Newport Bay to the north. The headland is under the care of the National Trust.
In May and June the woodlands here are thick with bluebells, and a nature trail wanders for 2 miles along the River Tywi.
Dinas Head is contained within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path runs along the length of the heritage coast. Heather and gorse carpet the headland in late summer and fall.
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