The Romance of Wales

 Happy St Dwynwen’s Day!

I’m blogging a little early this week in order to be part of the St Dwynwen Day celebrations with fellow members of the Cariad Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. St Dwynwen is the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine. If you want to know more, see last week’s post.  As with St Valentine, it’s a day to do romantic things – give cards, flowers, gifts, cook a special  meal, tell someone you love them. 

When I was thinking about something that was distinctively Welsh, beautiful and romantic, one of my first thought was the landscape. Something that makes Wales unique in the world is having a waymarked Coastal Path that runs for the whole coast of the country and that passes close to St Dwynwen’s church on Anglesey. In January and in lockdown making a visit is probably one for the bucket list at the moment, but we can still daydream.  I’m lucky – I was born and brought up by the sea and the local stretch of the path runs very close to my home. 

On the way around Wales the path traverses wild areas, cityscapes, traditional seaside resorts. It has wonderful unspoiled beaches, castles, poetic connections, wildlife, churches, Neolithic tombs, seabirds and islands. It’s not just the sea either, there are vast expanses of open sky. Walking on the beach at sunset, or sunrise, has to be one of the best romantic scenarios – those photo shots of two sets of footprints in the sand – how romantic is that! The only thing Wales doesn’t have is the perfect weather – although the sea has it’s own charms in fog or storms, as long as you remember  to stay well away from dangerous locations in high tides. Like the tiger at the zoo, beautiful to observe from a safe distance, but don’t get too close. The ideal place might be a cosy pub, if you can find one, or a hotel. I’m planning to create one of those for a future book.  A boutique hotel, with a Martha’s Vinyard feel, gourmet food and a resident ghost. That’s the big thing about being an author, if it doesn’t already exist, or it’s not in the right place, you’re free to invent it. If you want to know more about the real thing, this is a link to the Visit Wales Site HERE

I’ve raided my photo archives for some pictures of bits of the path, which I  think show that Wales can be just as as lovely as any other parts of the British Isles, and a fine setting for romance. Most of them were taken when it was misty though – so you will have to add your own sunshine. It’s a good setting for thrillers too – but that is another story. 

Enjoy St Dwynwen’s Day. 

Jackson’s Bay

Barry Island from Nell’s Point 

Nell’s Point from the Promenade 

The Dock breakwater and Jackson’s Bay

Tenby Harbour – in the rain

One of Tenby’s beaches at dusk

View over  the sea from Barry town 

The funfair at Barry Island