That’s why my first assignment of the new year took me to Bala Lake — that’s Llyn Tegid in Welsh.
The lake is allegedly home to Teggie, Wales’ answer to the Loch Ness Monster. And I took to a canoe on a cold January morning [pictured above] to go in search of the camera-shy beastie.
The feature is for Rough Guides and will be published March 1st — St David’s Day in Wales.
Here’s a preview of what to expect:
They regale me with kind of folk tales familiar to all Welsh schoolchildren. The cast of characters would put Game of Thrones to shame — evil kings, brave knights and mischievous elves. These stories, I learn, are passed down through the generations and integral to preserving the Welsh language and culture.
“Every place name has an old story attached to it. hese legends ground us,” explains Llinos Jones-Williams. “Based around universal themes of love, life and death, they can still teach us something about the way we live today.”
I’m interested in other ideas around Welsh folklore and have a possible assignment around the summer solstice. Watch this space for more.
The latest is a piece for the Best Loved Hotels group to write the Wales copy for their new brochure — out 2017.
The story ties into the theme of myths and legends, which Wales will celebrate in the year ahead.
Here’s a preview:
Walkers love Offa’s Dyke but few know the legends surrounding the linear earthwork that forms its 82-mile-long backbone. Offa, the 8th-century King of Mercia built the dyke as a Saxon statement of intent against rebellious Welsh tribes. The ditch and high-earth ramparts subsequently ran with blood for three centuries of border skirmishes.
I’m now planning some new ideas around Welsh myths and legends for forthcoming commissions.
Got a suggestion for a story angle? Please get in touch.