Tag: Wales

Content writing: a must-visit guide to Dr Who locations for Visit Wales

My latest content-writing assignment was commissioned by the agency Orchard for Visit Wales.

It was an update of shooting locations for the Dr Who TV series, timed as the producers hand over the keys of The Tardis to new doctor Ncuti Gatwa.

Here’s a sample of the copy:

The list of Doctor Who sites evolves as The Doctor regenerates through new incarnations.
While Jodie Whittaker was handing over the keys to the Tardis, South Wales provided the several backdrops to her final series, Flux.

Previously, Southerndown Beach, the shingle beach located along the Wales Coast Path in Glamorgan, had featured. It’s officially known as Dunraven Bay.

However, the wave-washed beach, popular with fossil hunters, is better to known to Whovians — that’s Dr Who fans — as Bad Wolf Bay.

It played a starring role in several episodes, the most dramatic scene the tearful farewell between Doctor David Tenant and companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) [pictured above] in Doomsday.

Read the full content: Follow the TARDIS to top Dr Who locations.

How to mark St David’s Day in Wales for food lovers and walking fans

St. David’s Day in Wales this week and I’ve got two articles out to mark Wales’ patron-saint day.

The first is a piece about foodie breaks for spring and my contribution focused on the local flavours and fairytale architecture at Portmeirion [pictured above], North Wales, one of my favourite places to spend time.

Why? Read the full story to discover why via Waitrose Food Magazine.

The second is the publication of copy-writing work for a tourism client, outlining story angles around the tenth anniversary of the Wales Coast Path — it’s coming up in May.

The 870-mile, long-distance walking trail, launched in 2012, forms the first ever continuous waking circuit of a nation.

The anniversary will be accompanied by a programme of key celebratory events, starting from March 1st, St David’s Day.

According to research by Ramblers UK, some 89 per cent of people find walking amongst nature improves health and mental wellbeing. Walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is one way of meeting medical experts’ recommendations for adult physical activity.

Read the full media pack here via Natural Resources Wales.

Wales has a new Unesco World Heritage Site. Let’s use it wisely then.

Wales has a new Unesco World Heritage Site.

The industrial heritage of North Wales has just been named as the UK’s 33rd Unesco World Heritage Site.

The award reflects the international significance of Welsh slate in “roofing the 19th century world”.

It’s the fourth site in Wales alongside the castles of Edward I, the Blaenavon industrial landscape and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen.

The pockmarked, post-industrial landscape had been ‘slated’ for Unesco status since it was first nominated by the UK Government in 2018.

The bid focused on six disparate slate-mining areas, divided by mountain ranges.

These include the Penrhyn slate quarry at Bethesda, the Dinorwig quarry near Llanberis and Blaenau Ffestiniog’s slate mines [quarryman turned guide Brian Jones at Llechwedd pictured above].

Some of the attractions fall within the boundary of the Snowdonia National Park, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

Roland Evans of Gwynedd Council, which led the bid partnership, is keen to use the win to entice visitors away from the national-park honeypots:

“The bid champions the social and economic regeneration of our slate valleys, restoring pride to those communities, and documenting their social history through community tourism.”

Read the rest of my feature via Telegraph Travel, Move over Taj Mahal, these Welsh slate quarries are just as fascinating.

Join my Context Conversation about Dylan Thomas’ Wales on May 14

May 14 is International Dylan Thomas Day.

The date marks the anniversary of when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at The Poetry Center, New York, in 1953.

His home town of Swansea, south Wales, will mark the day with live and virtual events while Dylan Thomas fans round the world will remember the impact of his work — now taught in Welsh schools as part of the literacy programme.

Thomas was a complex character but often misunderstood. Success came late for him with his critical plaudits constantly overshadowed by constant money worries and reports of his legendary drunkenness.

But, after his death, he became a cult figure, earning an inclusion on the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and inspiring the lyrics of Bob Dylan.

It’s only by visiting the places in Wales associated with his childhood and later life that we can come to understand the man behind the mythology.

My latest travel talk for Context Travel is Dylan Thomas: a literary pilgrimage across Wales.

I’ll trace a journey across the country that inspired Dylan’s writing from his Swansea childhood to Laugharne, where he lived and worked prior to that fateful trip to New York.

It forms part the Context Conversations strand and will be hosted via Zoom on Friday, May 14 at 6pm UK time — International Dylan Thomas Day.

But what to expect?

  • The Swansea years as a young man
  • The Laugharne years and finding fame
  • New York and the final years
  • Readings and events for Thomas fans

Book your place here. It’s a one-hour talk, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A for Wales travel tips.

Thomas collapsed and died in New York in November 1953 aged 39. He was on a lecture tour of America, had been mixing with the Beat poets, and Under Milk Wood had been performed for the first time earlier that year to critical acclaim.

He is buried in the graveyard of St Martin’s Church in Laugharne — that’s me [above] pictured by Dylan’s grave.

In the cold-stone interior of the church itself, a plague to Thomas bears the inscription from one of his most evocative poems, Ferne Hill.

It reads: “Time held me green and dying. Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”