A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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One of Eryri’s defining tales

Gelert is a mythical dog ​​associated with the village of Beddgelert in the heart of the National Park. The tale of Gelert is one of the defining tales of Eryri.

The tale of Gelert

Gelert was the dog of Llywelyn the Great, one of Wales’s most famous princes. Legend has it that one day Llywelyn went out hunting, leaving his son sleeping peacefully in a cradle—after all, Gelert, his dog, would be there to protect his son from any dangers.

While Llywelyn was out, a wolf prowled over to the baby’s cradle. Gelert leapt towards the wolf to guard the prince’s son. A fierce fight ensued between Gelert and the wolf. The baby’s cot was overturned as the two animals’ bodies flew from one end of the room to the other.

Despite the fierce battle, Gelert managed to kill the wolf.

Eventually, Llywelyn returned and was shocked at the mess before him. He saw Gelert covered in blood and his baby having fallen out of his cradle.

Without hesitation, Llywelyn drew his sword and killed Gelert on the spot.

After killing his dog, he heard the sound of crying coming from the cradle. He rushed over and saw his baby alive and well, with the dead wolf by his side.

Llywelyn’s heart broke as he realised what he had done.