A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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A backdrop to a wealth of stories and tales

Eryri plays host to a wealth of stories and folk tales. From the Mabinogi to the tale of Gelert the Hound, the landscape of Eryri has been a backdrop to tales of love, loss, rivalry and otherworldly encounters.

Some of these tales feel as ancient as the landscape itself—almost as if they are an inherent part of the land that give the captivating peaks and eerie valleys of Eryri an almost mythical feel. It is no wonder that some of the literary greats of our time, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, have been influenced by these tales.

The tales of Eryri can allow us to connect more deeply with the landscape, giving places that may otherwise be insignificant to us a deeper meaning.

Mair Tomos Ifans

Mair Tomos Ifans is a storyteller and avid collector of Welsh folk tales. Here she recites the story of ‘The Son of Rhiwfelen’—a shepherd from the parish of Llanfachreth who falls in love with the most beautiful woman in the world. Both the shepherd and Bela, the beautfiul woman, fall in love—however, Bela’s father is reluctant to see the young lovers marry.

Until one day, Bela’s father allows the marriage and the couple begin what both see as a future full of love and happiness. But, just as love blossoms, a tragic accident intrudes on their future which leads to Bela having to return to her ‘tylwyth’ leaving the son of Rhiwfelen alone for the rest of his days.

A still from a video of Mair Tomos Ifans reciting a story in front of the fire at Yr Ysgwrn.
The Son of Rhiwfelen