Dwynwen – the saint for Wales’ lovers

In our first guest blog for The Year of Legends, we’ve asked Alwyn and Carl of Celticos to recount the story of Santes Dwynwen…

Image credit: http://www.visitwales.com/

On the far Western corner of Anglesey we can see Llanddwyn, the setting for the story of Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers…

Dwynwen was the fairest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, but as always seems to happen, he was not her father’s choice, and he forbade her from marrying Maelon.

The scheming father had lined up another man who would fit his ambitions for this most beautiful daughter. The distraught Maelon, believing that it was Dwynwen who had rejected him, attacked her in his jealousy and anger.

Dwynwen fled to the wild woods where she begged that God would make her forget Maelon. She fell into a deep sleep and was visited by an angel carrying a potion that could bring forgetfulness and would turn Maelon to ice.  As she woke, she heard God declare that her wishes would be fulfilled.

She wished that Maelon would thaw from his icy state but also that she would never marry. And finally her third wish was granted – that God would fulfil the hopes and dreams of lovers through her prayers.

She kept her side of the bargain and devoted the rest of her life to God. The ruins of a church dedicated to her still exists on the windswept island, a holy well and a cross bear her name, and all lovers in Wales lovers honour her memory on her feast day 25 January.

Image credit: https://www.celticos.com/

Celticos provide bespoke guided tours and have created a series of Legendary Tours specifically for the Year of Legends – head over to their website to discover how you can explore hidden places with a Drive, Walk and Explore Tour, learn about Wales’ most iconic legend The Red Dragon and experience first hand the land of myths and legends. Click here to find out more.

Spa Hotels, the best in North Wales

It’s all about the spas, it’s the latest must-have travel experience. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from Welsh Rarebits hotels, focusing on the NORTH.

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, LlandudnoSpa hotelsSpa hotels

Spa stats. It’s an immaculately restored farmhouse within Bodysgallen’s beautiful grounds. The centrepiece is a big 50ft/15m pool lined with blue mosaic tiles. Ranged around the pool there’s the full complement of top-end facilities: bubbling spa bath, steam room, sauna, large gymnasium and a wide choice of modern treatments.

In a sentence. Utterly superb, a true spa for today – with an exceptionally inviting pool.

 

Spa Hotels

Spa HotelsLake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa, Llanwddyn

Spa stats. The spa pool’s ability to soak away your stress is aided and abetted by a jaw-dropping view of the mountain-ringed Lake Vyrnwy. Other features include a sauna, Japanese salt steam room, ice fountain, mist and monsoon showers, rasul therapy and exotic treatments from around the world.

In a sentence. The ultimate spa with a view.

 

Tre-Ysgawen Hall & Spa, AngleseySpa HotelsSpa Hotels

Spa stats.  It’s one of the finest, with a large indoor swimming pool – 62ft/16m, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gym and a thermal suite with an experience shower, ice fountain and salt inhalation therapy room that releases particles of prized Halen Môn, Anglesey Sea Salt.

In a sentence. Tre-Ysgawen’s forward thinking demeanor is summed up in its fabulous spa.

The hotels featured here have comprehensive spa facilities and are identified as such in their titles. Quite a few Rarebits Collection members in North Wales not mentioned also offer treatments or have indoor pools and facilities. These are listed below for you to check out.

The Hand at Llanarmon offer bespoke treatments in their new spa which is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Inn. Treatments range from facials to aromatherapy and manicures.

Manorhaus in Ruthin has a sauna and steam room for guests to use during their stay as well as a cinema and library!

Portmeirion Village, built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis is home to Mermaid Spa, with a variety of treatments and use of the outdoor pool (May to September).

Coes Faen Spa Lodge, Barmouth. There are individual spas in each bedroom so that you can have your own private, personalised treatments from fully qualified massage and complementary health specialists.