If you find yourself lost in the Cambrian Mountains, ask a local for directions to the village of Tregaron and you might receive the common quip: “It’s outside the Talbot.”
There isn’t, however, a truer statement that could lead you to the town. Like much of Central Wales, Tregaron and its most famous pub and residence—Y Talbot—isn’t a destination that will appear on most travelers’ radars. It’s quiet country where overheard conversation is only comprehensible if you understand Welsh. Read more
When Britain switched over to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, abandoning the more inexact Julian calendar, not everyone in the country was quick to follow. The new calendar made a slight mess of things, requiring that the world be set back in time—on the calendar—by about fortnight. Eventually, folks leapt into the calendar with fewer Leap Years. Some of the British, however, are still holding out. Meet the Welshmen of the Gwaun Valley. Read more
On my first day in Wales, I spent the afternoon wandering around the second city of Swansea. Dylan Thomas, who had been born there a century ago, famously called the place “an ugly, lovely town.” In the movie Twin Town, when the character comes across a plaque at the train station with Thomas’s clever quote, he dubs Swansea “a pretty shitty city.” Read more
From the sound of it, a paddle through Buzzards Bay connotes an adventure across some liquid wasteland, where scavenger birds wait on rocks for some hapless paddleboarder to be done in by jagged boulders or lurking creatures. In fact, an equally grim scene presented itself in 1991 when Hurricane Bob destroyed the coastline and then again twelve years later when a ship leaked nearly 100,000 gallons of oil into the bay, killing an abundance of shellfish and birds. But during my stand-up voyage through the nooks and crannies of Buzzards Bay and out into the open jade waters, I was hard-pressed to find anything devastating. Read more
At 8:58 a.m., I stood inside the Tower of London complex as four red-jacketed Grenadier Guards marched through the passage marked “Bloody Tower.” Either some tragic event had happened here or an annoyed Brit tasked with naming the edifices inside the fortifications had grown tired of his job—It’s just one more bloody tower to name.