A Day in Central Wales: Tregaron

The Best of Central Wales: Y Talbot Tregaron

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.


Y Talbot (Welsh for The Talbot) got its start four centuries ago, welcoming drovers and their Talbot hounds. While the canine is still pictured on their sign, it’s the supposed dead circus elephant buried in the backyard—a creature that succumbed to lead poisoning back in the 1800s—that has become the pub and inn’s mascot.


A Day in Central Wales Tregaron


The pub is both the history and social center of the town, serving up some of the best beer and food Wales has to offer, like slow-cooked ox cheek berguignon—after all this was a droving town and it attracted top butchers, who came for the best quality meat before it departed for England—and smoked trout rillettes. (Despite Y Talbot being surrounded by nothing but farmland, in Wales, the ocean is never far away.)


If you’re looking for life outside of Y Talbot there isn’t much happening among the statues in the central square. Temperance movement leader Henry Richard keeps his sculpted back to the pub. (Though he wasn’t erected for his teetotalism; he’s most famous for his peace work with his organization that had served as a forerunner for the United Nations.) Across the street, in front of Rhiannon gold—whose owner is one of the few people in the country with a reserve of Welsh gold—is a charred-looking wood sculpture of Twm Shon Cati hiding behind a tree. The bird-masked legend displays his skullduggery, which made him best known outside of the country as the “Welsh Robin Hood.”


A Day in Central Wales Tregaron


The Best of Central Wales


That is the hub of Tregaron. But like our lost walker from the opening anecdote, the best way to experience Central Wales is to head into the hills. Turn left from the Talbot and cut another left up the road between the fire station and hospital. While it’s a walk along country road, the empty, beautiful, and unvisited center of Wales feels like a respite for a wanderer in a Tolkien book, which makes sense as this land was the inspiration for the language and the landscape in much of his works.


The low peak gazes down upon Tregaron, where the gray-roofed village sits in a valley as the polygonal green of farm pastures fit together like pieces in a puzzle. Red kites—birds that were nearly extinct a decade ago—soar above. Sheep tagged by farmers, though the markings look more like they belong to a neophyte vandal with a can of spray paint practicing graffiti on roving puffs of canvas, feed on the land. Queen Anne’s Lace and purple flowers adorn the grasses between the roads and demarcation wires. Tregaron is the beautiful microcosm of Central Wales.


A Day in Central Wales Tregaron

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Europe, Somewhere

One Response to A Day in Central Wales: Tregaron

  1. Gwilym Jenkins

    Home sweet home!

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