Many of Ceredigion's distinctive landscape features - from waterfall pools to rocky outcrops on beaches - are explained in legends and local folk tales. Why not go for a hilltop walk, a riverside stroll or a beach adventure to seek out the landmarks that inspired these stories, and discover the varied landscapes of Ceredigion.
A Land of Giants
According to legend, a Ceredigion giant called Bica was suffering from toothache and spat out the offending tooth in anger. Imagine the size of Bica when you see the weathered rock known as Carreg Bica at Llangrannog, which was allegedly the giant’s tooth. Not far away, at Troed y Rhiw, there is a stone, which according to tradition was a pebble that was thrown by a giant from his clog.
Near the Teifi Pools above Pontrhydfendigaid is Claerddu farmhouse bothy, which lies on the river Claerddu. Upriver from this idyllic spot is a waterfall with a deep pool, which, according to legend, is where another giant used to wash his hands.
Ysbaddaden Gawr was the king of the giants, and his daughter, Olwen, was reputedly the most beautiful girl in the world. Where Olwen (literally 'white footprint') walked a trail of white flowers would appear in her footprints. Caer Olwen, a hillfort at Longwood near Lampeter recalls her name and the legend.
Prince Culhwch was cursed by his stepmother to marry only Olwen, but her father insists that before Culhwch can be allowed to marry Olwen, he must first undertake several feats, one of which was to obtain the comb and scissors of the Twrch Trwyth, a giant wild boar who kept the comb and scissors between his ears. Culhwch seeks the help of his cousin, King Arthur. With Arthur’s help, Culhwch hunts the Twrch Trwyth across south and west Wales, finally capturing him at Garth Gugrun, a hill fort in the Ystwyth Valley, and obtained the comb and scissors. The Twrch escaped into the sea and disappeared.
Several of these locations can be reached on footpaths and trails - see our walking section for ideas.