SSi Forum

Best Places in Wales for the "Welsh Language experience"?


#1

Hello All.

So my wife and I are starting to plan a few days out in Wales. Hopefully trying to take in some places where we would be able to use our newly acquired Welsh skills.

To set the scenario, we currently live in Aberystwyth in mid Wales and although this is a good town for Welsh practice, we fancy a bit of an adventure every now and then.

North or South is fine with us as we’re about two hours from both in our current location.

We are looking for places that don’t necessarily have to be big or huge, just places that offer most of the following:

A couple of shops with Welsh speakers.
A coffee shop or two with Welsh speakers.
A pub or two with speakers.

That’s about it!

Any recommendations?


#2

For the north, you might find these two threads useful:

Baruch went to Llanrwst, I went to Caernarfon and Llanberis, and we both found Welsh speakers. (Though I didn’t try speaking to anyone in pubs during my brief stay.)


#3

Carmarthen.

Yr Atom, King Street, Stryd y Brenin, caffi a chanolfan Cymrawg. Cafe and Welsh centre.

Pantri Blakeman, Blue Street, opposite the bus station up towards the centre of town, upstairs. Very cheap. Family business.

Shop y Pentan, in the Market Precinct. Books and things Welsh.

If you go on the T1 bus, rather than drive, there are very likely to be Welsh speakers on the bus. Regular buses, advertised to Lampeter but they go all the way through to Carmarthen. The once daily bus going on to Cardiff finishes on 17 June.


#4

and my offers in various previous threads of a panad and a sgwrs for anyone who finds themselves in Caernarfon still stands! :slight_smile:


#5

Bala, though there was a lady shopkeeper who replied ‘I’m sorry I don’t speak Welsh’ in a London accent. But just the one.


#6

In the north , in towns like Pwllheli , Caernarfon , Llangefni , Blaenau Ffestiniog to name a few , you are guaranteed to have the opportunity to speak Welsh in most pubs/cafes/shops but I would say that if you wanted the full Welsh experience then Caernarfon undoubtedly has the edge . Cymraeg is in the air everywhere you go and people will usually address you in Welsh before English (especially if you go on a cold wet day out of tourist season)


#7

Machynlleth… Dolgellau… Porthmadog… although in all of them you’ll need to be prepared for a little hit-and-miss…


#8

Thanks all for your very thoughtful and great opinions thus far.

Caernarfon certainly seems to be a popular choice so far, and only 1hr 56m from my door so I will definitely look into that as a possible starter for 10!


#9

Let us know if you’re up this way - you’d be welcome to call round for a panad… :slight_smile:


#10

Good call with Machynlleth!

We do Machynlleth fairly regularly as it’s only a relative stones-throw up the road from us. Of which I can fully recommend ‘Caffi Alys’ in the town centre for people searching for the kind of experience I am talking of :slight_smile:

Dolgellau isn’t too far either :slight_smile:


#11

Will definitely do so. Got a couple of busy weekends with wife’s birthday and the Urdd the weekend after. After that I will let you know! :slight_smile:


#12

Thanks Margaret.

I’m a big fan of Carmarthen - ironically used to go a lot when I lived nowhere near there - now I live an hour up the road, I’ve not been there since!

Also, haven’t been there since becoming a Welsh speaker, so I would be very interested to try out some of those places.

Thanks :smiley:


#13

Llandysul is only an hour away from you and we have plenty of Welsh speakers around here too :slight_smile:


#14

Also a very good call! I’ve been wanting to come down for a while since watching an old boot camp video on YouTube!


#15

I had a brilliant “Welsh Language experience” last week, on a Cwrs Cymraeg at Nant Gwrtheyrn at Lefel Sylfaen - we were 12 in the class, with myself and a lady doctor from Austria the 2 ‘foreigners’, the others from all over Wales.The course provided both the North and South language options side-by-side so everyone could concentrate on that which they were familiar with. We all lasted the course and received our Sylfaen certificate at the end of it. (very proud of it).
SSIW was my first experience of the Welsh language and it was Aran and his team who installed in me a love for this beautiful ancient language and gave me the opportunity and the lesson material to get this far ( I confess I rate myself to be only a beginner and have a long way to go to become competent). Diolch yn fawr iawn Aran and SSIW. I shall continue to try and improve through your excellent learning programme. x


#16

Llongyfarchiadau mawr! Huge congratulations! You should say the next time you’re up this way - we’re always happy to grab a panad in Caernarfon… :slight_smile:


#17

This was the video I was referring to as well, for completions sake. :slight_smile:


#18

What a great video . Llandysul looks like a nice town. I might pay it a visit when I’m down in Llangrannog in August


#19

That was my second bwtcamp. Feels like a long time ago.


#20

Nicky, Sorry for the delayed response - I’ve been off the radar recently (for a good reason - struggling through SSiW Course 2). If it’s not too late for a reply to be of any use, last summer I went to Llanrwst for the day and found Welsh spoken with no problem. I don’t really like to plug my own old postings, but you may find my report on my day trip of some use. Search for “Baruch” and the thread “I came, I spoke, I was understood!”. If you haven’t yet been on your trip, best of luck wherever you go.