“Y Ring” aka Brondanw Arms in Llanfrothen. A few miles inland (over the reclaimed land called the Traeth) from Porthmadog. You can eat in the restaurant but the smallish bar area is very Welsh speaking and has a great atmosphere on a good night. It was my local once (if you can call a two mile hike ‘local’ lol!).
I’m probably late here, but my girlfriend and I went to Caernarfon for the SSiW birthday party just a little over a month ago. Caernarfon, and the surrounding area, to my surprise (first time in Wales, mind you) was overwhelmingly Welsh speaking. Heck, my gf and I were at a pub and we friended some Welsh-speaking locals who invited us out, and one of the wives joined, and we had great craic.
Whilst out with them we managed to hear an abundance of Welsh spoken both in the pubs and amongst the 3 who invited us. Not only that, when my gf and I roamed just by ourselves we heard almost 100% Welsh around Caernarfon; even amongst the kids!
It was a great Welsh experience, and I would definitely recommend Caernarfon and surrounding areas for a proper Welsh experience. Also, the nature in this region is impeccable. Baah, wish I was back there now.
I didn’t think to mention this, but how about Parc y Scarlets rugby stadium in Llanelli? Even if like me you are not a natural rugby supporter. It is a really safe place for all ages and you are guaranteed to hear plenty of Welsh.
If you are lucky, you may well hear the fans spontaneously breaking into any number of Welsh folk songs and hymns.
OK, I might regret posting this, so I’ll just be hiding behind the nearest crowd control barrier
I did see the Stradey Parc hotel documentary on S4C recently and was pleasantly surprised by how much Welsh was used at the place.
The only town where every shop will be welsh talking.
Where locals are friendly and welcoming.
Where the views are simply breathtaking.
Places to eat & drink in Welsh - [search thread by town/city to find somewhere near you]
Just a quick update on Parc y Scarlets (Llanelli Rugby Staduim).
No in your face Welsh signs, just Cymreag everywhere. It comes across as the natural (unforced) 1st language. Radio Cymru listeners will know Tommo, who compares in Welsh, but always translates to English.
Sitting behind me is a young lady who talks (quietly) in Welsh to her father all the way through, which is ok with me.
This week, a ladies choir talked to my friend and me after the game as they were chilling out. Again, they just naturally spoke in a Welsh/English mix.
All of the supporter’s songs are in Welsh Incidentally, if anyone was there, what was the last song that we sang please? Not Sospan, Cwm Rhondda or Yma o Hyd. The one after that - I didn’t know it, so just joined in clapping to the beat with the others. In the words of Michael McIntyre: “You wouldn’t get away with that in London”.
Edit: “All of the supporter’s songs are in Welsh” - ok, except for “Hymns and Arias” and weirdly “Flower of Scotland”.
Sut mae pawb. Apologies I know this threads a bit old and there might be somewhere better to put this;
I normally go hiking each year for a few days/a week and thought this year why not combine it with some Welsh speaking practice.
Can anyone suggest to me towns in South Wales where I’m likely to be able to use Welsh, especially those with a train station for start/end points? Rural/scenic setting a bonus. I’m assuming villages in between will potentially speak Welsh? Any suggestions are helpful, I can work out routes/distances unless anyone has something to recommend. I’m guessing Carmarthen is a good shout?
for practicing Welsh, in my experience Carmarthen, and going West and around Ceredigion (and even part of Pembrokeshire) is all great!
For a few tips about reaching places by public transport maybe you can find something useful here (skipping the flights part I suppose).
Since I mostly went to Wales in winter, and for just a few whirlwindy days every time, I didn’t manage to make all the walks I would have liked to do, but there’s several paths starting from the places I’ve visited, and more.
I don’t have the links here, but I can find them and post them if you like, just let me know.
That’s brilliant, thank you for the tips. Sounds like you had an amazing trip. If you’ve got any info on walks I’ll take it, but don’t go to any trouble.
I had a few links handy, posted them in the other topic so it should be easier to find in future searches on this Forum:
Speaking of nice walks, rather than Welsh practice I only went from Aberteifi to Poppit Sands (easy) and to the Wildlife Centre (very easy)
I had also started Aberystwyth to Borth (someone suggested me to go see the “underwater forest”). But by the time I reached the top of Constitution Hill (just a few minutes from the promenade actually) it got so foggy I couldn’t see 3 meters away in front of me.
So even more than missing all the spectacular views I got worried about falling down a cliff and just went back to town!
Which was probably a better deal for Welsh practice, at least.
There’s an annual membership fee, but they welcome people who are just visiting to join them on walks.
Great, thanks again for your tips. I’m trying to avoid just passing through Aberystwyth as I went to university there and feel I need to do a proper revisit for several days, but can definitely recommend to others walking in that area. Certainly some of the places you mentioned up and down the coast sound great. Time to get the maps outs!
Thank you Bronwen, will look into this one day
Copied over from the “Places to eat and stay” topic -
So, this afternoon I did a tour of mini supermarkets around the feeder valleys to Cwmtawe. I mostly asked random questions about fruit teas etc, in the hope of a Welsh response. Strangely, although I didn’t get any answers in Welsh, I did get totally relevant English answers. So I assume they were having a laugh. Ah well, onwards and upwards. Further into Carms for my next shopping venture.
They weren’t having a laugh, they’re probably just not confident speaking Welsh even though they can understand it pretty well. I was at that stage for years before SSiS helped me unlock all the Welsh I knew so I could get the words out fast enough to have a real conversation.
This is a filling station and minimarket in Brynhoffnant village on the main A487 between Aberporth and Aberaeron.
Very welcoming and high quality service. The young woman at the checkout/counter was more than happy to speak Welsh when I asked a question, and then when I payed for my supplies she naturally conducted the sale in Welsh without prompting. I can’t guarantee whether all staff members are Welsh speaking, but I didn’t have any problem at all on my visit.
Siop Antur Stiniog actively encourages people to practise their Welsh - at one point they were offering a discount on a cuppa if you had a go. What’s also lovely in Blaenau Ffestiniog is that the pavements have strips of slate across them on which sentences in Welsh are written. I had great fun trying to translate them.