Mountain Myths & Legends of Cadair Idris

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Snowdonia is a land alive with myth, folklore, legends and magic. Stories of giants, monsters and heroes are associated with almost every lake, hill, mountain and village, and the Welsh tradition of storytelling has made sure that these rich and varied tales are still as vibrant today as ever.

Cadair Idris, for example, is rich with stories. It derives its name, meaning ‘Chair of Idris‘, from the giant warrior poet of Welsh legend who is said to have created his seat to view the heavens from this lofty point.

Another tale when venturing up the mountain at night to consider tells how those who dare to sleep on its slopes overnight will awake either a madman or a poet!

Others claim that Cadair Idris is the hunting ground of Gwyn ap Nudd, lord of the Celtic Underworld ‘Annwn’, who is escorted by a pack of supernatural red-eared hounds that herd a person’s soul into the underworld…

According to folklore, Llyn Cau, the stunning glacial lake on Cadair Idris, is not only bottomless, but the home of a Welsh water dragon, which once lived elsewhere and terrorised the locals. King Arthur is said to have captured it, tied it behind his horse and dragged it up the mountain to release it in Llyn Cae.

An animation of the tale of Idris the giant can be seen at Cadair Idris Visitor Centre, and at Corris, people are invited to explore these myths and stories in underground caverns at King Arthur’s Labrynth,

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