by Menai Holidays
History & Heritage
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than whisking a partner away on a surprise break to a romantic North Wales’ holiday cottage. And there’s no better time to choose than St Dwynwen’s Day.
Celebrated on January 25 each year, St Dwynwen’s Day is one of the best kept secrets of lovers in Wales. You can share the romance of this special day by staying at one of a great selection of romantic holiday cottages on Anglesey with your partner.
Take a trip to the island of Llanddwyn, a spectacular rugged rock lying off the miles of deserted sandy beaches, near Newborough, Anglesey, where Dwynwen, the Welsh saint of love, was fated to live a life of solitude. She had hoped to marry the man she loved, Maelon Dafodrill, but was distraught when she found he was promised to another. Dwynwen prayed for divine help to ease her pain.
In her sleep, she was visited by an angel who answered her prayers with a potion that she gave Maelon to drink which turned him into a block of ice. Horrified at what she had done, Dwynwen pleaded with God for three wishes to put her spiteful act of jealous revenge to right.
She called on God to release Maelon from his frozen imprisonment, that God should work through her to protect all true lovers and that she should remain unmarried. Her wishes were granted and she withdrew from the world to devote the rest of her life to God from her lonely chapel on Llanddwyn. Dwynwen is believed to have died in the year 460.
The legend goes on to say that you can divine the faithfulness of your lover by scattering breadcrumbs on the water in the chapel well and laying a cloth over them. If the cloth is disturbed by a fish rising to feed, then your lover is faithful to you.
Before leaving the chapel, the local custom is to leave a small devotion at Dwynwen’s shrine.
You could pick this moment to hand your partner a traditional card wishing them a Happy St Dwynwen’s Day – ‘Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus’ in Welsh – or even magic up a bottle of Champagne to toast your partner while passing a quiet moment in Dwynwen’s memory.
Centuries later, her story lives on and Welsh couples choose this special romantic day to make the short pilgrimage offshore to pledge their everlasting love and even propose marriage at Dwynwen’s ruined historic chapel sitting atop a rocky outcrop.
Now, you and your partner can play a part in this sad tale of unrequited love and regret and feel the protection St Dwynwen affords to true lovers by spending some time at this special place known only to a few.
After your visit to the beautiful and lonely Llanddwyn for that perfect romantic moment that neither of you will ever forget, you can return to your very own snug and warm holiday cottage on Anglesey, or nip across one of the Menai Strait bridges to one on the mainland.
Llanddwyn is one of many special places to visit during your stay. The majesty of the snow dusted peaks of Snowdonia, the sturdy castles of Edward I at Beaumaris, Conwy and Caernarfon, the historic port of Amlwch and the cliffs and lighthouse of South Stack are all worth a visit during your romantic break.
In the evenings, you can dine out in style at one of many local award-winning restaurants or have a pint or two in a welcoming cosy pub.
Find a romantic holiday cottage for two in North Wales
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