Pennal is a village in the county of Gwynedd, West Wales. The village sits alongside the A493 Aberdovey to Machynlleth road at the head of the Dovey estuary. Pennal offers peace and tranquility in the south of the Snowdonia National Park. Inside the old village church can be found a facsimile of the Pennal Letter and other items in tribute to Owain Glyndwr the leader of the Welsh Rebellion in the early 15th Century. The Dovey estuary offers spectacular scenery …from the panoramic landscapes at the mouth of the river to the tree clad hills and valleys of the upper reaches of the Dulas and Dovey rivers.
However, do not get the wrong impression of this part of west Wales. Although you have a choice of a quiet stroll along the riverbanks, playing a round of golf, or lazing on the golden sands of Aberdovey beach, you also have the opportunity for wild extreme sports and activity holidays.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
A short walk on the pier at Aberdovey and you will soon discover the wide choice of sporting activities available locally, whether it's sea and river kayaking, wind surfing, surfing, or plain sailing there are opportunities for all in the Dovey estuary ….for experienced sailors or beginners.
Extreme Sports: And if they aren't wild enough for your taste then how about gorge walking, canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, all available close to Pennal and the Dovey estuary.
Mountain Bike Trails: Mountain Bike enthusiasts are well catered for with either a short trip to the Coed y Brenin forest and some of the UK's best trails, or closer to hand, take the Machynlleth Forest Trails after a short hop over the River Dovey to the interesting old town with the big clock!
Boat Trips: Take a fishing trip from the pier at Aberdovey in search of those elusive bass, bream, or tope or reel them in when the mackerel start chasing the white bait. Anglers also have the opportunity for shore fishing along the banks of the Dovey estuary.
In bygone days Pennal echoed to the sounds of Roman soldiers tramping along the Sarn Helen Road. Indeed the strategic importance of the village is evidenced by the founding of the Roman Fort at Cefn Caer in the village, and the remains of the Welsh motte and bailey castle, Tomen Las (sometimes Domen Las), in the fields behind the village.
Two thousand years have passed and today Pennal's building of note is the church of St Peter da Vincula in the centre of the village. The present building is a Victorian structure dating from the 1870's but some say that the church is the site where Owain Glyndwr signed the “Pennal Letter” in which he sought the assistance of the French Pope at Avignon in his fight to gain Welsh independence.
Others say there is not a shred of evidence to support the claim!
Nevertheless, this has not stopped the local vicar from restructuring his churchyard as a memorial garden to celebrate the 15th century Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr. Inside the church is a facsimile of the Pennal Letter and other items in tribute to Glyndwr, including a rather poor painting by Aneurin Jones of the first Welsh Assembly held in Pennal in 1406.
However Pennal is more than a footnote in Welsh history and the village has earned its right to be included as a location on the tourist map of Wales.