is it? In the town of New Quay, Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion
How long will it take ? : 3 miles, 5 km, Approximately
2 hr. But it depends on how many pubs you visit along the way
What's the attraction? : See the town that inspired Dylan Thomas
to write about the village of Llareggub (say it backwards) in "Under
Essentials : Stout footwear might help crossing the stream
Rating : Easy. Its mostly tarmac roads but there is a short
section across the sands.
Car Parking : Park the car in the central car park above the
harbour in New Quay. Charges £2.00
per 8 hr day as of 2008
Facilities : Refreshments available in several pubs and cafes
along the way. Good fish and chip shops near the harbour. Toilets close
to the harbour
|Directions : [ Map
of Dylan Thomas Trail New Quay Walk location ]
New Quay is in Ceredigion West Wales. Take the A487 Aberystwyth
to Cardigan road, at Synod Inn take the A486 to New Quay. It's
a small town with a one way system with a 20 m.p.h. speed limit.
Lets Go !
The Dylan Thomas Trail is rather like Dylan's life, a bit of a pub crawl,
with four public houses to be visited along the way. The idea of the
trail is based on the assumption that Dylan was inspired to write his
play "Under Milk Wood" by his stays in New Quay in the 1940's.
The trail starts close to the harbour at the Tourist Information Centre
where there is a colourful information board that shows pictures of the
route and from where you may pick up an information
leaflet on the walk. Immediately opposite the TIC is London House the
one time home and shop of Norman Evans who inspired the Nogood Boyoe
in Under Milk Wood. A few yards up Church Street is the Dolau
Public House said to be the favourite pub of Dylan's hard drinking and
long suffering wife Caitlin. Caitlin would complain in later years that
all the heavy drinking was doing her more harm than Dylan as she was
physically unable to down the pints of beer and would have to drink the
more alcoholic shorts.
After visiting the pub it is often a good idea to to visit the toilets.
These are to be found round the corner past the entrance to the harbour.
Once the Lifeboat Station Dylan knew them as the regular haunt for old
sea dogs to meet up and have a chat. Today, besides being the toilets,
there is a small Fish Shop extension to the building where 21st Century
characters can still be seen having a natter.
But back to the pubs and across the road is the Blue Bell where Dylan
drank with a young Richard Burton. The Blue Bell was up for sale when
we visited in 2008 but with it's prime position in New Quay I'm sure
it will be back in business in no time.
to enlarge the Pictures ---------------------------------------
From the Blue Bell we head up the winding Glanmor Terrace. On the right
we pass the Hungry Trout restaurant that used to be the New Quay Post
Office. Here Dylan would post his scripts to London and where Jack Lloyd,
or Willy Nilly, Milk Woods' postman would have worked. (I can recommend
the Hungry Trout for it's excellent seafood where we enjoyed a baked
halibut and delicious char grilled mullet). Across the Bay can be seen
Llanina Point and Majoda the house were Dylan once lived.
Further up the hill and on the left hand side of the road we come to
Dylan's favourite pub, the Black Lion, where there is a collection of
pictures and memorabilia of Dylan. Across the road is Gomer House where
Captain Tom Polly lived, the original Captain Cat.
On the corner at the top of the hill, past the amusement arcade, is
the Seahorse Inn. The Seahorse was originally called the Sailor's Home
Arms which inspired Milk Wood's Sailor's Arms. But unlike in Dylan's
day most of the drinking now seems to be done outdoors with benches on
the side walk to satisfy the new anti-smoking laws.
From the Seahorse bear right toward the Towyn Chapel across the Car
Park. The minister of Towyn Chapel was a poet and a preacher and probably
the inspiration for Milk Wood's Eli Jenkins. Carry on past the chapel
along a leafy lane, Towyn Road, to Wendower. This was the home of Dylan's
Aunty Elizabeth and his cousin Theodosia ,(what a glorious name) whom
he would visit in the 1930's.
Leaving Wendowel, it's rather disappointing, we back track along the
lane as far as the Seahorses. From here we take Margaret Street through
to George Street. In Dylan's day this was the busy shopping street. The
yellow Costcutter store was a Bakery in Dylan's day and inspired the
tales of Dai Bread and his two wives. Bethel Chapel became Bethesda.
While the next house Arnant was a cobblers where Dylan liked to sit
and gossip. Close by is Manchester House, now a fishing tackle shop,
which was then a drapers like the one in Llareggub. Mrs Organ Morgan's
ironmongers may have been modeled on Sheffield House, an ironmongers
next to Manchester House.
From George Street take Brongwyn Lane, still a leafy lane that at one
time led all the way to Dylan's and Caitlin's home Majoda. Dylan would
walk this lane no doubt passing the courting couples and maybe inspiring
him for Goosegog Lane in Milk Wood.
Unfortunately for us and more so for the landowners the lane has disappeared
into Cardigan Bay. To continue our trail take the steps down to the beach
and bear right along the sand to Llanina Point. At the Point you may
have to get your feet wet as a small stream crosses our path. After crossing
the stream follow the path upstream through the woods. After a few hundred
yards bear right to join the path that leads to Plas Llanina.
Plas Llanina was owned by Lord Howard de Walden a patron of the arts
who allowed Dylan to stay at Apple House at the bottom of the garden.
Next to Plas Llanina is St Ina's church which is well worth a visit while
in the neighbourhood.
To continue the trail get back to the path and bear right at the junction
with the tarmac road (hump back road on your left). Follow the road
uphill and you will soon come to the site of majoda the house were Dylan
and Caitlin lived from 1944 to 45. It is at Majoda that Dylan made a
start on Under Milk Wood. The original timber and asbestos shack has
been demolished to make way for the present bungalow.
Further along the lane is Ffynnonfeddyg the house where Dylan's one
time friends Vera and William Killick lived. (William Killick was to
be tried and found not guilty of of the attempted murder of Dylan and
Well that's the end of the trail, to return to New Quay either retrace
your steps back to the beach or alternatively follow the directions on
the map above. Carry on along the lane to the junction with the
B4342. Veer right at the junction and this will take you back to New
Quay. Unfortunately this can be quite a busy road and as there is
no pavement you have to be extra careful.
The safest return route is back along the beach. And if you are fortunate
to have timed your walk to coincide with low tide then it is possible
to walk all the way along the beach to New Quay harbour.