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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK
King Arthur conquers tourist trade
Llangollen town generic
Tourism boost after King Arthur links are promoted
Links to the King Arthur legend in Llangollen have been the focus of a cash boost to help promote tourism in the area.

Tourist chiefs have ploughed over 100,000 to develop a marketing programme for the town after landmarks in the area were found to be related to the legendary king.

Queen Guinevere
Croes Gwenhwyfar is a town landmark

The money - which came from a foot-and-mouth rural recovery grant - has been used to publicise the town as a holiday destination of historic interest.

The funds were dedicated to market the town's Arthurian heritage after historians associated place names in the area with King Arthur.

George Smith, chairman of the Llangollen Tourism Association, hopes the mythical figure will increase visitor numbers.

"The River Dee is regarded as the most scared river in western Europe according to early Celtic history and the area is steeped in ancient mythology and legends," he said.


We hope that the King Arthur legends along with the other myths and legends of the area will encourage people to come and see what we are offering

George Smith, chairman of the Llangollen Tourism Association

"One of the best known Arthurian stories relates to he abductions of Guinevere by one of Arthur's sworn enemies Melwas.

"Early Welsh bardic material clearly places this story around Llangollen with Melwas being the lord of the region which the Abbey and Llangollen now stand.

"This could explain why it has never been possible to identify him at Glastonbury, which is where the story is supposed to be set," he said.

Sites linked to the Arthur legend in Llangollen include Croes Gwenhwyfar - Guinevere's Cross.

The landmark - the remains of a stone cross - is found near the towpath of the Llangollen Canal.

Gwenhwyfar is the original Welsh name of Guinevere, the wife of Arthur - it is the only site in Britain which carries the name Gwenhwyfar.

Mr Smith hopes crowds of summer visitors will be drawn to Llangollen as a result of the three year promotion strategy.

Llangollen town generic
Myths and legends around the town

"We want people to come here and make their own minds up about the places linked to Arthur in Llangollen.

"Arthur apart, we intend to utilise the 3000 years of history Llangollen has in creating a sustainable tourism product that will generate new domestic and overseas visitors.

"The new strategy will also give those people who have already visited the town a new reason to come ensuring we increase our market share over the next three years.

"We have got the support of the entire community who will all benefit from a boost in tourism to the area," he added.


More news from north east Wales
See also:

13 Jun 02 | Wales
16 Apr 00 | Wales
14 Feb 00 | Scotland
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