Although many people across the world celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th, here in Wales we have our very patron saint of love called Saint Dwynwen – celebrated annually on January 25th.
Lovers may celebrate Saint Dwynwen, without knowing the story of how the daughter of a medieval king became the Welsh patron saint of love.
In fact, Dwynwen’s own story isn’t what you might call a romantic one. Legend has it that she was deeply in love with a man called Maelon Dafodrill, but when she turned down his premarital gestures, he left her.
Calling upon God in her prays, her former lover was turned into a block of ice, and as a reward to Dwynwen’s for not succumbing to Maelon’s advances, God rewarded her with three wishes – to defrost Maelon, for “all true-hearted lovers” prays to be listened to, and for her to never have to marry. Legend has it Dwynwen remained as a nun at an isolated church in Llanddwyn, Anglesey until her death.
Every year, thousands of people visit the now ruined church named after Saint Dwynwen.
These are our favourite places for a romantic stroll, walk and canoe in Wales: