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People and Places

In a nutshell. From Welsh royalty to Agent 007, Monty Python to Alice in Wonderland.

You’ll never guess who you’ll come across in these parts. Actor Timothy Dalton, who played James Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence to Thrill, hails from Colwyn Bay. As does Terry Jones, Monty Python star and patron of Theatr Colwyn. We’re not claiming that Alice in Wonderland disappeared down a rabbit hole in Llandudno, but Alice Liddell, who inspired the character, certainly spent her childhood holidays there – follow the resort’s intriguing Alice Trail to find out more.

We have our own, home-grown royal connections. Llywelyn the Great, the medieval Prince of Gwynedd, was born in the mountain village of Dolwyddelan. You can still visit the 13th-century castle he built on the rocky ridge above. Historians reckon that this powerful character also deserved the title Prince of Wales, though he never claimed it. His revered status is reflected in the grandly carved stone coffin in which he was buried – you can see it at St Grwst’s Church, Llanrwst, where it occupies pride of place.

Llanrwst has other famous associations. Its picturesque stone bridge, still in use, is thought to be the work of celebrated architect Inigo Jones (1573–1652).

Another member of Welsh nobility is Prince Madoc, the explorer who reputedly discovered America after setting sail from Rhos-on-Sea in 1170. If true, he beat Christopher Columbus by 322 years.

And Wales might have never been the same without Bishop William Morgan (1545–1604), born in a humble stone cottage near Penmachno. He completed the first full translation of the Bible into Welsh, thus securing the future of the language. The National Trust now cares for his birthplace, Ty Mawr Wybrnant, an atmospheric dwelling that captures the spirit of his times and towering achievement.

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