Leading authority warns that Wales' top sights may not last the century

On publishing his new book, Wales: 100 Remarkable Vistas, leading Welsh author and geologist, Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd, has warned that some of Wales’ top scenic sites may not last to the end of this century.

‘The country’s three National Parks, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and fourteen Heritage Coasts, in particular, bear testimony to past and present erosional and depositional processes that have shaped the Welsh landform,’ he said, ‘But they now pose a challenge to its people as a consequence of human-induced global warming which will, amongst other things, threaten the very existence of its coastal settlements as sea levels continue to rise.’

Wales 100 Remarkable Vistas is an illustrated full colour volume which takes readers on a journey around one hundred of the most remarkable scenic locations in Wales.

The top locations were chosen by Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd who, inspired by the Welsh landscape, decided to compile a list of the hundred most remarkable sights in Wales. The result is a beautiful book showing the very best that the Welsh landscape has to offer, with stunning photographs of our natural wonders and fascinating information about each place.

‘The task of selecting and visiting a mere 100 vistas proved to be both challenging and pleasurable,’ said Dyfed, ‘Challenging because it was necessary to ensure an even spread of sites the length and breadth of Wales, and pleasurable because it prompted me to visit locations which, prior to the preparation of the book, were terra incognita – which means unknown territory.’

 ‘Although many of the vistas are undeniably attractive they were chosen not only the basis of their natural beauty but also their remarkableness and accessibility,’ he explained, ‘Most should be within reach of the majority of readers.’

This volume discusses some of the most stunning scenes in Wales, including not only eminent ones such as the summit of Snowdon, but also some which are less well known, such as Craig yr Hesg near Pontypridd. Others include Ynys Llanddwyn, Trefor and Yr Eifl Granite Quarry, Cadair Idris and Llyn Cau, and Solva Harbour.

‘If you read the book, you will learn why Penrhyn Quarry is one of the most astonishing places in north Wales and why Dan yr Ogof caves are regarded as the entrance way to the underworld,’ said Dyfed. ‘There are many hidden stories to discover in one or two places, and a chance to learn more about the fascinating geology and geography of Wales.’

With this year being the Wales Year of Legends, the author also recalls tales such as ‘Culhwch and Olwen’ from the Mabinogion, when Culhwch, with the aid of Arthur and his knights, was required to do battle with Twrch Trwyth, the wild boar, on the Presely Hills.

Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd is a former pupil of Cyfarthfa Castle Grammar School, Merthyr Tydfil, and graduate of University College London. After a period lecturing in London, he has held a number of posts in Wales including Head of the Publications Department of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Editor and Publishing Director of Gomer Press. He is also the former Chair of Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd and a member of the Countryside Council for Wales.

When not writing and translating English geological texts into Welsh, much of his time is spent wandering Wales, leading guided walks, addressing Welsh societies and exploring the glacial and volcanic landscapes of north-west Europe. He currently lives in Llechryd, Ceredigion.