Fans of the hard drinking poet Dylan Thomas can follow in his whisky-sodden footsteps, on the four set tourist trails – the city centre, the uplands, west Wales, and Mumbles and Gower Trail.
Dylan lived and wrote most of his poetry in his hometown of Swansea. He started his career working on the South Wales Daily Post. His work about Swansea includes the poem: “The Hunchback in the Park,” and the broadcast: “Return Journey” describing his walk through the city after a three-day long bombing blitz in 1941. Follow the city centre trail starting at the “Man and Myth” exhibition at the Dylan Thomas Centre. The Dylan Thomas Centre has a souvenir shop and obviously, a bar. The centre is home to the annual Dylan Thomas Festival, held in October and November, which celebrates the author’s life with readings, talks, theatre, music, art and celebrity guests. Spend some time browsing for memorabilia at Dylan’s Bookstore or have a coffee on Dylan Thomas Square in the Maritime Quarter around the corner.
In the centre of town is a monument to Thomas’ poetry – a leaf sculpture in a fountain. Walk around the monument to read the poem, then look back at the setting. The 14th century ruined castle alongside the blue high-rise building behind the gentle reminder of nature with the fallen leaf in the stream.
Follow the poet west on the West Wales Trail, which takes in Carmarthen, New Quay, Tenby and Thomas’ final resting place at St Martin’s Church in Laugharne. In this small town, walk the curly estuary road to view Dylan’s Boathouse, and imagine the tortured poet writing his best works at his desk. Laugharne is where Thomas escaped from his ugly, lovely town of Swansea to live with his wife Caitlin.
The Uplands Trail begins at Dylan’s beginning, at 5, Cwmdonkin Drive, where he was born on 27th October 1914 and lived until he was 20. The house is in the Uplands part of the city. Stroll around his beloved Cwmdonkin Park, stopping outside his first school on Mirador Crescent.
For more information on the legendary poet visit the Dylan Thomas website.