The Celts of Wales have as much right as anyone

The Celts of Wales have as much right as anyone to regard themselves as the heirs of Arthur. A scattering of Arthurian sites in Wales include the hillfort of Castell Dinas Bran, claimed to be the burial place of the Holy Grail, and the Roman amphitheatre at Caerleon, which Geoffrey of Monmouth identified as the place where Arthur was crowned.

Such was the power of the legend in the Middle Ages that Arthurian associations were invented the length and breadth of the country. Several compete for the same honours. In a cave beneath the Eildon Hills in the Scottish Borders Arthur and his knights are believed to lie sleeping until Judgement Day, or at least until their compatriots need them to ride forth and rescue the nation from its foes. Glastonbury Tor claims the same for itself, more here.

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It does not really matter. In the realm of Arthurian myth, it is the idea that counts. The dream of a chivalrous and cultured warrior king always at the ready to defend a god-fearing civilisation from the wild barbarians at the gate is a potent concept, as relevant now as ever it was.

The irony remains that Arthur, who actually fought and conquered the ancestors of the modern English, should be hailed as England’s noblest champion. But that, after all, is what legends are about. They represent the way we constantly redefine ourselves, and if that means manipulating and distorting the past, then so be it.

King Arthur will live on in our hearts and minds for as long as we need to conjure up shining heroes to protect us from the forces of darkness. If Arthur had not really existed, then truly he would need to have been invented.

Taste of Britain and Ireland

If my recommended tours have left you spoiled for choice and you still cannot decide on the perfect holiday, perhaps a taste of the highlights of Britain and Ireland on a Frames Rickards coach tour is the solution.

Their nine day “Taste of Britain and Ireland” tour takes you first to York where you will enjoy a guided walking tour of the city walls and medieval streets, and spend the night in a beautiful 17th century mansion. On, then, to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, and back through the majestic scenery of the Lake District as you are whisked to Chester, like York a Roman centre in the 1st century A.D.

Through North Wales and then by high speed catamaran to Dublin you are taken on sightseeing trips to Galway, Tralee, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Waterford and Wexford, if you like tour like this plan it by checking at this  hotel comparison website, where you can find the best hotels and the best prices. You return to Wales to spend a night at Cardiff, including a memorable Welsh banquet at the castle, before gliding through the Wye Valley and on to London. Now you have seen the highlights, perhaps you will wish to return again to spend longer in the places that you have enjoyed the most