Wednesday, 25 May 2011

'A Sense of Place'; The Teifi Valley, West Wales

Yesterday I attended a workshop put on by Visit Wales for the Teifi Valley Tourist Asscociation ( entitled
 'A Sense of Place' the purpose of which was for the TVTA to learn how it may most effectively promote the Teifi Valley as a worthwhile tourist destination.
Of all the attendees I had lived in the area the longest (nearly 30 years) by having married a resident, everyone else had chosen to move here for the beauty of the area and the way of life it offered. It was fascinating to hear what people had to say about why they were drawn to this part of Wales.
For many it was the sense of re-connection to simpler values, a slower, more relaxed way of life and the great beauty of the valley.
We discussed the varied aspects of the area such as the rich history and the diverse artistic population that has come here, the artisan food producers, the Welsh language and its survival here and the fact that the Teifi Valley is a perfect base from which to enjoy easy access to Pembrokeshire, Cardigan Bay, the Cambrian Mountains and Carmarthenshire and of course the castles.
TheTeifi Valley stretches for 75 miles from the source of the River Teifi up in the Cambrian Mountains of Ceredigion to the estuary at Cardigan. Along those 75 miles there can be found a diversity of landscapes from empty moorland where only the sheep & the buzzards can be seen, gentle rich farmland & flat river meadows to impressive water-worn gorges and rushing torrents of white water with ruined castles & ancient religious houses, a university, old drovers inns and ancient market towns.
The TVTA will try to harness all this wonderful range of history, arts, food, landscape and the stories of the people who make & live in this part of Wales to make the Teifi Valley a recognisable region that people will wish to visit. Care will have to be taken however that we are not overcome by our own success and end up by West Wales becoming as over-crowded as Cornwall. It is a fine line to tread between having desirable and successful tourism on a sustainable level and mass tourism that will result in spoiling the area.

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