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Lonely Planet describes Wales as ‘wild west’ with names that are ‘impossible to pronounce’

14 Aug 2019 1 minute Read
The wild and unpronounceable Tenby is one of the recommended destinations

An introduction to Pembrokeshire in the Lonely Planet has suggested that Welsh place names are “impossible to pronounce”.

In a guide to the 10 best travel experiences in the UK, the travel guide book publisher suggests Pembrokeshire as one of its recommended destinations.

“There’s more to Wales than sheep, drizzly valleys and place names that are impossible to pronounce for outsiders,” it says.

“If you haven’t been to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the country’s ‘wild west’, you are missing a trick.”

It suggests Tenby, Barafundle Bay, Freshwater, Marloes and St Davids as locations within Pembrokeshire that are worth visiting.

The article has been written by Kerry Walker, who describes herself on her online biography as a “based in the middle of nowhere in Wales”.

Three other Welsh locations are included in the top 50 – Snowdon is number 45, the Gower peninsula is number 47 and the Millennium Stadium is number 48.

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Norm
Norm
1 year ago

Irony is the places mentioned in Pembrokeshire aren’t impossible to pronounce even though everywhere else is

Hippyboy89
1 year ago
Reply to  Norm

Yeah pembrokeshire is little England beyond Wales! Most of those names are English names but have Welsh names,st David’s is ty DeWitt for examle

Mitford
Mitford
1 year ago
Reply to  Hippyboy89

No honey…..

Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes
1 year ago
Reply to  Hippyboy89

Surely you mean ‘Ty Dewi’ for St David’s. ‘ty DeWitt’ sounds like somewhere in South Africa!

Cilmeri
Cilmeri
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Hughes

Actually Ty Ddewi

Cilmeri
Cilmeri
1 year ago
Reply to  Hippyboy89

Don’t talk b******s. Obviously no understanding of Welsh place names

Mike McGrane
Mike McGrane
1 year ago
Reply to  Norm

How about Cholmondly and Leominster as towns and pontefract cakes not being pronounced as they are spelled. Cymraeg (or Welsh) is far more phonetic than English!

Richard Penderyn
Richard Penderyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike McGrane

Pontefract is from Old Welsh “Pont y ffraith” … England once spoke a form of old Welsh .. brythonic

Richard Penderyn
Richard Penderyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Norm

Norm … you are a laugh ….. I can pronounce Welsh placenames and I was born in England …. are you not educated enough to learn?

Ben Digedig
Ben Digedig
1 year ago

Pass me me my yawn bag. How can you now trust this publication with objective respectful reports on other countries that aren’t actually USA or England? They are a parody of themselves by now due to these Anglo-centric blinkered and terrible ‘travellers’.

Iforbach
Iforbach
1 year ago

Not sure what the problem is here. It is a positive article recommending people visit Wales.

Richard Penderyn
Richard Penderyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Iforbach

by reinforcing nonsense that the Welsh language is tough to pronounce…..

Sibrydionmawr
Sibrydionmawr
1 year ago
Reply to  Iforbach

There are a fair few of us who wish they stayed away. However, that would require a government whose idea of economic development wasn’t obsessed with creating yet more opportunities for tourism. The people of Wales need proper, decently paying jobs, not skivvy jobs cleaning toilets for English visitors.

Mike F
Mike F
1 year ago

A beach to rival Barafundle is Broad Haven at Bosherston, the Lily ponds are beautiful and one of the best tea rooms is in the Village, ‘The Olde World Cafe’.

Roger
Roger
1 year ago

But they are ok with names from other countries. No problem. Just like the BBC

Roger
Roger
1 year ago

Though I don’t really see the problem. Most non Welsh speaking Welsh people can’t pronounce them either. Like Hirwaun – Heerwain. Where as they call it locally urwin

Richard Penderyn
Richard Penderyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger

She lives in Wales and has presumably a human brain … doesnt take long to learn the pronunciations

Sibrydionmawr
Sibrydionmawr
1 year ago

If you lived in Wales you’d be very familiar with the numbers of white settlers who, after having lived in the area for many years, still mispronounce and mangle place names.

Caradoc
Caradoc
1 year ago
Reply to  Sibrydionmawr

Wait a minute… are you saying that ‘native’ Welsh people… aren’t white?

Sibrydionmawr
Sibrydionmawr
1 year ago
Reply to  Caradoc

Nope, not at all, but I should have put “white settlers” in quotes.

Caradoc
Caradoc
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger

True, and most native Cardiffians say ‘Landaff’, ‘Landock’ and ‘Lanedin’, to the extent that I often feel embarrassed saying them the proper way.

Elizabeth Jane Corbett

Why does no one ever write this about towns in Greece, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Fiji, Venezuela…? Most places in countries in which a different language is/or was spoken have names that are a challenge for English speakers to pronounce. It would be, in the case of Greece, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Fiji, Venezuela, considered rude and culturally insensitive to mock their place names. Yet for some reason it’s okay in Wales!

Richard Penderyn
Richard Penderyn
1 year ago

because most Welsh are so apologetic…they hate standing up for themselves unless its dying in english wars

Sibrydionmawr
Sibrydionmawr
1 year ago

It’s an issue, because at the back of the minds of those for whom our language is an issue is that we are supposed to be a conquered people, and therefore subordinate to these English ‘higher beings’. I know that’s not a nice thing to say, but I’m sure lurking in the back of many Welsh people’s minds is a feeling that there is something is this sentiment, but they have been conditioned for generations to suppress such ideas. The worst of this is that it’s all very sub-conscious, festering away. It doesn’t do either the English people or Welsh… Read more »

Richard Penderyn
Richard Penderyn
1 year ago


Decolonise Cymru now

ccityplanner12
ccityplanner12
1 year ago

I don’t entirely get it. Is this article trying to make a point? Surely Lonely Planet will be grateful for the publicity.

Penderyn
Penderyn
1 year ago
Reply to  ccityplanner12

subtle digs at the Welsh in the original article and other lonely planet articles will always go over your head my man

“really small middle of nowhere etc etc….”……. conditional reinforcing that Wales is some idiotic backwater … when its actually highly skilled with huge potential

Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes
1 year ago

I get frustrated by stereotypical comments on Wales, like:
* In the middle of nowhere
* Impossible to pronounce names – when you just need to understand the phonetic alphabet
* Tweeness
* Rain and drizzle! Well Wales does get it’s fair share of wet weather, but people also notice it more when they are on holiday!

James M
James M
1 year ago

I love how publications like to project a sense of culture and a broad mindedness, especially when pronouncing something like the great Johann Sebastian Bach (even the Ioan bit). Typically, when it comes to a sub-culture, a culture that’s anything but high-culture, they treat it like a piece of dirt. The fact it’s written by someone who lives in Wales is just reality for the way lots of Welsh people are treated in their own country.

Sibrydionmawr
Sibrydionmawr
1 year ago
Reply to  James M

I don’t know if you were making the point with your comment, but Wales has a culture of its own, that contains sub-cultures. Welsh culture isn’t a sub-culture itself. (And I’m talking about Welsh culture in BOTH languages, just to be clear)

James M
James M
1 year ago
Reply to  Sibrydionmawr

I know that, I’m just talking about how people perceive our culture.

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