Autumn hiking up Cadair Idris, a ridge 6.5 miles long steeped in folklore…
Tongues of fire on Idris flaring,
news of foe-men near declaring,
to heroic deeds of daring,
call you Harlech men
(Men of Harlech)
The giant Idris is the mythologised warrior king of Meirionydd, Idris ap Gwyddno (c. 560-632). He was renowned as a philosopher, astronomer and poet. The summit of Cadair Idris (Pen y Gadair), Cyfrwy (the Saddle) and Tyrau Mawr form a shape that is said to be his chair, hence the name of the mountain, Chair of Idris. Landscape features of the mountain are attributed to the actions of Idris. Some huge boulders at the bottom of the mountain are said to be stones Idris shook out of his shoe.
Legend says that anyone who spends the night on Cadair Idris will awake either as a poet or as a madman. The gift of poetic inspiration is said to come from Idris himself.