Portrait of George Borrow


George Borrow has numerous associations with Wales.

The first, and probably the most famous, period when George Borrow is associated with Wales was in 1854 when the Borrow family lodged in Dee Cottage, Llangollen, and George Borrow’s long walks and then tour of Wales began.  Local walks were to Ruthin, Bala and so on, followed by a long walk to Bangor and Beaumaris etc. and over to Holyhead, coming back via Carmarthen and Bala to Llangollen.

The long walk into South Wales then follows, with Borrow heading east towards Machynlleth and then down towards Swansea, then back west to Chepstow.

George Borrow wrote his travels in Wales in 1854 up and the resulting book, Wild Wales is now recognised as a classic of travel literature, and also of books about Wales and the Welsh.

George Borrow made a second tour of Wales in 1857, starting from Shrewsbury and heading down through Newton, Llandloes, Rhayader and Builth to Brecon; then east through Trecastle and Llandovery to Carmarthen, Pembroke and St. David’s.  He return via Fishgard, Cardigan, Lampeter, Builth, Presteigne and Ludlow to Shrewbury.  The George Borrow Society Weekend at Presteigne in 2011 covered this period and a transcription of George Borrow’s notebooks was presented to attendees.

Hundreds of Welsh places are associated with George Borrow through these tours and his descriptions etc. of what happened when he visited them.  George Borrow’s lifelong interest in the Welsh and Wales show through in most of his works.