Llanwrtyd is a town with a marvellous sense of humour and an ingratiating eccentricity. In many ways it is a fantastic advertisement for Wales all on its own. The smallest and friendliest town in Britain has long punched above its weight, ever since 1732 when the Reverend Theophilus Evans discovered a rather healthy looking frog sitting in a well. Evans deduced that the water the frog had been living in might have some medicinal qualities, he was right and soon enough the sulphuric spring at Dolycoed was a destination for health tourists from all over Britain. The Victorian fashion for Spa towns did not last into the 20th century, but the inventive residents of Llanwrtyd thought of something else to take its place…
Since 1980 Llanwrtyd Wells has been home to the internationally famous World Alternative Games, a truly remarkable celebration of oddity. Events include Backwards Running, Office Chair Racing and Underwater Hockey, not to mention the well-publicised events like the Man vs. Horse Marathon, Worm Charming, the Rock Paper Scissors Championship, Bog Snorkelling and the Wife Carrying Championships where the victor is rewarded with the weight of his wife in beer! The games are hugely popular, truly unique and well worth a visit.
Local resident, Robert Kevan or 'Rob the Rubbish', has also been heavily featured on television, with the Independent comparing his efforts cleaning up the countryside to the charitable efforts of Florence Nightingale, Bob Geldof and Princess Diana. Llanwrtyd does have one more claim to fame, the Reverend William Williams of Pantycelyn, Wales' most famous hymn writer and author of 'Guide Me O Thou Great Jehova', composed his magnum opus during his three year curatorship in the town.
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