Snow­do­nia’s epic ap­peal is leg­endary

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION EUROPE -

It’s no sur­prise that Snow­do­nia’s epic and evoca­tive land­scapes — an­cient crom­lechs (burial cham­bers), lakes, moun­tains and caves — should fig­ure so large in Arthurian lore. The as­so­ci­a­tion deep­ens with the launch next month of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Leg­end of the Sword, shot mostly in the re­gion. Lo­ca­tions for the film, which stars Char­lie Hun­nam in the ti­tle role and Jude Law as the vil­lain­ous Vor­tigern, in­clude Conwy, where joust­ing se­quences were shot, while the flooded Vi­vian Quarry near Llan­beris, or­di­nar­ily a scuba-div­ing cen­tre, is the scene for a spec­tac­u­lar stunt leap. In a key se­quence, Hun­nam tosses Ex­cal­ibur into a lake near Nant Gwynant.

Arthurian leg­end, recorded in a col­lec­tion of me­dieval Welsh fa­bles called The Mabino­gion, cer­tainly runs deep here. Arthur is said to have slain a fear­some gi­ant on the sum­mit of Snow­don while nearby Bard­sey Is­land is var­i­ously claimed as the birth­place of Mer­lin, and even as myth­i­cal Avalon it­self. For all this, plus un­der­ground boat rides, wa­ter­falls and dragons, fam­i­lies should head to King Arthur’s Labyrinth at Cor­ris in south­ern Snow­do­nia, in­evitably lo­cated in an old Welsh slate mine.

Ritchie’s pro­duc­tion con­firms the re­gion’s pop­u­lar­ity as a key lo­ca­tion that in­cludes among its cred­its star­ring ap­pear­ances in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough, the In­grid Bergman clas­sic The Inn the of the Sixth Hap­pi­ness Up the Khy­ber. and even

King Arthur: Leg­end of the Sword opens na­tion­ally on May 18; hoyts.com.au.

JEREMY SEAL • kingarthur­movie.com • kingarthurslabyrinth.co.uk Carry On

Char­lie Hun­nam in the ti­tle role of King Arthur: Leg­end of the Sword

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