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The small linear village of Pennal, which lies along the main Aberdyfi to Machynlleth Road, appears insignificant, yet it played an important part in the history of Wales.

In 1406 the Welsh prince, Owain Glyndwr, wrote a famous letter (now known as the ‘Pennal Letter’) to the French King Charles VI, laying out his plans for an autonomous Wales. The letter is kept in French archives, but you can see a copy of it in the village church of St Peter Ad Vincula.

The church is very much a shrine to the last leader of an independent Wales. In the graveyard there is a bronze statue of Owain Glyndwr, which was commissioned by a number of well-known personalities, including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, who wrote ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and a number of other songs while staying at a remote cottage between here and Machynlleth.

For evening meals, look no farther than the Glan Yr Afon/Riverside Country Inn opposite the church at the centre of Pennal, which has over the last few years built up an excellent reputation for quality cuisine.

Other than that, it’s a quiet village and a good taste of real rural Wales with its single pub and village shop, a stop off for most, sitting below the forested hillsides on the main road route from Machynlleth to the coast.

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