Dual identity: The village split in two by the Wales-England border

The Wales-England border has a clear split between the village itself

The simple act of crossing the road takes on a special significance in Llanymynech.

The Wales-England border runs right through the middle of the main street, and walking a few yards from the post office to the pub takes you through two nations. 

In this village, residents can border hop all day.

The name Llanymynech is Welsh for 'Church of the Monks'.

In the ITV series “Wonders of the Border”, Sean Fletcher explores the idiosyncrasies of daily life in this dual nation community, where even a game of golf has its quirks. 

Llanymynech is one of only a few courses anywhere in the world where you can play one round of golf in two separate countries. On the 4th hole you tee off in Wales and putt in England.

The Offa's Dyke Path cuts through Llanymynech's famous golf course

Sisters Sarah Jones and Lisa Edwards run a cafe in the village. Their business is on the Powys side of the street, and they both consider themselves Welsh, born and bred. 

But they can’t quite decide which country to call home.  

Sisters Sarah Jones and Lisa Edwards

Lisa explains: “I used to live on the English side of the street and Sarah lived on the Welsh side.  But within the same week we decided to move, so I came over to the Welsh side and Sarah now lives across the road in England.”

Sarah doesn’t see the peculiarities of daily life as out of the ordinary: “Growing up on the border we’ve never known anything different!" she explains.

There used to be four pubs in the village - in one of them, the Wales-England border divided the bar in half. In the days when the sale of alcohol was banned in Wales on a Sunday, customers could simply move a few feet to the English section of the pub and drink legally.

On the Welsh side of the village, John Turner runs the Dolphin Inn. He prides himself on serving food and ale sourced in Wales. 

The Dolphin Inn owner, John Turner

During the Six Nations he decorates the pub with daffodils and Y Ddraig Goch when Wales play England.

But just like Llanymynech itself, John is divided.  He’s originally from London and regards himself as an Englishman running a Welsh pub.

“On match days I do support Wales, because I’m on the Welsh side of the street,” he explains. “But in my heart of hearts I’m shouting for England. Mind you, when the pub's full of Welsh supporters I’m not shouting too much!  

“I’ll put the Welsh shirt on, until England start winning. And then I might swap!”

You can see more on this story in Wonders of the Border, tonight at 7:30pm on ITV Cymru Wales. 

It will then be online at: itv.com/walesprogrammes 

  • Watch Sean Fletcher facing his fears and scaling the limestone cliffs of Llanymynech: