Outrage as caravan park replaces 100-year-old Welsh name with English alternative

Glan y Môr - meaning 'seaside' - holiday park in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, has been renamed Aber Bay. Credit: Allens Caravans Estate Ltd

A caravan park in west Wales has sparked outrage after changing its 100-year-old Welsh name to English.

Glan y Môr - meaning 'seaside' - holiday park near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, has been renamed Aber Bay.

The owners, Allens Caravans Estates Ltd, said the park's renaming is essential for its "significant development".

But the decision has received backlash from holidaymakers and Welsh language campaigners, who said the decision is a "step in the wrong direction".

Some locals have said the new name will also cause confusion as it is located in Clarach Bay, just north of Aberystwyth.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith is urging the owners to "abandon the renaming" and said it is "very concerned" at the rate of properties and places in Wales that are being renamed in English.

The caravan park is located just north of the popular seaside town of Aberystwyth. Credit: PA Images

Jeff Smith, Rhanbarth Ceredigion and chair of the Sustainable Communities Group for Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said: "The new names are frequently replacing old and historic names that are woven into the fabric of our communities.

"As we understand it, the holiday park has been known as Glan y Môr for over a century and this is a descriptive and well-known name.

"Cymdeithas yr Iaith want to see a sustainable tourism sector in Wales that works with and supports local communities, language and culture. We therefore see the renaming as a step in the wrong direction and would urge the owners of the holiday park to abandon the renaming proposals.

"The very fact that the owners of the holiday park are allowed to anglicise the original name underlines the need for legislation to protect Welsh language place names."

Some have taken to social media to express their views on the name change.

One person commented: "I've decided against a purchase after discovering the sly anglicisation and name change. Disgraceful."

Another added: "Lots of Welsh people and plenty of English people like me will be forever grateful if the trend of pointless anglicisation of Welsh place names could not only be halted... but reversed. If we get rid of all the things that make Wales worth visiting, will it still be worth visiting?"

Another comment read: "Another attack on the Welsh language!!"

One Facebook user said: "That makes absolutely no sense and quite frankly shows a disregard for the local area and the Welsh language."

The holiday park is located in Clarach Bay. Credit: Google Maps

Allens Caravans Estates Ltd, who took over ownership of the park in 2017, said the decision was made with "careful consideration" due to the park's previous bad reputation, which they argued had tarnished the name of Glan y Môr.

"At no point was it felt that we were trying to detract from Welsh connections. Quite the opposite", said a spokesperson.

They said the original farmhouse will still be named Glan Y Môr.

The spokesperson added: "Glan Y Môr did not in previous years have a good reputation and despite our best endeavours to market the park to new customers, we were met with complaints and issues prior to our ownership, something that tarnished the name and in turn was detrimental to moving forward with such a significant redevelopment.

"We are investing heavily and opening up new opportunities for local employment. It is always our intention is to have a positive impact on the local areas where we own and operate parks."