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Published
29 Mar 2021

Wales’s record try scorer and former IRB Player of the Year Shane Williams MBE has cycled a staggering 736.71 miles, climbing 47,491 ft – more than one and a half times the height of Everest – and visited 50 castles around Wales in an attempt to achieve a Guinness World Records™ title for the Most castles visited in one week by bicycle.

Shane started out on his epic journey under leaden skies at Carreg Cennen in Carmarthenshire on February 22, and finished one week later by reaching Dinefwr Castle under blue skies on St. David’s Day, March 1, having called at castles across the length and breadth of Wales, still closed to the public of course due to the pandemic, from Beaumaris in the north to Cardiff in the south, and from Haverforwest to Chepstow in the east.

As for setting a new Guinness World Records™ title – you’ll have to wait for a special S4C programme broadcast on March 31, produced by Cardiff-based Orchard, which features a number of record-breaking attempts, from pulling an aircraft to chopping wood and even a virtual singalong.

Talking about his exploits, Shane said: “What a fantastic but arduous week I had, an adventure through the history of Wales to try to set a new world record. The support from Guinness World Records, the Orchard team, Cadw and other castle owners was immense. I set out on a pre-production Agilis road bike, so new that I hadn’t ridden it before; I clocked up a personal best 125 miles on one day; I celebrated my 44th birthday with a cake outside Harlech Castle; I had to repeat 40% gradients when I forgot to start my Garmin; I must surely have broken the world record for eating Mint Aeros across the week; I met the Mayor in Narberth; and in Gwbert we got to watch the second half of Wales bagging the Triple Crown. Most of all, I was reminded of how stunningly beautiful this country is. I just don’t get why we had to put our castles on top of steep hills!”

St David’s Day was once again celebrated with a partnership between S4C and the Orchard Media and Events Group setting up a number of uniquely Welsh record-breaking attempts recognised by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicators as ‘Officially Amazing’. It’s taken Wales and the Welsh language to an audience of millions around the world through TikTok, Instagram and a variety of social platforms. A programme featuring all the record attempts will air on March 31, and a special programme on Shane’s endeavours, Shane: Torri Record Byd Guinness airs on Thursday, 15 April, 9.00pm, S4C. Record breakers book a place in the Guinness World Records 2022 edition on sale in September.  

Rob Light, Executive Producer at Orchard said: “Shane put everything into this world record bid, so we hope he made it – you can find out on S4C on March 31. It’s been great to work again with S4C and Guinness World Records to get brand Wales around the world. We’re especially indebted to the team at Cadw for helping us with Shane’s epic journey, despite the fact the castles remain closed.”

Gwydion Griffiths, Cadw Head of Marketing & Tourism said: “We would like to congratulate Shane and the Orchard team on this fantastic attempt at the world record. Cadw is responsible for 130 amazing historical sites across Wales and it’s an incredible effort to try to travel to 50 castles in Wales, on a bike, within a space of a week. Hopefully it will inspire others to visit the sites when we reopen to the public.”  

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS began with a single book published from a room above a gym in 1955, and has grown to become a global multi-media brand, with offices in London, New York, Miami, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai. Content is now delivered through Books, via TV shows, Social Media and Live Events.

Elen Rhys, S4C Commissioner said: “Congratulations to Shane Williams for an absolutely stunning effort. S4C is very pleased and proud to have worked with Shane, Cadw, Guinness World Records and Orchard on this truly special record breaking attempt. It brings Wales and everything our beautiful country has to offer – including our amazing castles - to audiences around the world.”

S4C is available in Wales on Freeview 4, Sky 104, Virgin TV 166 and Freesat 104. In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, S4C is available on Sky 134, Freesat 120 and Virgin TV 166.