Our Tour of Wales – Part 4: Trefor, Gwynedd to Penrherber, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire

Our Tour of Wales continues and we’ve been to some lovely places this week, we’ve started heading south along the coast…

Leaving Trefor and the amazing views across the Llyn Peninsula, we headed to Llanystumdwy and the Camping and Caravanning Site. A little further inland than we’ve been recently, it was an ideal chance to get some chores done! The sea is just visible from the campsite and you can walk to it, a short walk will also take you to the town of Criccieth (or you can get a bus)! We walked down to see the grave of David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister 1916 – 1922 (our third PM grave to date), opposite his grave is the Museum dedicated to him, too. The village, itself doesn’t have a lot, there is a pub and a school! https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/gwynedd/criccieth/llanystumdwy-camping-and-caravanning-club-site/

From Llanystumdwy, we headed down the coast to the town of Barmouth, were had read about Wales’ Number One Fish and Chip Shop – The Mermaid Fish Bar http://themermaidfishbarbarmouth.co.uk/ and felt it would have been rude not to give it a try. It is definitely worth the wait in the queue. We have subsequently discovered that the Times Newspaper have voted the Mermaid number 2 in the United Kingdom, now there’s another challenge afoot! Barmouth has a lovely sandy beach and although the main part is not dog friendly, there is a part near to the harbour where dogs are allowed, and at the time of our visit the beach side car park was big enough for us to park up in – it is pay and display, and no overnighting!

We continued our journey south and to the little village of Bow Street, just outside Aberystwyth and a Caravan and Motorhome Club (CMC) Certified Location (CL) Cae Ceiro https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/wales/ceredigion/aberystwyth/cae-ceiro/. Located next to a Guest House of the same name, and about a mile from the local shop, but along the way you’ll pass the pub, butcher’s shop, chinese (cash only) and Fish and Chip Shop. Walking along the footpath, which runs along the side of the CL, passing over the railway line, you can head up through the fields and along the road to St. Michael’s Church at Llandre, where you can pick up the Poetry Path, dedicated to local poets. The churchyard also has a 2000+ year old Yew Tree.

From Llantre, we continued our journey south and to another new CL, Terfyn Mawr https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/wales/carmarthenshire/newcastle-emlyn/terfyn-mawr/, in the hamlet of Penrherber, outside Newcastle Emlyn, with views across the countryside to the Cardigan Coast. Our hosts, Gerald and Hazel, have created a wonderful little CL, complete with a spotless shower and toilet room. Although the CL was only opened in May this year, it is just beautiful. The grass pitches have been arranged to maximise the view and the sunsets from your pitch are stunning. The grass properly cut and like carpet under your feet. Walking Reg from the campsite, the lanes are so quiet, that you don’t need to fight your way along the overgrown footpaths. There is a Cheese Farm nearby – walking distance, downhill! https://www.cawscenarth.co.uk/ This is now our Number One CL (apologies to the others but)… Unfortunately, we have another site booked so couldn’t extend our stay, we will be back, probably scheduling our other stops around this one.

As always, thank you for reading, we hope you and your families are safe and well and managing to stay cool in the weather we have at the moment in the UK. We’ll be back soon with more from our tour of Wales.

Our Tour of Wales – Part Two: Aberbran to Bala

Leaving Aberbran, we headed north and up to the town of Llanidloes. We’d chosen to stay at a Caravan and Motorhome Club (CMC) Certified Location (CL) and Upper Glandulas Caravan Park did not disappoint! Located about a 20 minute walk from the town centre, on a working farm, you wake to the sight of sheep around you. https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/wales/powys/llanidloes/upper-glandulas/In addition there are Red Kites which liked to land in the trees nearby (and at times, it felt, follow us into the town)!

Walking into town we found it was steeped in history, and dates back to the 7th Century, when the Celtic Saint Idloes, founded a church by the RIver Severn. The Normans invaded in the 11th Century and established a motte and bailey castle, now the site of a Pub! Edward I granted the town a Market Charter in 1280 (there is still a market on Saturdays). In the centre of the town, at the junction of the four main roads is the old Market Hall, on stilts and dating back to 1612, and is the only surviving timber framed market hall in Wales, in its original location. The source of the River Severn is located about 10 miles away in the Cambrian mountains; Llanidloes, is the first town on the river. You can walk the length of the River on the Severn Way, from source to sea.

Leaving Llanidloes, we took a detour up to the Clywedog Reservoir and Dam, there are walks and viewpoints around it. We continued our journey up to Newtown and Welshpool, before finding our next stop outside the village of Berriew. Glandir CL, is located, a short walk from the Montgomery Canal, along which you can walk to the village centre, about 30 minutes, or Welshpool about 3 miles – there is a bus back! Berriew has a selection of pubs, a village store, butcher’s shop, cafe and Sculpture Museum. https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/wales/powys/llanidloes/upper-glandulas/

Our next stop this week, was the Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Bala. We had assumed that the Bala CCC Site, was in Bala, but it was actually 3 miles away. Next time we visit, we will find the campsite on the Lake! That said, we upgraded our pitch to electric and chilled over the weekend, with the British Grand Prix and Laundry (Ric the former and me the latter, but I do love clean clothes and am a little partial to ironing)!

We’re heading of again on Monday, continuing Our Tour of Wales. As always, thank you for reading. We hope you and your families are safe and well and have some inspiration from our little tales of our travels. We’ll be back soon, (as WiFi and 4G permit in these mountainous parts!)…

Our Tour of Wales 2022 – Week One: Sussex to Powys

Setting off on a slightly overcast Sunday morning, having said our farewells to family, we headed north west to Wiltshire and Royal Wootton Bassett. We had found a Caravan and Motorhome Club (CMC) Certified Location (CL) at a Fishery. Flaxlands Fishery is a short walk to the main town and the CL is located at the top of the site, with spectacular sunsets, but it’s not very dog friendly. There is a dog walk which is along the side of the M4 (it is fenced from the road, but I always worry there might be a gap and a return walk inside a conifer corridor. The back of the CL leads to a footpath, which given the time of year was through haylage awaiting harvesting – Reg loves running in the long grasses, not to good for his new found hay fever but.. As the next footpath was unwalkable in shorts (nettles and brambles adorned the stile) we could only walk a straight walk out and return the same route, according to the fishery map, dogs are not allowed to walk through the fishery even on the roadway! so a round trip was not possible walking along the road.

Leaving Wiltshire, we headed north to Gloucestershire and our happy place, Tewkesbury. Staying at the CAMC Tewkesbury Abbey Site (again), we relaxed, had some lovely walks, some we’d done before and others not. We walked part of the Battle Trail and River Walk, but not the Severn Ham (this time)! On one of our walks, we even saw a couple walking their…..tortoise! https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/cotswolds/gloucestershire/tewkesbury-abbey-club-campsite/

We did venture into the Abbey, however! It was a very hot day, and for the first time in all our visits to Tewkesbury, the doors were open, so we were just going to have a sneaky peak, but it’s dog friendly – dogs are welcome INSIDE! A great relief from the rising humidity and heat outside. Tewkesbury Abbey in parts dates back to the 12th Century, and was built to house Benedictine Monks. The build was started in 1102 and it was almost complete when it was consecrated in 1121. As always, Ric is fascinated by engineering and found two Gurney Stoves, made by the London Warming and Ventilation Company in the 19th Century, to provide heat by burning anthracite, and have now been converted to gas. https://www.tewkesburyabbey.org.uk/visiting-the-abbey/

Our next stop, and we’re still not in Wales, was the World’s First Book Town, Hay-on-Wye. Home to over 20 bookshops and a castle. We had a wonder around the town, walking up the little roads and twitterns. We ventured up into the castle – again dog friendly – and home to the oldest set of working defensive doors still in situ in the UK, having been first installed in the 13th century. We walked along the river walk as well as through some of the fantastic countryside. There is even another gold post box (our second one found), for Jody Pearson, a paralympian discus thrower.

Our stop for the night was a lovely CAMC CL – Dark Orchard. It is off grid, but in a large secure field about a 5 minute walk from the town centre and so peaceful, with a stream running along the edge. The owners Linda and Chris are so welcoming as is the official welcome you will receive from Linda’s father, Pete the Greet. This is on our list to return to (especially as we have had a whole list of more things to do and see)! https://www.no10dulas.co.uk/dark_orchard_cl/

Leaving Hay-on-Wye, we crossed the River Wye and into Wales! It was only a short drive to our next stop and a short detour to Brecon first. Each time we have arrived at Brecon, we have been drenched and this trip was no different. Stepping out of the motorhome and taking two steps, prompted the biggest downpour yet! Having stocked up with food and essentials, we headed to our next stop, Aberbran CMC Site. A short drive from the A40 and alongside the edge of an old railway line, unfortunately the old railway is not a walkway, like Slinfold CMC, but we did manges to find a walk through the countryside. https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/wales/powys/aberbran-club-campsite/ The weather has yet to improve, although the rain has abated, the wind has picked up, gusting up to 30+ MPH, the awning was safely stowed early in the morning, having read it is only tested up to 20MPH!

As always, thank you for reading and we hope you and your families are safe and well. We’ll be continuing Our Tour of Wales, and hopefully we’ll be able to keep you updated as we go!