The trip from Bristol to Bridgend in Wales took us about two hours. I knew our accommodation was on an estate that had formerly been a Large family house, but it certainly exceeded my expectations. The long driveway approach was tree-lined and majestic, especially in the misty rain. Once settled into the room we decided to fight off jet lag once again by taking a walk, even in the rain. It was gorgeous. Just what people who live in arid country in the heart of Australia long to see now and then. Toto we’re not in Oz any more!
The gentlest of rain drops glistened like pink Argyle diamonds on the wild roses. Ivy vines enveloped the large chestnut trees as if they existed for that very purpose. It is so magical to feel you are in such a different place, so invigorating. I suppose that is the addiction I have that keeps me traveling.
Later in the evening we had booked to eat dinner at the restaurant at Coed-Y-Mwstwr, (pronounced ‘coy de mester’), the name of the house. The service was impeccable and the food very good, tho the servings too large for me. However, I did manage to squeeze in a second try of clotted cream in the day! The clotted cream rice pudding may put me into an early grave but I will have a smile on my face!
On what turned out to be our only full day in Wales, we set out early the next morning and headed west. We took the motorway to save time, and motorways everywhere are much the same, but once we were into the more pastoral areas the countryside was lovely. There is something so peaceful about watching cows and sheep graze in verdant pastures, and the fields of ‘rape’ coming into blossom dotted the landscape brilliantly.
We drove to the farthest point west we thought we could comfortably return from and decided to see what we could as we worked our way back to Bridgend. On the way, to points west, we did stop at Porthcawl. The mist was very heavy and so I have no photo for you. The coast there was fairly flat with rocky beaches but a nice walk that extended along the foreshore. Next stop was Pembroke Dock which was rather industrial and didn’t hold much interest so we headed just south to Pembroke where there was supposed to be a well preserved castle. It was fantastic. It was the most intact castle of that type, we have seen and apparently the oldest tower (1200) in Britain. Beneath the fortress was an even more ancient cave dwelling that had been inhabited by cave men! Another first for us. (The odd photo of a cave with green lichen growing on the wall is the cave where the Neolithic relics were found)
Next on the return journey was the coastal town of Tenby, heading east from Pembroke. It is a gorgeous seaside town in the tradition of scenes along the Amalfi Coast but with different light and more northern architecture. We spotted the Tenby Boatshed project that had been featured on the TV program Grand Designs. You can just make it out in my photo.
We returned to Coed-Y-Mwstwr via a slightly different route, stopping briefly for a light lunch to atone for our sins from the previous evening. Once ‘home’ again I washed my ‘smalls’, the penance for trying to travel lightly, and we retired to the comfort of the public bar and living room at the manor. After a day of atonement and penance, we couldn’t resist the allure of gluttony once again and we indulged in the delicious cider, a Guinness and those hand cut chips! What is a holiday for, after all!