Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

Picture shows the waterfall discussed in the blog postToday’s Saturday walk was another step outside the ordinary. This week, Sharon and I have gone into Wales for a short weekend away. We arrived during Friday afternoon and we’ll be home by Sunday afternoon, but as they say – a change is as good as a rest.

We’re staying a a small cottage close to the centre of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant which is between Oswestry and Welshpool but inland, closer to the coast. The village is ideally placed for trips into those two market towns as well as for trips to Lake Bala or Lake Vyrnwy.

Of particular interest though, is the village’s proximity to Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in England and Wales. It is reputed to be 60 feet higher than the Niagara Falls in North America.

The single track road from the village to the falls is four miles long and must be a nightmare in summer when there are more tourists driving up and down it. We didn’t do too bad, although coming back down was a little busier. We’d read that there was a pay and display car park at the end of the road (and there is) but we didn’t drive quite far enough, so our first view of the falls was from a distance – and they looked impressive.

When we did get to the car park, we found public loos and a cafe/tea shop – so the trip to the falls can be an excellent day out. Especially when you get up close and personal to the falls. They ARE magnificent. Perhaps it’s the time of year but the noise and the spray are a joy to behold. Luckily, we were amongst the first to arrive today so the favourite photo spots were free. Having become enamoured of the falls, we decided to walk up the hill to the source. It’s not too far, perhaps about a mile but it’s a very steep walk, so if you plan on following in our footsteps do take your boots. In fact, take a picnic, it’s an absolutely fabulous view from up there and there are many many more walk emanating from the car park area.

View from top of waterfallAfter a couple of hours here, we drove over to Lake Vyrnwy, where we planned to have our late picnic lunch. Just an aside here: when we stopped at the waterfall and stepped out of the car to change into our boots, it rained. It stopped eventually and we had a cracking walk, but when we got back to the car to remove our boots, it rained again. How lucky was that? However, at the lake, the rain (and hail) got its own back and we had to eat our lunch in the car. No sooner had we decidedĀ  to drive back to the village, than the sun came out again. Hey ho.

We finished our trip with a walk around the visit and a look in at the pub where we had dinner last night. A pint of Stonehouse brewery beer and the first half of England v Italy. (and now Scotland v Wales as I write this). A cracking day!

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I know that it’s not Saturday yet but I can’t see us getting out for anything like a decent walk tomorrow. Sharon and I set off for Wales on Wednesday, fully aware of the impending Snowmageddon – but the weather people have been wrong before. Not this time!

We stopped off at Karen and Dave’s on the way. This is always a pleasure and this week’s stay was no different. We ate out at the Poacher’s Pocket, just up the road from Karen’s and then joined the pub quiz down at ‘The Trap’ just on the Welsh – English border. Sadly the quiz master was a little slower than he could have been and subsequently, more alcohol was consumed than would have been good for me to drive the following day. Whoops. Anyway, Sharon had been good – and she drove the rest of the way. We had lunch in Aberaeron, where the wind was bitterly cold. We ate in a cafe above Ambassador’s gift shop and surprisingly, the food was good. I experienced my first Welsh RED Mustard during this meal. Now there’s different.

And today we woke up to real snow. It was worse at home in late November – early December, but we are staying at Steven and Rosie’s, which is one and a half miles away from the main coastal road, as it passes from Aberystwyth on its way to Cardigan. The road is single track and steep! We’re going nowhere today and probably not tomorrow either – although there is (apparently) a craft and Christmas Fayre in Aberystwyth on Saturday.

The snow has brought out all the birds though. Today we have seen Red Kites and Buzzards up above us and smaller birds all around the feeding bags hung on trees. We’ve been visited by Great Tits, Blue Tits, Green Finches, Sparrows, a Robin that looks extremely put out that his territory is being invaded by such a swarm, by a pair of Chaffinch who seem to prefer hunting on the ground below the nut bags, a hugely puffed out Jay and even a Woodpecker. It’s fun for us to watch, but not for them to live in. Even the chickens have stayed in their Ark!

Finally, I bought Liar Liar by Captain Ska, the other day (79p @ http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/liar-liar-single/id408050972?ign-mpt=uo%3D4) it’s the only form of anarchy I can manage from my armchair – but something I thought well worth spending 70p on. Give it a go – don’t them them get away with it. Even if it only affects their conscience, it’s worth 79p.

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