Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire

July 16th Catching Up! July 16, 2017

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It’s three weeks since our return from  holiday and we have had more lovely visitors  staying in Lletty Cottage.

We’ve also had a number of visitors to the house: loss adjustors, builders, decorators, cleaner uppers! We had a leak in the bathroom plumbing whilst we were away and this resulted, amongst other things, that  the dining room ceiling landed on the dining room floor…and all that entails! However, we are insured with the NFU and they have been wonderful and sorted  everything out promptly for us. The builders and decorators have been amazing too  and the rooms  are now getting better than they were previously!!

This hasn’t stopped any of my other getting out and about days!

A cream tea  with live entertainment ( two guitarists playing songs that I knew words to!)   was   organised by the Llangadog WI during the week  and was enjoyed  by many,  on one of the only sunny days!

DSC02283.jpgLlangadog also had a garden competition running. Mick Sheridan, the upholsterer,  had a very unusual  and brilliant garden design.

DSC02294.jpg A visit to one of my favourite castles was the next away day! Carreg Cennen Castle is magnificent (30 minutes drive from the cottage) even on another rainy, cold day! My friend’s daughter is getting married there later in the year so it was a good chance for her to have a recce  and me to be nosy!

The setting is spectacular  with the castle set on high  and surrounded by stunning countryside.  Starting off we had  a coffee first and a look at the rare breeds Longhorned cattle in the field below .

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We even spotted those who were playing hide and seek!

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The wedding ceremony takes place in a converted barn with the view of the castle framed in the window above the table where the bride and groom sit. It’s just perfect!

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Outside a path leads up passed the farmhouse to the castle where wedding photos may be taken. It must be wonderful to get married in such an amazing place.

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The Walking Well Walk last week was led by Philip, who had planned a figure of eight walk around the countryside of Cwmifor, just 20 minutes drive away.

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The walk was very pleasant walking through fields with sheep  and not so pleasant when there were large cows and calves in the fields. No one gets worried about this….only me!

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The most remarkable aspect of the walk was noting the many new gates that had  replaced old and worn stiles. Hope this refurbishment of stiles gets done all through the county! Fingers crossed!!

A selection of fine new gates:

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The walk also took us through a farmyard, where we were  greeted  by a very friendly dog.

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Many of the he fields were covered in thistles, the only plant , it seems, that the sheep don’t like! They’ll be nibbling away soon at all the hazelnuts that are growing in the hedgerows!

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One tree they won’t be sampling is this one ‘growing’ in a garden in the village, complete with woodpecker.

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Back home, the lawn has now turned into a meadow  and cutting a path through it is a way of preserving the many wild flowers that are growing. ( It’s actually a way out for me of cutting the grass- it all catches up with me later when I have to cut it all down in the autumn…but it does look lovely now!)

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The bog garden too is now rather overgrown. It just loves this wet and warm weather!

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The rust on the hollyhock leaves  always happens, it’s just not the rain!

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Tip of the week from Philip:

Always hold on tightly to the electric fence hook when you unhook it to let walkers through  as it’s elastic  and the result could be nasty!

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Our walks are really ‘exciting’ ….you always learn something!

 

June 30 Back Home June 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 10:10 pm

This post doesn’t  tell you anything about Lletty Cottage except the owners are now very relaxed and happy after their holiday away and pleased to be back ready to welcome all visitors here. 

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

 

We have returned! Actually you might not have known that we were going away. Well, I did try to tell everyone that this holiday was going to be a holiday of a lifetime…and it was! It was my FIRST EVER flight in an aeroplane  and we were flying to British Columbia to visit our son and his family. The twins are now 3 years old  and we couldn’t wait any longer  to see them.

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No denying I was pretty worried about the flight as  I hate  being in small spaces  and I had numerous pills from the doctor in case it all became too much but  I didn’t need them  and after 9 and a half hours of flying we were there!  How wonderful to be met with bouquets of flowers and lots of hugs and tears mingled together!

I know how boring  looking at other peoples holiday photos are …so zip to the end now as I’m about to do  a look at my 989 photos….I promise they are not all here! These are just a flavour of what we did on our month away.

The first couple of days we settled into Canadian life and visited a few stores, went to the beach  and enjoyed some lovely walks.

 

 

It was great to see how the family are developing their garden  and creating a beautiful home for them all.  FaceTime is fantastic but seeing the place in reality is so much better.

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In their back garden they were wondering where all their cherries

were disappearing to!

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We don’t get many shops like this in Llansadwrn!

IMG_7753.jpgA short car journey from home brought us to some lovely and interesting places – all beautifully tidy, clean and vibrant.

IMG_7830.jpgA visit to Whistler was next on our busy agenda. We drove passed a bear in a car park but didn’t stop to say hello!

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On the way we stopped for a short paddle in a lake

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Our apartment matched the stunning scenery- it was all superb.

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Now that’s some robin!

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On our return to Vancouver we called into Stanley Park and enjoyed the views across the bay.

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We enjoyed the ferry  crossing to Vancouver Island as there was a play area for the children and lots of coffee outlets and sitting  areas to sit and look – there were no sightings of whales though.

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Our first port of call was the Butchart Gardens, where we were welcomed  by the Welsh flag fluttering in the wind! We have had a Butchart Gardens perpetual calendar on our wall recording birthdays,  marriages etc for years and  now we could see it alive for ourselves. It was truly stunning!

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Captain America enjoyed the visit too!

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Quite like this as a garden ornament …better than the real thing!

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We drove further on to Lake Cowichan where we stayed in an idyllic log cabin by a river and set in spacious gardens with lots of bird life and luckily no bears….perfect!

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DSC01521.jpgWhilst there we enjoyed a parade …those clans get everywhere!

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Chemainus is known for the town murals which were everywhere  and huge!

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Days later we moved on to Torfino but called into Cathedral…something…I’ve forgotten the name …where we walked through some spectacular original rain forest.

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Now on the Pacific Rim the beaches were spectacular and our next accommodation was amazing set as it was in a rainforest with no curtains and just trees all around!

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View of tree from our bed…one did feel a million eyes peering at you when you were trying to get  to sleep!

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I can assure you the Pacific is as cold as the Atlantic!

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Back in Victoria we called at the home of artist Marney Ward- a wonderful watercolour artist, who had  very kindly invited us  to visit her. We’ve long admired and loved her beautiful flower paintings and it was a joy to see her and her original work.

http://www.marneyward.com

Back in Vancouver for some final visits  to see the sights.

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Wish our local Co-op could have fruit like this!

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A visit to the Aquarium  and a last visit to the park

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and a final mushroom burger brought our amazing fantastic holiday  to a close. Lots of tears saying goodbye but lots of magic family memories to take away. Thank you David and all the family for giving us such a fantastic and happy time. We warn you now we’ll be back!

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May 19 Walk Around Llansadwrn May 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:01 pm

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Walking Well Friday again- it  seems to come round very quickly which is a good thing as it is so enjoyable. One can now guarantee that Philip -the leader- has organised everything to perfection- even the weather! To make things even easier this week the walk was around our village Llansadwrn- the very centre of the universe- well my universe anyway.

I didn’t have to drive to Llandeilo to meet up with the Group they came near here to the cosy hamlet of Felindre- can you call three houses and a bridge a hamlet-not sure. This delightful cottage was the setting off point for our walk following the path alongside  the River Marlais.

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Crossing over a stream we walked into a lovely meadow where we were greeted by a gentle quacking from a number  of geese(?).

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The walk took us through beautiful green meadows with the  views of the Brecon Beacons in the distance.

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We  wondered how wide the original Roman road would have been as we tramped along it.  The road would have  been built to connect the Roman forts of Llandeilo and Llandovery.

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A small stream crossed the road and a very rickety bridge built to cross it. Only one person  on the bridge at a time- wonder why!

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The Roman road continued through pleasant glades of trees and ferns.

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Someone has been very busy as there were a number of new gates,  path signs  and bridges which all help to make the walk more enjoyable.

The views over the Carmarthen Fans against the clouds and blue sky grew better and better as we climbed higher and higher!

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Campion and foxgloves were in abundance on the hills but the bluebells were just slowly  fading away.

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At last we reached the forest road after  walking up a rather  steep incline but the views were well worth it.  It was a time to relax and get one’s breath back and eat a Welsh cake!

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We followed the forest track back down to a country road which had  cow parsley and buttercups on either side which were buzzing with  bees , birds and some butterflies.

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The road took us back over the River Marlais  and that  completed our circular walk.

To end the walk, coffee and cake were at our house sitting outside under the shelter.

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This was  a chance to show some flowers and goslings!

 

 

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Sadly, only two goslings left now.

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Of course Rufus had the last word- he was not amused that he had to stay inside while we were outside enjoying his garden!

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May 15 In the Garden May 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 2:54 pm

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You have to love the weather that you get or else life could be pretty frustrating!

Dry: no rain in West Wales in Springtime…unbelievable.

Windy: plants lying prostrate  in all directions.

Frost: Jack Frost’s  freezing fingers crept  through the borders and left many plants hurt by his icy grip.

A week later:

Rain: by the gallon. Sunshine: by the bucket load!

Hey Ho on we go- It’s Springtime in the garden and after all the weather difficulties all seems to be going fine!

 

DSC00837.jpgA couple of years ago I started to plant ferns and I’ve love them more and more. They give colour and form to the garden  for a major part of the year especially in Springtime when the fronds begin to uncurl.

DSC00844.jpgThe bog garden has blossomed  over the last few days  after we had the rain. Many of the plants looked damaged by the frost but the rain has revived them and the primulas glorious colours are showing  a bright patch  in the damp soil.

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The alliums are doing well and bring height to the borders  and bees to the garden.

DSC00850.jpgTh soft velvety feel of the Christmas tree ‘fingers’ just call out to be touched.

DSC00854.jpg The hawthorn hedge is full of pretty may blossom.

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The wonderful scent of the  Zephirine Drouin rose  pervades through the garden. It’s a real stunner   as it is thornless  and has the most beautiful colour and flowers through the summertime. I do have to keep a watch though for black spot and other fungly things!

DSC00871.jpgReally pleased the Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ has flowered  prettily this year. Last year I tried to be too clever and  wound the stems around the pole supporting the roof of  the ‘garden room’ ( it’s really like  another carport   but it’s a lovely place to sit and look at the pond and the roses!) After I’d wound the stems around the back of the post I’d forgotten that there were sheep in the Pond Field  and they’ll eat anything! You’re right …they ate the stems so no roses! But this year…no winding round things  the roses just left to do their own thing and voila lots of lovely flowers!

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Most of the plants that do well in the garden are old cottage garden favourites and the bees love them best too.

DSC00879.jpgSweet rocket is just  perfect in the border as it gives height, colour, a delicious scent and is so easy to grow…that’s what I love!

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A  flash of red brightens any garden.

DSC00856.jpgBest of all on our Pond Field the 6 goslings are growing fast and keeping the grass down. The moorhen chicks too are getting bigger  and more adventurous and straying on the banks alone! Yesterday a magpie caught a tiny vole and devoured it in front of me so I hope the chicks  stay safe!

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DSC01009.jpgPlanted out kale, dwarf beans, potatoes, onions, spinach  and leeks in the veggie plot so far this spring. This was the year I was going to cut back on the veggies  as I get so disappointed when the slugs have more veg than me and also  it’s hard work and I’m getting older. However, there is something in me that makes gardening a must  and sowing the seeds, watching them germinate  and planting them out must be deep rooted!(!)  in my DNA! Thank you to my gardening forefathers and mothers for making me like I am!

 

May 7 2017 Carmel Woods Walk May 7, 2017

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Another sunny, bright and warmish Friday – it must be Walking Well Day. Unbelievably, the group has been running ( or should I say walking!) for two years every other Friday and only once has it been damp/ raining a bit! They do say the sun shines on the righteous!  Anyway, after meeting at Llandeilo railway station we drove on in shared cars to Carmel Woods  carpark which is about 5 miles outside Llandeilo. We had walked here previously but Philip assured us that this was a new walk and not too strenuous  at all! We left the cars and followed the country lane  down passed some lovely country properties some with 5 * accommodation for their horses.

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Leaving the road and passing through a farmyard we entered the wood   where we were greeted by an amazing sight of bluebells, orchids, garlic, celandine  and more …all  growing freely up the banks and through the glades. It was quite a climb though!

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The climb kept on going!

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Reaching  the  top  path there were signs of the old quarry workings  and the explanation board detailing all the wild flowers that we could see and smell.  The Yellow Archangel flower  was new to me  and it was growing in clumps everywhere – it loves to grow on lime soil and as we were surrounded by lime kilns this   made it perfect growing   conditions for this pretty plant. The quarry and workings are all quiet and derelict now and nature has reclaimed the land and covered it in  the beauty of plants again.

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We passed a number of stiles and gates but this was the most stylish – no doubt recycled from someone’s garden- one wonders its history  and  which garden has it stood entrance to before.

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All that climbing up hill meant that we had fantastic views over the beautiful, rolling Carmarthenshire countryside.DSC00663.jpg

DSC00664.jpgWe ambled  on along a lane passing some quite nosy and lovely  dogs and a cheeky pig!

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There seemed lots of interest in our group from some local inhabitants, who stared hard unblinkingly!

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Fairy lace/ cow parsley billowing gently in the warm breeze  interspersed with the waving welsh poppy filled the verges  that edged the country lane.

 

 

Leaving the lane we made our way back down through the woods  stopping to enjoy the view, the skyscape and a welcome snack – a welsh cake – kindly provided by Philip.

 

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As all good things  end we shall  all  sit and drink and so it  happened!  A  pub  ‘The Stag and Pheasant’ was at the end of our walk and the friendliest landlady ever-  a lovely way to end our latest Walking Well feeling well and happy!

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May 3 2017 Dinefwr Walk May 3, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:33 pm

No time to waste thinking about cleaning, washing or ironing- the sun was shining  and a walk round Dinefwr to see the bluebells was far more important.

DSC00463.jpgNewton House looked splendid in the  afternoon sunshine but there was no time to look inside as a sea of blue could be seen in the distance- the bluebells!DSC00466.jpg

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As always on our walks  we seem to attract a four footed  follower- this cat was very friendly and wanted lots of tickle tums!

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Further along the path we came to the ice house which was beautifully camouflaged amongst the grass and trees.

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We knocked on the door but there was no one in…spooky! No ice either!

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Our friend was still trying to get our attention by scrambling up the trees and looking cute!

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There were bluebells all  around and their scent was  just delicious. Campions were in abundance together with celandines and  buttercups.DSC00517.jpg

We were on the look out for some deer  and followed the Brown Route through the woodland stopping frequently for views of the castle and Newton House peeping through the trees.

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At last, there in the distance was a small herd of the deer just relaxing and enjoying the Spring sunshine- just like us!

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The air suddenly lost the lovely aroma from the bluebells to be replaced by the whiff of garlic! Such a pretty sight with the sunbeams shining through the glade.

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Not sure what the mallard was telling us  but it wasn’t too polite!

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Back home with the sun still shining  the lambs in the field have settled right in  and  have claimed the field as their very own!

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April 29 Upton Castle Gardens and The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust   April 29, 2017

 

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Deciding on a  Bank Holiday visit out  is always a tricky decision for us as there are so many wonderful places to visit just a short drive away.  Without too many words of discussion we decided on a drive into Pembrokeshire to visit Upton Castle Gardens as a friend had recommended it and then onto Pembroke to see the Sunderland flying boats again.  WARNING: Please- if you don’t like photos of flowers especially bluebells and garlic don’t read on!

One and a quarter hours drive away from home  we found the Gardens in a very secluded spot down pretty country lanes bordered with billowing cow parsley and ribbons of garlic.

We pulled into the carpark where there was only one other visitor’s car…..  a rather fetching bright yellow Lotus Elan!  No one to greet you just an honesty box to put in your entrance fee.  We followed the path round through magnificent flowering camellias, rhododendron and huge magnolia.

 

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The  path meandered through the grounds leading us on  passed streams, specimen trees and  plantings of gunnera through onto a long  herbaceous  border – it was all so peaceful except for the singing of the many birds.

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At the end of the long border  there  was a delightful  arch  and next to it the entrance leading to  the 13 century chapel, where  over the doorway the wisteria was just about to break into full glorious colour. DSC00279.jpg

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Jim was inside ‘horsing ‘ around!

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Around  the corner was  a magnificent walled garden  and a lovely auricula theatre.

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In front of the chapel was an Easter message.

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The chapel was dark but welcoming  and full of the history of the past inhabitants of Upton Castle. The castle is not open to the public.

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Leaving the chapel we continued our stroll around the garden accompanied only be the calling of the peacock , which we couldn’t see and the scent of the honeysuckle.

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We left the walled garden and passed on to the woodland walk.

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Now the scent was a magnificent garlicky, bluebelly and seasidy mix of magic…glorious!

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It was all just so beautiful!

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After walking through the bluebell wood as if it couldn’t get any better we saw the sight of the Cleddau estuary  through the trees. Jim and I have differing views on estuaries  -I love them!

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Retracing our steps back through the woodland we crossed over the little creek  which empties into the  sea.

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More delights awaited us on the other side of the creek- a wildlife haven. DSC00337.jpg       DSC00342.jpg

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We loved the garden  and look forward to returning their again in another  season but we felt that maybe we’d been very fortunate  to go now when the bluebells were showing at their best.

A few miles down the road  we came to Pembroke Dock and visited the Flying Boat museum   again.  I remember the Sunderlands  when I was a child visiting Neyland  on many  a Sunday afternoon with my grandparents  and seeing them landing on the water  so all the exhibits bring back great memories of my childhood around the Cleddau estuary.

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This was a new exhibit. The mock up of the plane  has a  moving landscape in front  and brings the plane to land on the water! This was all good preparation for my first ever flight in an aeroplane which comes later on this year when we fly to Canada . This mock up made me so giddy – I nearly fell over!! Not sure this was very encouraging for me!!! DSC00351.jpg

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This was a new model of the old ferry that ran between Neyland and Pembroke and one we used to use. Nowadays these a brand new toll bridge!

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The model Millennium Falcon used in the film was actually made at Pembroke Docks…who’d have guessed that?

DSC00354.jpgDSC00358.jpgAfter a tasty cake and coffee in the museum we went for a short walk around the town but it was quite chilly. We passed the interesting plaques about the history of the town and walked up to the Victorian built gun tower  and then decide to return home  before we froze!

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We didn’t think we could take any more excitement in the day  but when we arrived home our lovely farmer had brought the  ewes and their lambs back on  our field …so a day that started very well indeed  ended on a high note too.DSC00375.jpg

 

 
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