Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire. www.llettycottage.co.uk

September 23 Llandovery Walk & Aberglasney Gardens September 23, 2022

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It’s the Autumn Equinox, the first official day of Autumn and the perfect day to go on a Walking Well Walk in Llandovery. Kim, the leader, met us all outside Llandovery Railway Station before we set off over the fields alongside the river Towy for a circular walk. The weather was unexpectedly warm so jumpers and jackets were soon being taken off and tied around waists.

The views across the valley were really lovely. Everyone was in a happy mood as we had been told that the walk was flat with only one stile!

After crossing some fields we arrived at the stile which led the path onto the Dolauhirion Bridge- a grade 1 listed building. The bridge had been built in 1773 and then had been the main coach road linking Llandovery and Lampeter. We all enjoyed the view of the river from the bridge. We continued our walk along the country lanes until we came to the site of an enormous oak trunk that in 1900 had a girth of 20 ft!

After walking around the trunk we continued our walk. We crossed over the swing bridge having another look at the River Towy before we arrived back at the station. Some of us continued on to the West End Cafe for a coffee and cake! It was a delightful walk in excellent company. Many thanks Kim – a super walk!

On a visit to Aberglasney it was a surprise to find the pool was lacking water! Someone must have pulled the plug out! The fault was soon rectified and the gardeners decided to take the opportunity to thin out the lilies whilst the water level was low. It was interesting to see a little island in the centre.

A walk around the garden afterwards was very enjoyable as there was lots to see and enjoy.

Interesting doors!

Back home the garden continues to keep me occupied…a lot! There is so much cutting down to do and so many autumn jobs to complete but it’s still enjoyable and long may it last! The sunshine has brought out more butterflies and insects but numbers still down from previous years. There are abundant apples, crab apples and pears on the trees all waiting to be picked and stored!

Every morning when I take Rufus out for his walk I marvel at the wonderful view I have across the fields looking towards the Carmarthen Fans. Obviously every day the weather changes and the view across to the hills is sometimes in sunshine, sometimes rain, sometimes no view at all but now in the autumn there are low mists swirling along the valley bottom but leaving the hill tops exposed…all amazingly beautiful. Sadly, my camera can’t capture these scenes very well…please use your imagination!

Thank you for reading.

Flowers for Ukraine:

 

September 10 2022 Myddfai, Aberglasney, Porthcawl, Vancouver Visits September 10, 2022

My first Walking Well Walk in a month and poignantly and fittingly it was around the lanes of Myddfai, the village near to King Charles’s Welsh home, Llwynywermod. The weather seemed to echo our feelings as it was chilly and very wet. Phil had planned a lovely walk through the lanes but the weather made it difficult to enjoy the views that were shrouded by mist. As we neared the end of the walk we heard a lone bell tolling at the village church. A sombre note to recall the passing of our wonderful Queen and her remarkable life and then the sun came out, brightened the moment and we looked to the future.

Thank you Phil for a lovely walk.

It’s been busy having recently returned from a wonderful visit to our son and his family in Vancouver. Our son is doing really well now and we enjoyed lots of walks and visits out. The grandchildren are amazing and never stop! Life is very busy for them all especially now they have a puppy too! A husky cross!

A special visit was to Vancouver Island where we visited Butchart Gardens. On the ferry we were fortunate enough to see a pod of Orca whales…very exciting! No photos…too excited watching them!

I also managed to fit in a visit to Aberglasney where the Orchid Festival was being held. There were many displays of all the beautiful types of orchids. There was also a lovely display of orchids and other flowers in the Ninfarium to enjoy.

A quick walk around the Gardens showed that although there had been very hot periods of hot weather through August the Gardens had survived and looked magnificent.

Friends also visited us during the week and we enjoyed an outing with them to the Botanic Garden of Wales where sadly it rained heavily but we still enjoyed our visit with a coffee and cake in the Great Glasshouse.

Another day out to Porthcawl, with our friends, where we also got rather wet! However, the sun did shine enough for us to enjoy a walk along the front inspecting the lifeboat station, watching the seagulls overhead, the waves crashing on the rocks and a walk through the lovely town with its independent shops.

Back home the garden has also survived the hot weather that everyone had whilst we were away. A very kind neighbour kept the hanging baskets watered and then also kept the greenhouse and other plants growing . The water butts ran empty and finally we’ve had some long needed buckets of rain falling from the heavens! The garden has revived and now the lawns need mowing!!!

Thank you for reading.

 

July 18 Carreg Cennen Walk, Visit to Aberystwyth July 18, 2022

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A walk around Carreg Cennen Castle seemed a grand idea for our Walking Well Walk but I had to take into consideration the weather!! The forecast was hot, hot, hot! After a telephone chat with Ros , the leader she assured me that the walk wouldn’t be too hard as we were keeping to the low ground and walking in the shade of the wood most of the way.

Setting off up the hill towards the castle – which we bypassed- we walked through a lovely field of barley before heading downhill following a path through a pretty wood. There are two different rocks exposed here limestone and sandstone. Limestone supports ash trees and Sandstone oak so together they provide many different habitats. Hence this area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

We reached the bottom of the hill and rested awhile by the river which looked very short of water! We continued along a path and headed back up towards the castle and cafe . I was pleased that the cattle we had been forewarned about had thankfully been moved into another field! They are great looking cattle with their very long horns and I like them best when they are in another field!

Reaching the cafe we split into two groups…the hardy ones sat outside in the sun and the others Including me -enjoyed some cool refreshments inside the barn. Rhubarb cake had never tasted so delicious!! Thank you Ros for a lovely walk.

As we are off on some holidays in the summer we decided a new suitcase would be useful as the wheels on our old suitcase had seen better days. Left in charge of buying a case online I discovered that everyone else had the same idea and suitcases were in really short supply in our price range! So when I found a perfect case in Argos….I hurriedly tapped the click and collect button and paid up! Only then did I read it carefully to discover the collect part was not in our local area but the designated store was Aberystwyth 40 miles away! Anyway this leads me on to our day out at the seaside in Aberystwyth! We had a lovely time even though it was rather cloudy and breezy.

We walked along the promenade and even to the end of the pier. This was being hastily prepared for opening the following week in time for the graduation of students from Aberystwyth University.

Over the bay we could see the funicular railway, (built 1896) on Constitution Hill. One carriage is going up and not surprisingly one is coming down!!

We walked further around the promenade and saw hang gliders over the distance monument, the old university building being updated, the castle, distances to far away countries and birds in the park.

A lovely visit to the newly refurbished museum in the old cinema building was our final stop over for the day.

As usual the weather continues to change on a daily basis and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with the watering in the garden and other times it’s too wet. At present it’s very hot and the birds and creatures in the garden are very quiet! The Canada Geese on the pond are sheltering in the shade and wondering where all the pond water has gone!! Plants are still holding on and there’s quite a lot of colour in the garden. Roses are doing well this year!

Actually all the flowers are bloomin’ lovely- they are so good just looking after themselves and all they need is a good drink and a chat every day!

Flowers for Ukraine .

Thank you for reading. Stay cool if you are in a hot place!

 

July 4th Llangadog Walk, Aberglasney and Dinefwr Visits July 4, 2022

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Phil had definitely arranged some lovely sunny weather for our Walking Well walk around Llangadog. It was a walk we had completed not too long ago but this time we went in the opposite direction! It’s amazing what you notice when you change direction!

We set off from the Sawdde bridge and crossed over farmland enjoying the views across the meadows and the hills further away.

It was early on in the walk when the Last of the Spring Beer group got together and the chatting began.

After walking through the fields passing a herd of lovely looking cattle and noting some of the wild flowers including convolvulus, mallow and vetch we reached the Common again and returned to our cars before heading to Blossoms Cafe for a well earned chocolate brownie and coffee. Wonder if cubs ever had a cake named after them! Thank you Phil.

One plant we all noted was the Blackthorn with quite an abundance of sloes….we’ll all be back to pick them later!

Sloes

On another sunny day my friend invited me for a walk around Dinefwr. It was sports day for the local school children and their shouts and laughs could be heard from the local rugby field where the sports were taking place. Brings back lots of memories from my teaching days. Good to have memories but so good not to be in charge of children these days!

We walked through the meadow and my friend pointed out all the lovely grasses and their names…which I’ve totally forgotten! We saw Newton House in the distance and passed all the trees with their fruits before spotting the herd of deer in the distance.

We went into Newton House and had a look around the library before sitting down in the cafe to enjoy a coffee. We had the best views around with the window wide open and views across the Capability Brown planned garden with the famous White Cattle enjoying their time in the sunshine. Absolutely lovely. We were serenaded back home by a blackbird singing high up in a tree wrapped by a climbing rose bush.

Of course a post wouldn’t be normal if I didn’t include some photos from a visit to Aberglasney, where the gardens look amazing.

Back home the garden continues to flourish and gets bigger, bolder and brighter with so many flowers competing with one and another and against the weeds too!

My favourite views of the garden with the mown paths through the lawns and the sight of the Carmarthen Fans in the distance.

My favourite tree- wonder who’s inside? Rufus but being camera shy! Thank you Jane.
Dinner time so I’d better go and start the cooking and leave the garden until tomorrow!

Thank you for reading. Hope you have a great Independence Day if you are in the USA and if you are elsewhere hope you have a wonderful day too.

 

June 21 Midsummer, Cwmdu Walk, Ludlow Visit and Aberglasney Gardens June 21, 2022

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Happy Midsummer’s Day- hard to believe the longest day is here already so I’m going to enjoy the sunshine today whilst it lasts!

Our Walking Well Walk around Cwmdu also took place on a sunny and hot day. It was led by Pam and she had planned a great walk. We started from the Cwmdu Inn and walked slowly up one side of a steep hill, admired the view from the top before descending back into the valley below and climbing the opposite hill! All good fun!

The views were lovely and well worth the climb.

The Last of the Spring Beer gang had plenty to ponder when a tale was told about a man who went missing years ago and has never been found!

Story tellers…the lot of them!

We followed the trail down through a meadow and passed some pretty cottages and gardens before heading up a farm track and crossing though an amazing field full of orchids and other wild flowers. It was just stunning.

We all enjoyed a stop for refreshments as the day was getting hotter and hotter. Malcolm and Ann had the right idea sitting in the shade and cooling off.

We saw a number of different types of sheep most hiding away in the undergrowth to keep cool. After our walk through the orchid field we went back to the pub for a delicious cake and coffee thoughtfully provided by one of the walkers. Thank you Pam for a lovely walk.

We had another outing to Ludlow to meet up with some special cottage friends. We are very fortunate to have many visitors who come to stay in Lletty Cottage and come back year after year and become our real friends. A day out together in a lovely town enjoying a ride on a Park and Ride bus, shopping in the market, visiting an art gallery, a church, the castle and a couple of lovely cafes for a tasty lunch and coffees out was just perfect. Thank you J and D see you in September!

Lots to see and enjoy at Aberglasney gardens on my weekly visit! I was pleased to see that there was a robust fence between the cows and bull in the field adjacent to the Gardens and me!

We’ve had bees in our garden too and the bees in our roof keep up their buzzing and foraging all through the days especially when it’s sunny!

There’s lots to enjoy in the garden in June and I take far too many photos …sorry!

I do love the roses and all the other summer flowers in the garden but my favourites are the wild flowers that do their own thing and come up unexpectedly in surprise places and bring great delight! Also seeing the Canada Geese goslings feeding amongst the long grasses on Pond Field, the sound of the tractor trailing through our field cutting the grass, the views over the distant fields fields- we are so very fortunate to have all this on our doorstep!

Writing this post has been so much easier as we have forked out on BT fibre…yay! The photos have loaded so much faster …can’t quite believe it and we are nearly there with our Devolo Magic plugs…sending the signal through our thick stone walls to all parts of the house. Linking the TV to BT etc has been a bit of a problem as we now have to use one remote for selecting programmes and the other for sound levels! Things used to be so much easier to understand!

For Ukraine:

Thank you for reading. Hope you have a wonderful Midsummer’s Day and if you are in the other hemisphere have a great winter solstice!

 

June 5 Walk around Dinefwr and Abergavenny Steam Fair June 5, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:13 pm

For a welcome change it was hot and sunny for our Walking Well Walk around Llandeilo and Dinefwr. Malcolm was leading the walk and after meeting up at Llandeilo railway station we set off carefully crossing the railway line and joining up with the footpath leading us up to the town.

Before long we entered Dinefwr National Trust. We passed Llandyfeisant Church which has a fascinating history starting with the Romans and onwards through time! In the 1980 and 1990 it was a wildlife centre and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales  still manage the graveyard to help support the wildlife and encourage the wild flowers to seed and settle.

We walked on crossing the meadows and arrived at the castle and had a quiet rest as it was getting quite warm in the sunshine! We followed a rather narrow track down the hill to the woodland below passing some enormous bracket(?) fungi decorating a dead tree trunk.

With the sun still shining and walkers getting hotter we headed downhill and joined the path around the pond, where there were damselflies and house martins swooping all about! Sadly my reactions have gone from slow to really, really slow and I didn’t capture one photo of the flying critters!! They were there honest! We walked back along the boardwalk where the rhododendrons were flowering quite beautifully.

Sadly I couldn’t go to Newton House for the Pimms and ice cream that were promised as I had to visit Aberglasney to carry out my volunteering duty! Thank you Malcolm for a lovely walk sorry I missed the Pimms!

Over the weekend we visited Abergavenny for their Steam Rally. It’s three years since the last one so we were looking forward to seeing what was on display. It was very enjoyable but smaller than previous years but it was good to be out at a show again. If I’d worn a winter coat with a hood and wellies on my feet I would have really enjoyed myself!

The park gardens next to the show ground had some beautiful and colourful flower borders.

There was much to admire in the Craft section- love the cauliflowers in the veg plot!

There were many different types of transport on display – pity my camera played up and the shutter kept closing! I think the camera was just trying to stay warm and dry!

Leaving the show we headed into the lovely Abergavenny town. We walked through the market where the flying cows, sheep and pigs really add to the atmosphere! Heading back to the car we stopped off at Tesco( we do live the high life!) and bought some sandwiches as the ones I’d made were back at home in the fridge!! An enjoyable outing for the Jubilee weekend.

Back home in the garden the buttercups have been resplendent in their yellowness and enjoying them are the Canada geese with their three goslings.

The morning views over the Carmarthen Fans are beautiful and even though it’s the same view every day it is different!

For Ukraine:

The garden is getting quite full (of weeds!) and candelabra primula and others.

Thank you for reading.

 

May 25 Walk in Pumpsaint and around Dolaucothi Gold Mines May 25, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:46 pm

A short drive up the Lampeter road and I arrived in the village of Pumpsaint, where we were all meeting for our Walking Well Walk.

A good crowd of us set off through the woods following our leader- Sue! We decided to limbo under the tree trunk and not try to vault over!!

There were still blasts of blue in the undergrowth where the last of the bluebells were flowering. However, it still felt more like autumn with a chill in the air and a light drizzle which is so annoying when you wear glasses! One day they’ll invent little wipers to fit on the glasses to clear the drops!

These oak woods are part of the National Trust’s Dolaucothi Estate. Hidden in this woodland area is evidence of Roman gold mining dating back over 2,000 years. Mining on this site continued into the twentieth century, ending in 1938. Visits to the gold mines are very popular and the site has reopened again after covid…check before you visit national trust Dolaucothi .

These woods are one of Wales’s temperate rainforests so a really special wood with lots of ferns, lichens and a rare ecosystem. Also there are two projects active in the Cothi Valley to protect the population of red squirrels and pine martens in the Cothi Valley and encourage the population to spread into nearby land.¬†We didn’t see any squirrels or pine martens but we looked!

We walked over beautifully landscaped countryside, strolled alongside the clear flowing river, peeped inside a stone grotto supported by huge tree roots, crossed an ancient bridge and arrived at the entrance to the gold mines. We skirted round and took a footpath which led over the site and looked down to the mine buildings below. Evidence of mining could be seen all around.

We looked closely at the Stone of the five saints– great stories! The Last of the Spring Beer folk did a great deal of chatting and then we all headed down from the hillside back to the country lane, passing the old pit head on the way.

We all enjoyed walking along the country lane where each verge was full of wild flowers and buzzing insects. Next to an old milk churn collecting block granny bonnet flowers and poached egg plants had had a field day and gone wild!!

Apparently when the Americans were based locally here in the World War 2 they found it difficult to pronounce the Welsh names. So Caio…became C(cee) A (ai) 10(ten) !

The walk ended with a delicious coffee and cake at the Dolaucothi Arms. Thank you Sue for a most enjoyable walk with interesting historical facts thrown in along the way.

Back home in the garden the weather has continued to dominate the growth…..no sooner is the grass cut it showers with rain and the grass grows another inch or two! At least everywhere is very green….no wonder Richard Llewelyn wrote How Green was My Valley!

Definitely not forgetting Ukraine:

Thank you for reading. Have a jolly lovely Jubilee Bank holiday if in the UK next week!

 

May 16 Mumbles and Bethlehem Walk May 16, 2022

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Our last Walking Well walk was near the village of Bethlehem. Driving up through the country lane where both verges were covered in garlic was a treat. At the end of the road there ‘s an old chapel in a very pretty setting surrounded by bluebells and of course more garlic flowers.

At the start of the walk, there was a steep hike up the hillside, which meant breaks for a breather and then we reached the top where there were wonderful views over the countryside. The path took us through a woodland that was covered in bluebells, garlic and all sorts of wild flowers- absolutely lovely. Soon we joined up with a country lane that passed a garden with tortoises out on the grass, enjoying the spring weather and a farm with lambs in the meadow and cows in the fields.

Our walks wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t have the ‘Last of the Spring Beer’ gang…. front and back views too!

Leaving the road we climbed over stiles, ambled through meadows, walked along the side of a river, jumped across a stream, climbed another steep slope, ran down a hill , back to the lane with the chapel and that completed a wonderful walk. Thank you Malcolm the walk was perfect.

In the last weeks we have enjoyed a visit to Mumbles, where my mum and dad used to live. How it’s changed! New buildings , new shops and busy crowds. The views, however, haven’t changed and they are still breathtakingly beautiful.

Mumbles Lighthouse

At home, the long awaited arrival of the Canadian goslings came. There were six but sadly only four now remain…we don’t know what happened to them. The geese have enjoyed their walks around the Pond Field and in our garden too!

Recently we were fortunate to have number of hot air balloons fly over our garden- it was a wonderful sight.

The birds have been very busy in the garden collecting material for their nests- pleased that the soft wool from a friend’s ewe proved very popular with many birds.

The garden is now in full spring mode. Everything is growing quickly and the borders and meadow is filling with colour. The buttercups in the Pond Field are my favourites! The sheep in the next field would love to enjoy the field too!