Lletty's Blog

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

March 21 Start of Spring- Walks Llangadog, Dolau Cothi, Dolauhirion Bridge March 21, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:05 pm

Well, what a weird and strange world we are living in at present. Fortunately for us we have a lovely local shop full of everything we need including lots of kindness too. Our village has come up trumps (sorry!) with a wonderful support system for any resident who may need help- this is the benefit of living in a small, caring community.

Although all the groups and meetings around have been cancelled or postponed including our Walking Well Group it hasn’t meant…as yet…that private walking has been suspended too! Missing seeing Philip and all the gang though and hope they are all OK!

It didn’t take a huge amount of persuasion to encourage Jim… him with the poorly knee… to accompany me on my circular walk around Llangadog..a nearby village with everything one needs to survive….a butcher, a county stores, a newsagent plus shop, two and more pubs…sadly no candle stick maker!

Parking the car on the Common we followed the track down to the River Towy passing some lovely properties, lambs in the fields and spring flowers in the hedgerows.

Nearing the river we could see in the distance the railway bridge that we were heading for, the lane seemed to get longer and longer!

The wind pushed us towards the river which was running along very strongly and there were signs of where the flooding had been not too many weeks ago.

Having a train on the line whilst crossing a decidedly scary footpath on the bridge whilst seeing the tumbling river beneath would have been a step too far for me!

Crossing through fields and over the railway line we were faced with a very muddy lane filled with slurry- where we held our noses and battled through…me in my wellies- Jim in his shoes!!! The patterns in the water though were pretty!

We were now three quarters of the way round our circular walk and knee problems began to surface. Never fear I was near!!! Walking speedily ahead into Llangadog and through the village out to the Common, collecting the car and whizzing back to pick up Jim…all problems solved.

A day of rest was called for before we set off again in the car to Llandovery and onto Dolauhirion Bridge (Pont Dolauhirion)..another bridge over the River Towy (Afon Tywi) . It is a lovely bridge, Grade 1 listed, built in 1773 by William Edwards. It has circular openings at the ends apparently to relieve stress on the main bridge in times of flood.

The water was crystal clear- just right for a paddle…in the summer!

Ending our day out at Dolau Cothi with another walk over another bridge, over the River Cothi. Coffee and cake in the car revived the aching knee…a bit!

Back home the garden is getting into the Spring mood with increasing amounts of colour and longer and longer grass!

Back in Aberglasney, which has shut its tearoom and shop for now but the garden is open…the magnolia are flowering, the trilliums are trilling and the  fritillaries are …fritting.. all too good to miss! In the mansion a Bonsai exhibition too… but sadly closed now.

Thankfully, we have lots of feathery friends in the garden, including two pheasants, two nesting Canada geese, three moorhens and three Mallards to keep us happy.

Thank you for reading. Stay well and active and enjoy the Spring!

 

March 7 Llyn Llech Owain and Llansadwrn Walks, Aberglasney March 7, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 2:38 pm

The rain had stopped and although the paths were muddy a fair few walkers turned up at Llyn Llech Owain for Philip’s walk around the country park. Setting off at a good pace we reached the little Visitor Centre, which is a good place to look out over the lake and see which birds are around.

The lake’s legend: Owain Lawgoch (known as Owain The Red Hand in the Hundred Years’ War) was entrusted to look after Mynydd Mawr, a well on the mountain. Every day, after withdrawing enough water for himself and his horse, Owain was always very careful to replace the stone slab which held back the water. However on one occasion he somehow completely forgot to do that and an absolute torrent of water poured down the side of the mountain! The resultant lake was hence named Llyn Lech Owain, meaning ‘the lake of Owain’s slab’!

Continuing on around the lake we followed some rather muddy paths. The land around the lake is being restored to ‘proper’ bogland. Many trees have been felled to clear the land. It all looks a bit wet and messy at present but no doubt it will improve the land for wildlife and the bog itself.

Continuing the circular walk we left the park, walked along a country lane and returned back through the park on another path. Whilst on the road we passed a machine improving the bog area on another site.

There was also a derelict cottage…just ripe for renovation…maybe suit Miss Havisham if it had an extension! Many of the trees around our area are marked with orange paint or orange ties, these are due to be chopped down as I believe they have ash dieback and may cause injury if left and fall down!

The pace quicken when we neared the cafe! Fantastic range of multicoloured cakes awaited us…all delicious but the bara brith was my favourite! Thank you Philip for the great walk and for bringing the best eggs around from Lewis, who we are all missing on our walks and we all wish him well.

The weather has been bright and dry on a number of days and Tuesday in our village is Vestry Venture Day. The church vestry is open for all to call in and have a chat , coffee and cake. So I ventured out for a walk and a chat up to the church, passing the old pound and the war memorial and said hello to the welcoming bear outside the vestry!

On the way back down the hill the views and the signs of spring in the hedgerows was uplifting.

As I’ve mentioned some times I love Aberglasney Gardens! Recently there has been a new orchid display in the Ninfarium to enjoy- it’s stunning! Plus all the daffodils out…magic!

Back home we haven’t any orchids…sadly…but colour is returning to the garden and the Canada Geese have returned to our pond to join the resident moorhens the three visiting mallards, the pheasants and Rufus!

Living in such a vibrant, small community is full of joys and new ventures seem to spring up every week. Sadwrn Walkers went on their first walk this week around Llansadwrn lanes – it was rather murky weatherwise but the happy chatter, seeing the new born lambs, the first sighting of cow parsley in the hedge, greeting and meeting two donkeys and the coffee and biscuit at the end made it a perfect outing – to be repeated first weekend every month!

Rufus has now had the buttons removed from his ear but the trauma of visiting the vets and having treatment has really taken it out of him!

St David’s Day was celebrated with a drink in the pub and lots of daffodils in the house. Thank you for reading and just keep washing those hands!

 

February 21st Rain, Dinefwr Walk, Rain February 21, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:05 pm

Philip had done it again…arranged the rain to stop so our walk around Dinefwr took place in dry but very windy conditions!

We all set off from Llandeilo station carpark and walked briskly through the town to Dinefwr entrance. We all had to stop for a breather before Philip led us across the fields heading towards the track leading from Home Farm. It was a very blustery walk and signs of the winds that have been blowing recently could be seen with all the branches from trees lying on the ground.

The views from the top of the hill took in the town of Llandeilo, the park, Newton House and Dinefwr Castle.

The wind was quite strong which made the walking quite a struggle with all the ups and downs of the hills!

We followed the track leading to the winter cowshed of the White Park Dinefwr Cattle , who all looked very cheerful and very well fed!

We passed some fine lichen examples and some very mossy trees!

Passing in front of Newton House we followed a sheep track back to the old church Llandyfeisant , which is hopefully going to be restored. https://www.llandeilo.org/ch_llandyfeisant.html

At the church there were some more lichen and penny wort, an interesting poster about the church, snowdrops being blown elegantly around in the breeze and lovely Molly the dog!

We followed the muddy track down to the river where only the week before there had been major flooding but now all looked under control.

It all looked very calm and no signs of damage. Unlike when Turner painted a watercolour of the bridge in 1795 when a flood then had taken away a stone support!!

J.M.W. Turner painted this watercolour of the first Llandeilo Bridge and Dinefwr Castle in 1795 during one of his several sketching and painting tours of Wales. A recent flood had carried away one of the stone supports and Turner shows its alarmingly flimsy wooden replacement. https://www.llandeilo.org/bge_gallery.html

With the wind behind us we fairly zoomed up the hill towards the town passing Gerwyns where the plants and veg outside the shop were nearly blown away.

We knew our coffee and cake were waiting at Mary Ellens 139 so we rushed passing all the lovely houses and church on the way.

Maryellens@139

Outside 139

Thank you Philip for another lovely walk.

This area has been fortunate to miss the severe flooding affecting homes as in other parts of Wales but we have had lots of rain! The bog garden in our front garden is now a pond!

The road outside our house looks like the tide has come in with a high water mark with all the stones and debris form further up the hill!

A walk up the road to see the local rivers showed them in full spate with lots of moss and lichen to add to the interesting scenes.

Even the geese thought the river too dangerous to swim in!

Back home the daffodils and hellebores are trying their best to liven up the garden and the birds are eating all their bird seed to give us something interesting to look at through the window!

Rufus has been confined to indoors as he must have banged his head and caused a haematoma : ‘An aural haematoma is a blood blister that forms inside the ear flap when a blood vessel bursts.

This has meant he has had to have two operations on his ear!! He is not a happy cat and doesn’t like the colour of the three buttons that are helping his ear to get better!

Thank you for reading. Hope the floods and all the rain haven’t caused any of you too many problems…..Spring is on the way!

If you come and stay in Lletty Cottage all the walks that Philip takes us on are all local so you can try them out for yourselves.

(Cottage prices 2020- Any 4 nights £200 if available, 7 nights- £375)

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

 

February 7 Dryslwyn Walk, Swansea Market, Kardomah, Menna Challenge February 8, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 11:19 am
Tags: , ,

Philip had managed to arrange the recent spell of good weather to hold out for the Walking Well Walk around Dryslwyn that he’d planned. We all met up in Llandeilo carpark and shared cars to Dryslwyn, parked up and started along the country road before turning into a field where curiously the track at the edge of the river bank was covered with artificial grass – it did make walking easier but it was odd!

Dryslywn Church
Artificial grass track!

The trail continued along the river bank which had mounds of river washed, rounded stones piled up along the sides.

Although the day was dry and bright the ice in the puddles was evidence of some chilly nights.

The track led on passing some wonderful oak trees with enormous trunks before we reached a new path that led up through a stream…rather damp but enjoyable- who doesn’t like splashing through puddles?!

After quite a steep climb we arrived at a gate where again rather curiously in the field there were two flags flying. One the St David’s flag and the other the St Andrew’s cross! (Just for you Mr T!) Apparently it was all to do with clay pigeon shooting!

Continuing up the lane enjoying seeing all the snowdrops in the banks we reached the top of the hill and had a breather!

We passed through a farmyard which had animals on pillars to welcome guests!

Following the farm track down to a country lane we began our walk back to our cars. The verges were full of dancing snowdrops looking especially beautiful in the filtered sunlight. There were lovely views across the valley and onwards towards Paxton’s Tower.

After three and a half miles walk we were all ready for a bit of refreshment so we stopped off at the Cottage Inn for a quick drink and scone- a lovely ending to a new walk that I hope will become a favourite for all- it had everything I love…thank you Philip.

Earlier in the week we had visited Swansea to collect plumbing bits and pieces from Wickes! Very exciting!! Afterwards we called in at Swansea market followed by a coffee and toasted teacakes at an old haunt of mine in the 1960’S-the Kardomah Cafe! A total blast from the past as the decor is still the same and the service and food perfect.

Also last week our village, Llansadwrn, held a circular walk around the village lanes to support Menna, a young lass, who lives in the village as she was nearing the end of completing her Marathon run from the North to the South of New Zealand. She has now completed her fantastic run, achieved a new World Record and raised many funds for Mind….congratulations Menna!

Spring is definitely making an appearance in the garden even though we have had many chilly, frosty nights.

Best of all though are the sunrises that start the day giving one energy and enthusiasm to tackle everything!

Thank you for reading.

 

January 24 Llansadwrn Walk, Abermarlais Mumbles January 24, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , ,

I didn’t have too far to drive today for our Walking Well Walk as it started in our village, Llansadwrn, the centre of my universe! I was too lazy to walk up the hill so I drove and parked outside the local pub, The Sextons, before we all set off walking down the old Roman road to Llanwrda.

Now I always thought that the Romans built straight roads but this one certainly has a few curves and bends in it and a stream to cross too.

The most important fact about this road is that there are definitely a few ups….

and more ups….

followed swiftly by some downs….

and even more downs….!

Until at last we reached Llanwrda village. It’s a great place with a lovely and interesting history. Walking through the village we came to the footpath leading to the village school which closed in July 2016. The school, the Cornwallis Almshouse and the three and a half acres of land surrounding it are owned by the Letitia Cornwallis Trust. Letitia Cornwallis left £400 in the 1730’s to house spinsters of sound repute. Since then the almshouse has been turned into flats which are now empty. The place has now fallen into disrepair and funding is being sort to rejuvenate the almshouse and save its future. It is a graded building as it is an example of a Georgian almshouse of remarkable scale and design.

All this wonderful information came from one of the hard working volunteers who happened to be on site when we passed and gave us a very interesting short talk about the Trust.

Letitia Cornwallis Almshouse Llanwrda

Of course as we had come down, down down the hill into the village it was now time to go up, up up a hill to get back onto the road that leads to Llansadwrn.

The good thing about getting higher are the views over the hills and the Brecon Beacons. It would have been even better if the sun had been shining and no low clouds to block the view!

Lichen in hedgerow

The public road we were walking on passes through the centre of a farmyard. The resident chickens didn’t seem to mind!

Continuing along the road we passed some wonderful gates and gate posts. Note to self: Must find out the history of the large slate gate posts…where did they come from?

We joined the back road into the village and kept on the road as the fields were too wet to walk on.

Back in the village we passed another lovely gate and some old buildings before we all got in our cars and came home to Lletty Cottage for some coffee and cake! Thank you Philip for a lovely walk and for doing a recce in the week.

Last week Jim and I had a lovely walk front our front door down the road to Abermarlais. ( where Letitia Cornwallis used to live in a mansion- which sadly was demolished in the 70’s) . The land though is now a wonderful caravan site and a beautiful setting with a river and snowdrop clad banks.

Very excited to find some hair ice ( Thank you Mr T!)

We’ve had a few really sunny days so we made the most of the sunshine and went to Mumbles. I have fond memories of the little town as my parents lived there. It’s not the same now!!! It was absolutely packed with visitors and all the little shops have disappeared and shops like Joules, Seasalt and the like where there on the front. It’s different, vibrant and still beautiful!

We walked up to the castle to see the fine vies over the town towards the pier and lifeboat station.

In the town we found an excellent cafe to enjoy our lunch…it was buzzy and lovely!

We walked along the sea front and watched the oyster catchers catching oysters!!

There were cycles to hire if only you can understand the instructions!

Back home we have had some wonderful sunsets and sunrises to enjoy. It isn’t sunny here all the time but it is beautiful!

Of course our resident ‘police cat’ who watches everything in his garden is always out on patrol checking the pheasants, the mice and the birds. He has never caught anything but he watches and stays alert at every sound!!

That is until he comes in and relaxes and chills out!

Thank you for reading and hope you can have a chill out somewhere pleasant too!

 

January 2020 Happy New Year and Botanic Garden Walk January 10, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:01 pm

Happy New Year! It’s good to start a year with a walk around the Botanic Gardens. It’s good too that entrance for all in January is free! yay!

A really good turn out of walkers, 20+ ,came to enjoy the wonderful weather and walk that Philip had arranged for us all. It was a delight to set off around the lake and head off into the meadows away from our usual paths.

Everywhere was just looking very beautiful from the reflections in the water to the views across the fields.

A striking glass work of art was really showing itself off well with the warm sun shining through it. No idea who made it but I like it!

After walking uphill a little way we passed through the monkey puzzle tree glade. It’s quite a sight seeing so many of these trees altogether especially with the Great Glasshouse in the background.

After walking through the fields we headed back to the Fairy Wood where a great deal of work has taken place improving the paths- making them suitable for access by all. Either side of the path were places set aside for the fairies to work and play in peace- except when non fairies make too much noise playing the vertical logs!

The path led to the new dam that has been built to hold back the water in the newly constructed Regency lake. The two new bridges connecting the path to the dam and beyond aren’t accessible yet to visitors unless you are on a Hard Hat Tour…remember HandS …one must always wear a hard hard when crossing a bridge! It will be wonderful when the work is completed as it all looks amazing now.

We headed back up the path towards the Glasshouse enjoying the sunshine and the warmth- wondering if there were any fish in the lake or had they all been eaten by the crocodile that was lurking in the shallows.

It was Doggy Day at the Gardens so we were accompanied by a couple of well behaved dogs on our walk and we met some fine examples of dogs on our way around!

After a delicious coffee in the Glasshouse we left for home after I had a visit to the Garden shop and bought three plants half price…well you have to…don’t you! Thank you Philip for a great walk and a lovely way to start 2020.

Jim and I have enjoyed some good days out too over the holiday period. We visited North Gower for a change instead of the more popular South Gower and Mumbles etc.

We passed through Pen-clawdd, where, years ago, the cockle pickers used to be seen on the beach, Llanrhidian and on towards Weobley Castle. We should have chosen a brighter day to visit as the sea mist was very low but we enjoyed seeing the castle, climbing inside and feeling the mystery of the setting.

In the murky distance I could see my actual target of the day…Whiteford Lighthouse! We drove on to Llanmadoc and started our walk to see the cast iron lighthouse, passing the beautiful village church on the way. Sadly , the gloom descended even further and walking to the lighthouse over 10km and 3 hours was not going to happen! Jim’s knees said “NO”!

Looking passed the church into the Loughor estuary I could see the lighthouse and I’m sure it winked at me!

We also visited Rhossili Bay and loved our walk across the dunes to watch all the surfers enjoying(!) the freezing cold and the wind.

We passed some reed banks and I think this may be a reed bunting.

A visit to Aberglasney also filled our days and although winter there is still so much to enjoy in the gardens. Every Sunday in the Piggeries there is a meeting of a Bonsai Group where it’s really enjoyable to see the variety of different trees being miniaturized!

Back in our village I enjoyed a presentation by a local resident of her machine embroidery skills. It was amazing what could be accomplished on a machine used by a very talented lady! I’ll stick to a needle and thread and only when a button needs sewing back on! Just love all those coloured threads !

A happy face from Aberglasney to thank you for reading.
 

December 27th Carmel Woods Walk, Pembrey Ski Slope, Botanic Gardens -Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! December 27, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:40 pm

Happy Christmas…it’s nearly all over for another year! Thank goodness, we had a Walking Well Walk around Carmel Woods today to walk off some of those excessive mince pies, stollen and nuts!

Not the best of days as it was very misty and damp but a fair few turned up for what turned out to be a very jolly walk if you like soggy weather!

The quarry face
A visitor to the Group wanted to test out his climbing skills!
A few barriers had to be navigated!

Finding out what a collection of moles are called brought this up…and I’m not going to make a mountain out of it!

Male moles are called “boars”, females are called “sows”. A group of moles is called a “labour”.

After returning to our cars at the end of our lovely walk we drove to Llandeilo and to the Cawdor Inn. We did clean our boots and tidy up as The Cawdor is not our usual place to visit. It was very busy. The coffee was good but no cakes! Thank you Philip!

Family visits over the holiday have meant some days out to enjoy our local sights. A visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales. There’ll be lots more visits here in January with Walking Well as entrance is free for all then.

A music group were playing in the Glasshouse- rather loudly! The flowers though were perfect!

A coffee in the cafe was the next port of call for our grandson where he enjoyed an icecream and a packet of crisps!! I enjoyed the wonderful craft work displayed on the walls.

Good to see lichen and ferns remembered !

A quick visit to the Butterfly House- Plas Pilipala was a must even though we were drenched after a heavy rainfall! The butterflies were fed up with the rain and cold as there were hardly any to be seen.

Our next outing to Pembrey Ski Centre 50 minutes drive away from home. Our grandson really enjoyed a ski lesson with an instructor whilst we had a coffee and cake in the cafe! We were well impressed with it all.

The sun shone and the slopes soon filled up with skiers- learners and advanced, toboggan riders and doughnut riders!!

A visit to the beach at Pembrey is a must. It was stunning! Empty except for flocks of birds skimming across the sea shore… a perfect day out!

Back home with all the rain we have had the garden is still waterlogged. Our pheasant pal has brought his missus to visit but she is very shy!

We have had some very frosty mornings with fine sunrises but it is very difficult to capture on camera the beauty of it all. The stillness, the colour and the birds starting to wake up and sing…it’s all just so special.

Thank you for reading! Happy New Year...Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: