Lletty's Blog

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

January 24 Llansadwrn Walk, Abermarlais Mumbles January 24, 2020

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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!

 

December 13 Cwmdu Walk, Brecon Christmas in Llansadwrn. December 14, 2019

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I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when looking out the window this morning. It wasn’t raining! It was windy and chilly but dry for our Walking Well Walk in Cwmdu! After a late last evening watching election results on the TV and sampling a tasty whiskey it was rather a slow start!

Our ‘resident’ pheasant joined Rufus and I on our morning walk. He’s never quite sure which way to go!

Thirty three walkers assembled in the carpark at Cwmdu ready to start the walk… could it be the promise of a tasty, delicious cawl cooked by Lewis and ably assisted by Philip and Malcolm that awaited everyone at the end of the walk that brought so many out….or was the sunshine and the promise of a good chat with everyone… a bit of all these things I think!

We fairly marched along the road in front of the pub as we set off …trying to get our fingers and toes warm again and ready for the walk ahead. The recent rain had made the rivers quite boisterous as the water headed down stream to join other tributaries.

We followed the path at the side of the river for a little way before we headed up hill through the fields. There were some good views over the valley below but hedges kept getting in the way!

Walking and talking is the best part of our walks and can take your mind off the hill in front and whether your legs are going to make it to the top!!

The walk had a lot of ups:

downs:

plenty of interest in between:

more downs:

with the huge excitement of a glimpse of a blue sky before it disappeared:

Blue sky for those who haven’t seen it for a long time!

ups and downs finished to make way for an across!

The result of our latest windy weather could be seen in the wind damaged trees and the muddy paths!

Spirits were kept high all through the walk. We hastened towards the pub passing some lovely buildings in the village and a wonderful wise owl ornament which pointed the way .

As we approached the inn the aroma of the awaiting cawl drifted out of the door and soon drew us in. The fire was glowing, the Christmas tree lights were on and the food was fantastic. Hand made bread rolls, cheese, veggie and meat cawl, butter, three choices of amazing puddings and coffee. Just the most perfect Christmas feast ever….and all sitting with the best of friends. Finally Lewis presented Philip with a gift and card from all the walkers to thank him for all his hard work through the year. Brilliant!

Next walk December 27th …all welcome.

Clean plates says it all! Thank you chefs!

Earlier in the week we visited Brecon for a morning out. It was very wet and windy but we enjoyed a walk around the festive market.

We stopped off at an art gallery where we sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee and cake! We discovered that the museum, which has been closed for some time had very recently opened so off we went! The ‘old’ museum building has been ‘joined’ to a brand new building housing a library, updated museum area and art gallery space. It was all rather lovely and enjoyable.

Father Christmas always visits Llansadwrn early so he can take the Christmas present lists from all the children before he goes shopping!

Our village pub The Sexton Arms was a hub of activity for his visit. We are very fortunate to have such a lovely pub to visit.

Back home the pheasant still doesn’t know which way to go!

However the birds certainly know where their food is! We have so many blue tits, great tits and marsh tits visiting . They love their coconuts!

We have had some lovely sunsets lately.

Also some strange sightings in the valley!

A strange sight

After another burst of light it rose higher and higher before drifting off out of sight. Hope it got home before the dark!

A visit to Aberglasney always means a friendly welcome from one of their resident robins as soon as one pulls up in the car! He is definitely a Christmas robin!

Thank you for reading.

Hope you have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2020.

 

December 2nd December 2, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:16 pm
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Early rising, some mornings lately, have been rewarded by the wonderful sunrises seen over the Carmarthen Fans from our garden. It’s a great way to start a day!

Our Walking Well Walk last week sadly didn’t start off with a bright sunrise but after a morning of damp and chill the sun came out and warmed everyone up.

The walk was in Caio wood, through the forestry and round in a figure of eight back to the carpark. We all set off at a quick rate just to get warm and to keep the body moving. We followed behind Lewis, who as usual set such a pace that he was way out in front before the first corner! Funnily enough he walked so far in front that we could only recognise him by seeing his hat bobbing up and down many yards ahead!

We were walking on the shadow side of the valley and headed as quickly as we could to reach the sunny side!

We crossed over the stream and headed up through the moss covered trees to a higher track, where the dogs had a race to see who could jump into the stream first!

One can just see a hat bobbling along in front…Lewis!

After returning to our cars we headed off down the road to Pumsaint and the lovely pub, Dolaucothi Arms for our hot coffee and cake…well chocolate bar and prawns!!

By this time the sun was out and getting much warmer. The pub is in the centre of the village and across the road there is a National Trust building.

Inside the pub Christmas had arrived! It was very prettily decorated and we were all made very welcome…even though some of us…me….had muddy boots!

Only one walker decided on a mug of prawns…thank goodness…those eyes followed me everywhere! I think I’ll stick to being a veggie!

It was very pleasant in the pub with a good range of other eating options and lots of Christmas menus..it would be lovely to return over Christmas.

Over the weekend it has been Aberglasney Winter Fair. As usual I enjoyed two days of serving mulled wine and mince pies to over 2000 visitors on just one day! It was all brilliant and it really is the best Fair around. The birds on display drew a great deal of attention but Father Christmas was the greatest draw!

The middle two photos are of a boat-billed heron- a really lovely looking bird as are all the others too.

We called into Llangadog, our local village, to post a parcel to our family in Canada. The postage nearly cost more than the items in the parcel…hey ho! I ordered a present for the twins (5) from Amazon Canada, which I thought was very clever of me! I paid for it with my credit card and all was well until I saw the goods were being sent from England and not Canada as I thought so the parcel will take some time to get there!

The garden is still rather waterlogged but some plants keep giving even though the weather keeps changing from wet and windy to dry and frosty!

Our resident pheasant …well we share him with our neighbour…keeps us busy with his calling…I hope nobody catches him for Christmas dinner!

Let’s hope we get more beautiful sunsets and sunrises over the next weeks as we head towards the winter solstice on December 22nd…then we can start looking towards the Spring…Yay!

Thank you for reading and don’t cheat on opening up more doors on your Advent Calendar just to get that little piece of chocolate!

 

November 15 Dinefwr Walk Aberglasney November 16, 2019

Snow, hail, rain, wind, – you name it we’ve had it thrown at us through the week but today dawned bright and dry and just a faint cold blast, so onwards and upwards I set off for Home Farm, Dinefwr to meet up with all the Walking Well gang. We set off through the park at a steady rate, just trying to keep warm, and headed off up an old track. Philip stopped half way along the track and told us that we were walking on the old road that had once connected Carmarthen and Llandeilo.

Following up this lovely bit of history we walked on past the white cattle who were having their lunch in their wonderful sheds.

Just a little way on there was a movement in the field and a herd of deer ran out of cover into the open before they disappeared again under some trees.

The track continued past the ice house, a cold, bleak little building…one, I think, that would have been quite spooky to enter in olden days!

There were a number of old trees that had either fallen in the winds or been cut down purposely to clear an area. Thankfully some of the larger tree trunks were being put to great use and carved into benches.

Taking a detour away from our usual walk around the park we headed off the site and entered Penlan Park, which adjoins the main park. The path curved up the hill towards the bandstand.

Standing in the bandstand offered lovely views over all of Llandeilo and the beautiful hills around. The church that looks large when near it seemed quite small when viewed from above.

Now standing at the top of the hill meant that a downward path had to be followed to enter the park again. This proved to be rather slippy with all the wet autumn leaves but it was fine.

On reaching the bottom we passed by Llandyfeisant church, https://www.llandeilo.org/ch_llandyfeisant.html where there was a large tree growing with shiny black berries which stood out amongst all the autumn colour.

We continued on towards Newton House where we enjoyed a delicious coffee and cake…I loved my chocolate brownie! Thank you Philip for a really lovely walk.

Dinefwr Castle

Earlier in the week I had really enjoyed a workshop with Carole Spackman https://www.carolespackmanceramics.co.uk…making a pottery owl! My owl and others is at this time being fired in Carole’s kiln…looking forward to seeing ‘my heirloom’!

The workshop was held in Llanwrtyd Wells Heritage Centre http://history-arts-wales.org.uk…a unique building with many interesting things to see. Currently it’s decked out for a Victorian Christmas and showing some wonderful art work.

I enjoy visiting Llanwrtyd Wells ( home of bog snorkeling etc!) .

Last weekend a painting group that I belong to held their Open Day in the church hall where we paint. It was a wonderfully happy occasion sharing the fun and enjoyment that we all get out of painting.

My weekly visit to Aberglasney, on Sundays, gives me a chance to walk around the gardens and enjoy the changing seasons. This autumn the colours have been brilliant.

A Bonsai Group has recently started using a room in the Piggeries, in the Gardens, as a working place on a Sunday so it’s another enjoyable addition to visit them too.

Back at home the weather has stopped any gardening as the whole place is sodden! However, the early morning walks with Rufus around the garden are still very enjoyable, even if he is a show off!

Even Rufus couldn’t quite believe his eyes when it snowed the other evening!

Thank you for reading. I hope the weather is improving where ever you are.

 

November 1st Llyn Llech Owain, Llanstephan, Dinefwr November 3, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 10:05 am

Walking Well walkers are a very hardy bunch of folk as a good number turned up today for our walk around Llyn Llech Owain. After working out how to use the car park ticket machine we set off through the drizzle to loop the loop around the woodland paths. The puddles were various in size and all wet!

Lewis, Philip and Pam setting the pace

Photos of our walk are few as the camera lens became damp and photos misty!

Around the area there were parked diggers and the poster gave an explanation of why they were there and what they were doing.

Looks like a haunted house after Halloween
Lots of things to be aware of when walking!
The Tower loomed large through the mist…spooky again!

Spirits were lifted when we all arrived back at the cafe and enjoyed their delicious cakes and coffee. Thank you Philip foe a proper misty autumn walk.

Half term brought our grandson and daughter here on holiday…yay!

They drove down from England through torrential rain and flooded roads but their first morning here was sunny, bright and dry…good old Wales!

A day at Llanstephan beach was in order and I wanted to share with them St Anthony’s Well that I had visited previously with the walking group.

Jellyfish along the high tide mark.
Cockle shells trapped in the rocks- great crunching sound!

The car park was full when we had arrived as everyone wanted to be out in the sunshine after all the rain. Everyone seemed to have a dog. Dogs are only allowed on the beach after the summer.

We walked the full length of the beach and then up the little track to St Anthony’s Well . There is such a lovely feeling there…very calm …just what we all need.

A visit to Dinefwr Castle is always a must when we have visitors as it is only a few miles down the road.

When we arrived the main car park was full and we had to drive to Home Farm to park. This meant a lovely walk along the track back up towards Newton House passing all the trees which were losing their leaves but not showing a great deal of autumn colour.

Sneak preview of the castle

Walking through the woods the leaves had all fallen so the autumn colour was beneath our feet!

Climbing onto the battlements the views over the countryside showed the lasting remains of the floods that had covered the Towy valley the previous week.

After a good walk round we took another path back to the Newton House looking out for any interesting fungi, lichen, creepy crawlies and coloured leaves ( for art!)

All the above were found on this fence. Thanks to Mr T. for opening my eyes!

Arriving back at Newton House we were met by a lovely lady!

There were lots of spooky happenings going on!

I didn’t stop to talk to this gentleman!

Some morning sunrises have been really special over the last weeks and Rufus, our cat, and I have enjoyed our early morning walks around the garden bathed in golden sunlight.

Strange happenings under our yew tree!

The ginger plant flowered the day before the frost came and knocked it sideways!
Beautiful flower and ginger aroma…brilliant!

Thank you for reading.

 

 
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