Lletty's Blog

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

May 17 Carreg Cennen Walk & Canada Holiday! May 17, 2019

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After all the sunny weather we’ve had it was disappointing to find it was a cloudy day for our Walking Well Walk around Carreg Cennen Castle. I’ve missed some walks as I’ve been on a wonderful holiday to Canada to visit the family…not many people don’t know that as I’ve told everyone about the visit!!

Anyway the walk took a new route and the views all around were spectacular. The lanes were brimming full of wild flowers and the colours of the campion, cow parsley, bluebells, stitchwort and more blended together like a beautiful piece of embroidery.

Carreg Cennen Castle

There were plenty of signs to follow as long as you knew which path you were on and where you were going!

Philip pointed out an old track that had once led up to a quarry. It’s good to have someone on a walk that can show you interesting things that otherwise you’d miss.

The castle view kept appearing seemingly in a different place each time…quite disorienting!

As we completed our circular walk we tiptoed carefully across a newly planted field watching to see that the scarecrows didn’t chase after us!

A glimpse of the castle through the farm yard leading us to the cafe where our coffees and cakes were awaiting. Thank you Ann and Philip for the lovely walk.

Delicious rhubarb crumble and cream

We have enjoyed some days of really lovely weather but we did have one night of frost which meant many plants in the garden suffered! The wisteria was one of the many casualties but happily lots survived to bring colours and interest to the garden

Orangey flowers brighten any border.

White flowers make me smile.

Bright limey green lifts the spirits.

Pink is heavenly.

Red is brave.

Tall is glamorous.

But Roses are just beautiful.

Too many photos already but I may have mentioned once or twice recently that we went to Canada to see our family…so a few photos of my precious family in Vancouver.

Our Canada geese family, at home, are growing up too!

Thank you for reading.

 

April 6th Aberglasney Gardens April 7, 2019

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Every Sunday I visit Aberglasney. It is just the most perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of a wonderful remarkable garden.

The mansion from the Upper Walled Garden

Of course, a visit to a beautiful garden needs a quiet sit down in the cafe to enjoy the scene, whilst drinking a delicious coffee with a pal. I’ll be back next Sunday for a refill of coffee and a top up of enjoyment and contentment.

 

April 5th Gelli Aur Walk and Visit to Cardigan April 5, 2019

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After a woeful week of weather when it has turned from sunshine to snow today dawned….cloudy and damp! Not bad conditions for our Walking Well walk around Gelli Aur. We all met there in the carpark and some did some warm up exercises before we set off at a brisk pace…trying to keep those joints moving!

Underfoot it was a bit wet but it didn’t stop the enjoyment of walking through some mossy woodland that would soon be full of bluebells. There was an old quarry with little streams running through it which were easily crossed by wooden bridges.

There were obvious signs of work taking place to improve the land and the newly renovated walls looked rugged and fit for purpose. Not sure if they are to keep intruders out or the deer in!

Fine examples of lichen and moss covered every tree and stone.

After walking through the wood we came to a country road which we followed until we came to the next part of the walk which was uphill back into the countryside! The horses made it look easy running up and down !

Plenty of reasons to stop and enjoy the view across the valley as it gave one time to get one’s breath back! The hill had a deep gully to one side with a stream racing down the centre and on the banks the bluebells were just coming into flower alongside the sedge.

At the top of the hill we all stopped for a breather.

Great pals

The path lead us back onto a country lane which we followed back past Gelli Aur church and into the wood again.

Gelli Aur church

Drinking well opposite church

Great use of old telephone box!

Back in the cafe we all enjoyed a delicious slice of bara brith and coffee.

Everyone enjoyed the bara brith!

Thank you Philip for the walk!

Earlier on in the week when the weather was sunny and warm we had a wonderful day out visiting Cenarth Falls, The Welsh Wildlife Centre for a scrummy lunch and Cardigan.

Back in the garden although the weather has been difficult the plants seem to be thriving and doing their best to be springlike.

Pleased that the only squirrel in the garden is this one from my grand parents garden!

The fields around Llansadwrn and Lletty Cottage are filled with lambs frolicking and playing and lots of cuddling up to their mums especially in the changeable weather they’ve had to endure this last week!

Thank you for reading.

 

March 22nd Carmel Woods Walk March 22, 2019

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A goodly crowd turned up at the lay by at Carmel Woods to start our Walking Well Walk today. We set off along the country road at a good pace…it was flat! We passed some lovely farmhouses and saw numerous ewes with their lambs already enjoying being out on the pasture whilst the horses were waiting to go out into the fields for a run around.

A pretty tree in blossom outside one of the farms

Although a quiet country road quite a few cars and lorries passed us by so it was much easier when we came to the entrance of the woods.

Carmel Woods are an ancient woodland and grassland and there are quarries where limestone was extracted since the Middle Ages. Ancient skeletons have been found in the caves here…very spooky!

Signs of the woods industrial past can be seen on the ground where old railway lines lead into and away from the old quarries. All silent now except for the birds singing and the chatter of walkers but this would have been a noisy environment years ago.

The information boards showed us the track we were following around the site and what to look out for in the woodland.

Rounding a corner we entered the awe inspiring disused quarry- it is magnificent.

Leaving the floor of the quarry we headed uphill …quite steeply passing scented gorse bushes and noticing some lovely spring woodland plants, wood spurge, wood anemone, dog mercury, primroses and garlic.

We circled through the woodland, passing more primrose dells, through old gates and back onto a different country lane.

We were watched very carefully by some very piggy eyes to make sure we didn’t miss the turning back onto the fields and back through the woodland.

Along the country lane the black thorn was in blossom, just like little stars, and in the hedgerows very prettily, the yellow archangel was in flower.

Good to see a field hedge along side the road being laid in the proper fashion.

The walkers at the front were a canny lot as they found the entrance back into the woodland with no difficulty at all and there were more information boards to help everyone explore the new area.

After a lovely walk most of us drove on to Gelli Aur where we enjoyed a delicious cake and coffee. We all admired the wonderful piece of wood that made the table …it was huge! Thank you Philip for another lovely walk .

In the week I’ve been to Aberglasney Gardens where the magnolias are in full bloom and the gardens are looking beautiful…as always.

Back home the sparrow hawk has been keeping many of our small birds hiding away in the shrubs as he sits on the pergola keeping a beady eye on all the bird feeders.

A dear friend is leaving the village to go and live in Edinburgh and she has given us some of her garden plants and even a weeping willow tree, which Rufus loves!

We just need a bit of sunshine now to make the garden sing! There’s lots of colour around and lots to enjoy but sunshine would make it all so much better!

The bog garden is doing well, the scent from the viburnum fills the air and on the pond two Canada geese are settling down to make their new home …so all’s well in my world…so let’s hope the rest of the world gets sorted too!

 

March 8th Bethlehem Walk & St David’s Day March 8, 2019

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Triplets!

Earlier in the week I had a dry and pleasant walk up the hill to Llansadwrn passing many new born lambs skipping and hopping about in the fields.

Just twins!

Whilst walking I checked out all the gates that I passed some hidden and abandoned in the hedges.

Of course I really liked our own gate! The sign was painted by a dear friend and it is really treasured by us.

Also in the hedges there were many signs of spring.

Up in the village there was some activity as a new house is being built and a new driveway being laid. I had a look round and admired the view from the site over towards the church and the Carmarthen Fans in the distance sadly hidden by mist!

Back home again the signs of spring were everywhere in the garden and it all looks quite colourful. This was pleasing as we had the first visitors of the year staying in the cottage. I had thought it was a good idea to put wood chips from all the trees we have had cut down around the plants. It did look better when I had done it but the birds peck away to find the worms and the squirrels dig to find their nuts and they spread the chips everywhere!

St David’s Day was celebrated by eating our leeks from the garden and picking bunches of daffodils for the table…a happy day indeed!

Our Walking Well Walk today was a new walk! Sadly Philip couldn’t wave his magic wand and make it shine so it rained and hailed –but he had found a circular walk starting up a long -abandoned public road through a dingle with wild garlic and fast flowing streams and back through farmland. The bluebells were just showing and we will return when they are in full bloom- it will be fantastic!

We drove down the narrow road only to find a neglected chapel but one full of charm.

Through a broken window…I did not break it! I could see the interior and it wasn’t as bad as expected.

In the graveyard there were some old gravestones from the 1800’s many with lovely carvings.

We began our walk up a quite steep hill with the smell of garlic filling the air and the sound of the stream rushing over the stones at the side of the raod.

The hill was steep, wet and rocky and when the hail came it was cold too!

Eventually we reached the top of the hill and admired the stone walls on either side of the road showing that it had indeed been a public road many years ago.

We continued on through muddy lanes, over horsy fields, and wobbly stiles and through woods which were wet but showed that in a few weeks time with the bluebells coming out they would be the prettiest woods around.

We found dells of elf caps and they looked so pretty they took our minds off having to get our feet wet crossing the stream!

We finished our walk by coming full circle and found ourselves outside the chapel again.

A fascinating, wonderful walk and one to look forward to doing again. We headed off back to Llandeilo where we all went to 139 cafe for a well deserved bara brith and coffee. Thank you Philip!

 

February 23 Talley Walk and Lots of Visits February 23, 2019

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All the walks and visits in this post are all within one hour from the cottage and all make a great day out when staying here.

I’m feeling very buoyant after just watching the rugby match on TV…well done Wales! In fact I’ve felt very chippy over the last few weeks as I’ve been on quite a few visits to beautiful places with the family who have been on holiday here from England (half term!)

First though an absolutely wonderful walk with Walking Well around Talley in glorious sunshine!

Talley Abbey

The walk was a bit strenuous as we had to climb up the steep hill behind the abbey. We all know…no pain no gain! It wasn’t too long before we had all reached the top and stopped …to catch our breaths… and to admire the stunning views over the hills and valleys. Some of the hillsides have been cleared of trees which made the views more interesting.

We enjoyed the views and then slowly made our way back down the tracks through the remaining tree plantations. Our refreshments were taken in the local church hall which had kindly been offered to the group for their use.

Thank you Philip for the lovely walk. Congratulations on your news!

Earlier in the week I had been on a visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales with a friend. She is involved in all sorts of voluntary work and one of her special interests is the Conservation Group at the Garden. She showed me some of the trees that the Group is taking a special interest in.

Goat Willow Tree with 27 different lichen growing on its trunk

This tree has had tree lungwort transplanted onto its trunk. It is believed to be the first ‘rescue’ of this type in any botanic garden in Europe. If it grows well it can be ‘transplanted’ back onto other suitable trees in Wales, where once it grew. There are many potential medical uses for it.

Mallard looking for his lunch

Returning from the Gardens and after looking at all the birds on their lake I was thrilled to see the return of the seven Canadian Goslings that hatched on our Pond Field Island last year. Every year the returning ‘goslings’ fly back in with a day or two of the year before.There they all were circling the pond as if they hadn’t been away. I do wonder if they are the seven from last year and I do wonder where they have been for Christmas! I’m just pleased to see them again and hope that two remain and make a nest on the island so we can enjoy the spring and summer watching them grow up.

A day visit to the seaside was next up so we could enjoy the sunshine that we were having. Over the Black Mountain and a short drive along the M4 though Port Talbot and we were in Porthcawl. We sat in the new cafe on the promenade sheltered from the wind drinking our coffee and eating hot cross buns….idyllic! We could have been in the South of France with the sun shining through the glass windows with the sea just a few metres away but reality was we were just South of Port Talbot and it couldn’t have been better!

We had a lovely walk along the promenade and then through the town with all its independent little shops, along the harbour wall to see all the boats, past the lock gate which was winched open to let a boat out and then along the pier to the lifeboat station. A real treat and a great day out.

A castle visit was next on the agenda for the family visit and Dinefwr Castle just fits the bill. Only 10 minutes drive away the whole of the park is a delight to wander through in any season but with the sun shining …again… we headed up the hill to the Castle and then back over the Boardwalk before circling the pond and heading back to Newton House for refreshments.

Last day of family visit and another visit to the beach…one of my favourites…mind you they all are…Llanstephan!

A walk along the sand and trying carefully not to stand on too many shells was rather tricky!

After climbing up the cliff (not me) over some mighty large rocks and a circular walk past the castle, through lanes filled with the scent of gorse and back to the beach brought a lovely end to another sunny day and a great half term holiday.

 

February 8 Llansadwrn Walk Visit to Cardiff February 8, 2019

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http://www.llettycottage.co.uk Five star holiday cottage for two

Looking out the back door this morning the weather didn’t look too bright at all especially when it was a Walking Well Walk day! However, the walkers are a very hardy band and nine arrived at Llansadwrn Church clad in their waterproofs all set for a tramp around the village where I live.

It was quite exhilarating to be walking in the pouring rain with the wind blowing hard against us but we persevered and splashed through puddles, wiped our glasses and kept chatting!

Lots of gates and doors to admire along the road.

The roads were flooded in many places and the ditches had been cleared out to make the drainage better as the water tumbled out of the fields.

Philip did a grand job of clearing out a blocked drain ….or he may have just been playing!

Outside many of the farms there are the remains of the milk churn stands where the churns would have been placed full of fresh milk for collection by lorry.

Although these are quiet country lanes a great deal seems to happen on them! The postman passed us six times…I don’t think he was lost but just enjoyed having a chat with us every time he whizzed through. It is wonderful how fortunate we all are to have such an efficient postal service in the UK and especially our local friendly postmen.

Keeping eyes open for all things of interest along the banks, fields and farms- lichen, fungi, horses, sheep were all spotted and lots more too!

Unknown ‘pretty fungus like a Christmas rose!

The old chapel Libanus was on our route. It is ‘maintained’ by the Welsh Historic Buildings . Inside there are stencilled wall paintings that are being preserved and in the grounds there are magnificent monkey puzzle trees.

Further down the road where the river runs under the road and was in fast flow there is a short path leading to the river which was used many years ago by the chapel for baptisms…none today or one would be washed away and all your sins too…forever!

Nearly at the end of our circular walk we popped into the lovely Llansadwrn church. On the wall there is a potted history of Llansadwrn and I particularly like this line: ‘It must be said Llansadwrn has never been over- respectable.’

After the walk it was back home for everyone for coffee and cake after a really enjoyable walk …thank you Philip.

A week ago Llansadwrn was icy and snowy and views from our garden over the Carmarthen Fans from first light were beautiful.

In the week I enjoyed a quick visit to Aberglasney Gardens for a coffee and to see how the new bridge being built was coming along.

Felt really guilty eating a cake whilst being watched!

A visit to Cardiff in the week, by train. to see Tim Peake’s space capsule and parachute and the Leonardo exhibition was hugely enjoyable. The museum also has a wonderful collection of art not to be missed. The train station, Llangadog, is only 5 minutes drive away from Lletty Cottage http://www.llettycottage.co.uk and it takes two and a half hours to reach Cardiff. A great day out!

The birds in the garden have eaten a huge amount of sunflower hearts , peanuts and kibble this week just trying to keep warm. Pleased that we have a lovely and regular visit to the bird table by this little chappy, a Willow Tit ( I think!) . I saw a photo of these tits in the paper on the endangered species list so delighted that we have some around here!

Willow tit?


 

 
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