Lletty's Blog

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

November 26 Christmas at Dinefwr and Pumsaint November 26, 2017

Another weekend  so  more expeditions to see Christmas Fayres! Every notice board  one sees there are adverts for fairs, fayres,  festivals, market  and galas  all with the obligatory free mulled wine and mince pie thrown in! Not sure why we have visited a couple this year maybe it’s something to do with the weather! Waking up to sunny, bright, dry, freezing cold days and going out to a venue decked out in Christmas jollifications with the offer of a hot toddy seems  to be  a good way to spend  a couple of hours.

First stop was Pumsaint, a village just 20 minutes drive away and home to a  lovely pub and wonderful  Coronation hall and just round the corner from Dolaucothi Gold mines.

A Christmas Craft Fair in aid of Breast Cancer Wales was being held in the hall which is a corrugated iron village hall dating from 1903 when it  was  built to commemorate the coronation  of Edward VII.

The railings and archway in front date from 1925 and were erected as a war memorial. They are  both  grade II listed.


There were many lovely and interesting stalls to enjoy.  On the wall hung a splendid portrait of James Hills- Johnes who gained the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1857.DSC04416

Also commemorative photo and medal of a local resident.


After enjoying a tasty coffee and mince pie we set off on a circular walk through the Dolaucothi estate. As we hadn’t any ponies with us to tie up  we had no need for this rail.



We kept our eyes open for red squirrels  which we were informed where in the woods but sadly didn’t see any.

We passed some very interested  and nosy customers on our path!


Arriving back at the carpark just in time before the sun set over the hills.


Another day dawned bright and beautiful and  a visit to Llandovery in the morning  where they were holding an amnesty  for rubbish! The powers that be have closed our fantastic Recycling Centre in Llangadog!! The council have decided to have these ‘amnesty’ mornings so electrical goods,  etc can be recycled  using all the dustbin lorries. There was a long line of these lorries, in the cattle market,  lined up ready to devour all the gubbins that everyone brought!

The afternoon was still cold and dry when we drove to Dinefwr for their Christmas Fayre. We are very fortunate to have the park, castle and house very near to home.


Newton House looked  very special with all the stalls inside the rooms.

The piano had been moved to make way for the exhibits  and we found it hidden  under the ornate staircase.


The famous White Cattle of Dinefwr were not allowed entry into the house but this one didn’t want to miss the fun!


Outside in the gathering dusk the deer could be seen and heard! Clashing of antlers filled the air.


It was definitely time to go home  and we’d saved the best till last…mulled wine and mince pie to see us safely on the road!




Today a rather cold, damp and dreary one  brightened up by my weekly visit to Aberglasney, where the plants in the Ninfarium were stars of colour.

Outside the gunneras are all wrapped up against the cold and snuggled warmly under their covering of leaves. DSC04543


I wish I could include smelly vision  as the perfume from this tiny flower filled the woods..aah!



Next weekend another Winter Fair  this time  at Aberglasney! I’m  helping in the Grotto with Santa…poor thing! I’ll still slip away from my duties though to have a wander around the gardens .



November 19 Christmas atPicton Castle Aberglasney and Home November 19, 2017

I know! I know! There are still five weeks to go before Christmas but I do so enjoy visiting a good Christmas Fair, especially when they are held in glorious castles and mansions! This weekend the first of the BIG fairs was held in Picton Castle. Now this is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year but Christmas it is truly special. Every room downstairs is beautifully decorated with a Christmas tree and garlands galore.





The dining room table was laid out in preparation for dinner using beautiful Swansea pottery. Sadly we  had not received an invitation to dine!

The roaring fire in the fireplace had a wonderful marble surround and everyone sat on comfy sofas  enjoying the chamber orchestra playing sweet Christmas melodies. Also in the room was the much talked about Renoir painting which had been featured on ‘Fake or Fortune’ .


Round every corner there were surprise decorations and displays.

Places to post your letters.


Places to hide your secrets.

Outside in the courtyard more melodies were being played by the Salvation Army brass band and very good they were too.

After a walk around the rest of the Victorian Fair  and visiting my cousin John Dooner,   who was exhibiting his wonderful art at the Fair, we decided to return home as it was pouring with rain! On the way out we said farewell to this European Owl (I think) who was at the exit.

Today  dawned bright and dry with a stunning red sky at 7am. This heralded some low mist over the valley which meant a quick photo through the windscreen of the car when I went to collect the Sunday newspapers! I did stop the car to take the photos! Honest!


Later in the day at Aberglasney the sun continued to shine and visitors arrived to enjoy a  Sunday roast dinner in the most beautiful of settings ever.


Even the daffodils were lifting their heads to the sunshine!


Back at home during the week we have had some very frosty mornings . All the annuals which have given of their best through the summer and filled the garden with colour and joy are now on top of the enormous compost heap! The sun has shone through some of the frost and rain and brought more pleasing sights around the garden. A garden gives pleasure whatever the weather to birds, animals and people alike.


Frosty, bright mornings are a great way to start any day! Let’s hope we have some more!

DSC04300(The photos are blurry as I changed them all to small to make it quicker to upload them. How does one upload ‘bigger’ photos  to WordPress quicker?)


September 11 Walk Llandeilo Garden Home September 11, 2016


Time to set off again on another Walking Well  Walk…the 3 W’s …add a fourth  and fifth this time With Wellies! It was dry when we set off from Llandeilo station across the swing bridge but the clouds did open later to give us all a bit of a soaking. After the downpours we’ve had lately the ground was particularly soggy but the walk as usual was hugely enjoyable.

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Over the swing bridge, which  crosses the river Towy,   it actually swings quite a lot!


dsc05978-1I was delighted he didn’t want to accompany us on our walk! He did make me walk much faster though through the field!

Lots of interesting things to see  on our walk. Hope the Post Office never modernise the old post boxes especially these Victorian ones! We continued  through the fields up a couple of fairly steep hills and joined Tregib Woods where we descended through a wonderful ‘proper’ woodland until we had completed our circular  trek back to the swing bridge.


Of course every good walk should end with a coffee and cake! This was our first visit to The Yard in Llandeilo , where we received a very warm welcome  and enjoyed some very tasty veggie eats and yummy cakes and coffee. We’ll definitely be back!

To keep the weight off after eating all those tasty dishes a spot of gardening was called for  and after watching the farmer remove the hay off  our field I started cutting back the summer growth to make the garden less jungle like!

Our new back door and ‘old’ front door.


The crab apples are looking beautiful and ripening up nicely for the birds to eat!


Under our niger bird feeder there’s the usual soggy mess of wasted seed  but every year some of the seed germinates and  the loveliest of yellow flowers bloom on 7foot high plants!


Rufus was very cautious approaching the hay bales and wondered where they had suddenly appeared from!

All the visitors to Lletty Cottage this summer have been a pleasure to meet   and we  have enjoyed their company but this was a totally unexpected visitor  last weekend when we were preparing the cottage!  It flew in through the door and knocked over all the items on the table as it tried to escape through the window. Jim was very brave and captured  it in his hands before he let it fly away.  Easiest bird photo I’ve taken in ages!!




August 21 Busy Times! August 21, 2016

DSC05503-1It’s Summer and that means getting out and about  and enjoying  all the events and visits before autumn creeps in!

A week ago I joined the Walking Well Group for Carmarthenshire http://www.walkingwellcarmarthenshire.org.uk/ to keep fit ( as well as  all my gardening)  whilst Jim’s knee gets stronger! We met at Llandeilo railway station and walked up to Dinefwr Castle , back through the water meadows  and returned to the station via The Vintage Café  for a coffee and cake! It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk with lovely companions so I’m looking forward to the next walk this Friday.

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Dinefwr Castle Llandeilo

DSC05449-1My legs started to ache on the last hill up through Llandeilo!

Later in the week, we spent a very enjoyable time on a visit to a friend’s house, where plants were for sale and  delicious nibbles and drinks on offer. She  will be opening her  plant nursery here next year so it was  lovely to visit her home and cross the  river  into her beautiful garden via a bridge ! There were no trolls under it!



DSC05475Visiting another pal, Jayne Russell,  at her wonderful exhibition in Aberglasney Gardens http://aberglasney.org/exhibitions/  was another  delightful excursion out.

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With the damp weather the grass keeps growing and the plants need extra tending but another trip out was on our agenda….to Birmingham…don’t ask!

The high point was the amazing new station – it really was magnificent!

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DSC05540-1Unexpectedly, we discovered a Welsh chapel in the centre of Birmingham!


This week it was Show Time! Llansadwrn Show is a jolly affair  when the community gathers together   to share their interests and to enter items for   judging in many different categories.

Photos, paintings and  plants were some of my entries  as  the other categories are too hard for me! There are some very talented cooks,  florists, vegetable growers, stick makers, jam makers , needle women and more in our village so  it is  great to wander around the marquee and enjoy  everyone’ s  entries.

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As expected in a country show there were a number of horses and sheep around!

As well as visiting places we’ve welcomed some lovely visitors to the cottage. It’s such a pleasure to meet new and ‘old’ visitors. The visitors last week have been coming to the cottage for eight  or is it nine years…who can tell when you are having fun!

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This week our family are staying  and our first port of call today was the Botanic Gardens of Wales. There was a Woodcraft exhibition on  in the dome and some truly amazing wood carvings  on display. The borders were a delight to see.

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The Great Glasshouse was as magnificent as ever but the highlight for our grandson was the visit to the Butterfly House. He loved it ….as  did we!




February 15 Llandovery Sunshine Walk February 15, 2016

DSC02307-1Flowers in Lletty Cottage

Hard to believe but the rain has stopped and the sun is shining! It’s not  your regular sunshine with a warm feel to your back or a tender breeze fuffling your hair but a  freezing cold, sharp and  bright  sunshine perfect for a walk.

Jim’s knee is  still a bit delicate so a straightforward , flat walk was called for….leave it up to me! I did try to find a walk with gradual inclines  but  sadly failed  and the knee did suffer a bit!

We left Llandovery Castle car park and walked along the banks of the river until we came to Waterloo Bridge.DSC02306-1


Road bridge over river Bran said to be dated 1842 and built by Thomas Thomas of Llandovery according to inscription on now eroded coping stone. Thomas is recorded until c.1856 as a stone mason and beer retailer at the Bridge End Inn. Bridge Street was known as Mill Lane in 1830s.’


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We passed many interesting signs and skylines.

Leaving the riverside walk we climbed a slight hill to  the old parish church  of Llanfair-ar-y Bryn…St Mary’s on the Hill. William Williams of Pantycelyn is buried here, Wales’s greatest hymn writer.

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My planned ‘flat’ walk took rather a turn for the worse when we had to descend a little hill and then  cross five stiles and a railway line!

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The route took us through many more  muddy fields  with  kissing gates  and glorious views  and we met some very friendly walkers and carefree dogs!

Eventually we completed our circular walk and decided to have a coffee and scone at Llandovery station café  which turned out to be an excellent decision.


After collecting the car   we drove the 10 minutes home  to be rewarded by the stunning view from the front garden of the snow on  Llyn Y Fan -Brecon Beacons.

DSC02315-1The knee is OK  and the walk  was wonderful! Hoorah!


May 26 Photos from our Visitors May 26, 2015

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003 (2)-1We have the most amazing and friendly visitors staying in Lletty Cottage and we love hearing about all the places they visit and things they do whilst on holiday here. Sometimes   we are able to share their holiday by viewing their photos which they send on to us and here are a selection from a regular visitor/friend  who stayed recently.

This squirrel eats all the bird seed up every morning. I don’t mind one but when 6 turned up one morning I was annoyed!!

016 (2)Blue tit and a nuthatch on the bird table after the squirrel had left!

040-1Woodpecker on  nuts…at least the squirrel can’t get these! Today we had a jay and two wood peckers on the larger nut feeders.

038-1 This photo wasn’t taken in our garden! Chris visited the Wetlands Centre in Llanelli to capture this wonderful picture.

028-1 A visit to the waterfalls is top of the list for many of our visitors.

008-1 All our visitors are encouraged to visit Aberglasney Gardens not just because I’m a volunteer there but because they have the most amazing plants, woodland, rose arbour,  historical parterre,  a Yew Tunnel , a wonderful mansion with art and craft exhibitions throughout the spring /summer, a fabulous café where you can sit  out  enjoying your coffee and cake by the Pool garden seeing the swallows swooping down  and so many other delights…you just must visit!

Thank you Chris for sharing your brilliant photos with us all!  Hope to welcome you back to the cottage in the future.

I will be relying on lots of photos from visitors as my camera which was only a year old has seized up! It is a Panasonic DMC SZ3 with a Leica lens. It was wonderful  and a great point and shoot camera. Do you think taking it to Tenby beach and taking lots of photos of the twins  playing in the sand has anything to do with it not working any more??!!


April 19 Aberglasney Garden, Brooklands Trust Members Weekend in Wales and Flower Arrangements! April 19, 2015

Another beautiful day – we are being so fortunate  with this kind April weather  as it means everyone is able to get out and about and enjoy their lives. I  enjoyed today  volunteering as I do on a Sunday at Aberglasney Gardens. I  hardly ever pick flowers in my garden as I love to see them in situ , however, in Aberglasney, I am allowed to pick a few flowers every week to do an arrangement in the ladies loo and occasionally in the men’s loo too! Today there were so many marvellous  blooms to choose  from that I really couldn’t decide  and as I’ve just explained I prefer to see flowers growing rather than in vases!

I’m no florist but anyway I have  a go!

P1060905-1 The forget-me-nots were wilting before I’d finished!

P1060906-1Floating hellebores

P1060907-1 Hopefully this arrangement will last a while as next week I’m not going to the Gardens as my son and family are home from Canada for a holiday! The twins are now 16 months old so I’m very excited!!

Also in the car park  today were some  members  and  their  cars of the Brooklands Museum Trust . We’ve  visited Brooklands Museum in the past and it’s a  very worthwhile and fantastic  place to go and see if you’re in their area  :  www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Today the Trust  members were in their own cars on a Classic Tours of Wales weekend away. It’s all brilliantly  organised by a local company who have a Farm Guest House and they arrange everything.




P1060883-1Brilliant reflections today!


To round off a perfect day I’ve just ordered a new microwave to be delivered  on Tuesday…what a happy ending to another wonderful day in Wales!


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