Lletty's Blog

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

July 15 Dinefwr Walk, Aberglasney, Gardens and Gwili Railway July 15, 2018

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

It’s still very hot and very dry! We are hoping that our borehole has enough water left until the rain arrives! Aberglasney Gardens are still looking amazing and the sprinklers are managing to keep everything looking bright and  beautiful. Sitting on the terrace drinking in the view …and a cup of coffee  is pure delight.

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Luckily Friday dawned bright and not too hot so off to Llandeilo where Pam was leading our Walking Well Group  around Dinefwr this week…well…actually…it’s not Walking Well now…it’s just us! The WW funding has  been stopped but we will all carry on regardless as we enjoy it so much…..it will all get sorted!

The walk started at the station as usual and we walked down through the town, past the colourful houses and on into the Park.

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The rest of these houses  aren’t buried below ground!

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Lots of wild flowers out in bloom  and it looks like we are going to have a bumper year of blackberries!

 

A glimpse of Paxton Tower can just be seen in the distance …clever planning..  maybe  the view was planned by Lady Cecil Rice:

This year at Dinefwr we are celebrating the life of Lady Cecil Rice, 2nd Baroness Dinefwr, one of the most influential women to ever have lived on the Dinefwr Estate.

Lady Cecil was the only child of the fabulously wealthy William Talbot of Hensol in Glamorganshire.  
She married George Rice, MP for Carmarthen, in 1756 and together, they transformed the Dinefwr Landscape into what we know and love today.  
Splendidly well connected, Cecil and George spent much of their time in London where they were influenced by new ideas of philosophy and culture, especially the view that nature could be art.

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Walking on through the fields  and  up into the woods it felt cool and welcoming
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There was plenty to see and catch ones attention!   Two  large magnificent fungi…must remember to bring a nature book next time for identification help!
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Next   as we emerged from the woodland another splendid view appears through the trees …this time the castle  and  further on Newton House.
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The sycamore seeds are getting ready to twizzle down to the ground like helicopters …seems early to me!
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It was getting hotter by the second so the walk was rather curtailed so we headed back through Llandeilo to The Works for coffee! Sad to say we found the coffee shop closed …the owner away on holiday…never mind we’d had a lovely walk…thank you Pam.
Our local village had a splendid weekend…The Big Lunch. Everyone took a plate of food to share. Entertainment was laid on in the afternoon with choirs , soloists and bands and in the evening a family get together with young and old sitting in the marquee watching  a film The Greatest Showman.
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It wouldn’t be a summer weekend if we didn’t have time to squeeze in a visit to a car/ bike gathering. This time it was to Gwili Railway in Carmarthen. Over 100 cars and bikes to look at and enjoy!
I was gasping for a drink too…just like this little chappy!
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Some of the spectators were too shy to look !

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Back home the garden seems to be lasting with lots of spot watering. It’s the hanging baskets and window boxes that take such a long time   to get wet!

Just looking at those pansies with their pretty faces brings a smile… so do these other faces that appear when I’m bringing them a drink!

The  garden wildlife seems to be thriving too!  The mouse still appears most days ( sorry Jacqueline!)   and the swallows have fledged this week and are enjoying their flying lessons all around the house. The swifts are still screeching around too so it’s all go!

 

My new greenhouse cost a lot of money and took Jim a long time  and a lot of effort ( bad back!) to  build but I told him and assured him that it would all be worthwhile in the end. Today  I proved my point. Tah dah……one brilliant green pepper!! I even shared it with him…now that’s called…something!

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Walks and Visits Dinas, Llansadwrn, Tregib, Treberfydd Brecon June 3, 2018

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

We all wrapped up well for our Walking Well Walk but no need! Rain was forecast  and although damp and cloudy  it stayed dry whilst we had a tramp around Tregib Woods in Llandeilo.

We crossed the swing bridge which actually does swing and  can make one feel rather light headed!

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Looking down the river Towy a heron flew overhead and landed just down stream.  There’s a heron in this photo somewhere …honest!

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We crossed over fields and followed the road until we entered the wood. Llandeilo looked its usual lovely self with its houses perched  prettily on the hill looking down towards the river and the bridge.

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Tregib Wood is a Woodland Trust wood .

‘Coed Tregib is a beautiful site set within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Ancient woodland (predominantly oak and ash), grassland and new native woodland are the prominent features. Wetland plants are supported within the wood, and dormice have been recorded at this site.’

There were definite wetland plants amongst the wetland! Well, no walk with Philip would be right unless we got a bit damp! It was all  very primeval and one expected a dinosaur to come charging out of the undergrowth at any minute!

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Heading back to the town after our circular walk it was good to pass through a new gate erected by the Ramblers. The last time we were here there was a very rickety stile! This was far more civilised!

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A last view of the bridge  from another angle as we completed our walk. Thank you Philip!

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No wonder I run out of time to do things…I start so many jobs but move on to the next one before finishing the last one…you know what I mean!  The sunshine  recently has made it impossible to stay in and do any housework/ washing etc. so we’ve been out enjoying ourselves. We visited RSPB Dinas and really enjoyed  the walk over the board walk and on through the blue, blue, bluebell woods . Following  the river round  we came to more woods and completed our circular walk…it was difficult walking in some places but well worth it!

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There’s always one that wants to be different!

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A walk up the hill to our village seemed a good idea one sunny afternoon. It was sad to pass by the junior school that has recently closed …it was very solemn and quiet. Good news though it has been bought by a local family…so it will be interesting to see what happens next!

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Across the road from the school is the  pretty church and the village memorial stone.

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The village sits at the top of the hill so there are beautiful views all around.

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A memorial stone in the community field.

A ‘posh’ gate.

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The local pub the Sexton Arms…great place and the landlord Cliff is amazing and does so much to help the community in many ways.

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Llansadwrn  means the church of Sadwrn.

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Whilst I was at the top end of Llansadwrn and not the bottom end where we live I called  on a friend, who is selling her lovely bungalow with land…Purple Bricks!

Photo looking out of her window at  her detached cottage.

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Poppies growing in her garden!

After a lovely cup of coffee I was all set for the long walk back home but this time it was all downhill…much easier!

 

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A coach trip out, with the gardening group, was next in the week. We visited Treberfydd House Brecon which is a Gothic Revival house built in the 19th century. We enjoyed a tour around the house led by the owner. We were treated to  tasty light refreshments  and coffees before we headed off to explore the gardens and the Walled Garden Nursery, where some hardy plants just had to be bought!

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The Nursery was wonderful within such a lovely setting and so many wonderful plants for sale… a return visit is planned!

 

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An interesting coach drive   with a great driver ( a 50 seater coach through very narrow country lanes!)  took us to the next garden, The Neuadd, Crickhowell, which is open with the NGS.

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Here there was a lovely woodland walk which led to a walled vegetable garden.

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The owner’s dog was delighted to welcome us all into the house for a delicious tea!

Not sure which end to pat!

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Back home gardening continues and now Jim has completed building my wonderful new greenhouse  I have even less time ! I have sown far too many seeds  which will all need pricking out! Huge fun though having   a proper place to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and all the other veg I want to try!

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I do so love the colour pink!

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I also love Aberglasney Gardens. Today  on my visit there the sun was shining brightly and I enjoyed a delicious cake and coffee with our lovely cottage visitors from Australia…I think they’ve brought this lovely weather with them!

The gardens are looking beautiful. They are also selling plants that they have  grown in their new greenhouse….so I just had to have one! No idea yet what it looks like   when fully grown so it will be a lovely surprise!

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I love this weather but a couple of nights of heavy rain would certainly help out and cut down all the watering!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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

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

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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!

 

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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

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

 

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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.

 

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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’ .

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Round every corner there were surprise decorations and displays.

Places to post your letters.

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Places to hide your secrets.
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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.
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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!

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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.

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Even the daffodils were lifting their heads to the sunshine!

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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.

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

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September 11 Walk Llandeilo Garden Home September 11, 2016

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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!!

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

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February 15 Llandovery Sunshine Walk February 15, 2016

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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

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/wa-82912-waterloo-bridge-llandovery#.VsIApE1ybcs

‘History
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.

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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!

 

 
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