Lletty's Blog

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

July 18 Gelli Aur, Botanic Garden of Wales, Aberglasney July 19, 2021

In no time at all there was another Walking Well Walk arranged by one of the leaders. Three ladies have taken over the organisation and running of the group and it’s all going really smoothly.

The walk was to take place in the grounds of the Gelli Aur mansion, a rather dour building, but surrounded by glorious woodland including many specimen trees.

As soon as I opened the car door the scent from the many lime trees around the carpark was quite over powering! Wish I could bottle it or indeed have smelly sensation available on WordPress to share with everyone!

We walked through meadows mown with paths and being aware of covid restrictions behaved extremely well (!) keeping in single file and metres apart!

The lovely stone walls marked the perimeter of the managed woodland. Even though the woods are managed there were clumps of Himalayan balsam- so pretty but our native plants suffer when they are present. Let’s hope the foxgloves fight back!

It was a wonderful walk as there were paths through the woods, through a small quarry, along a road, up a hill, down a dale and on the way meeting interesting people too! Chats with a gentleman who had been in the Gulf War and his memories all added to the enjoyable morning out.

Good to spot lots of wildflowers and things of interest- keeps the mind from wondering if the hill ahead is going to be manageable or not! One of the walkers had an app on his phone that tells you the name of the plant when looked at. It was fascinating trouble is I’ve forgotten many of the names of all the umbellifers..but I knew them when he said!!! Coffee and cake in the cafe ended another wonderful WWW – thank you Pam!

My recent visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales have been marred by the weather. Heavy rain shortened my last visit so it was great to be back there recently in full sunshine and happy summer weather. The gardens looked amazing and I remembered to take photos of the plants I liked and their labels so I know what I want to buy on my next visit to a nursery! Also it helps me to see how plant colour combinations are used to enhance enjoyment in borders- my planting of planned colours in borders never seem to turn out as I envision them- mine is a pot luck garden!

The Great Glasshouse looked splendid inside and out!

It was lovely to share the time at the Gardens with friends and we enjoyed looking at the new bog garden and we all ended up buying a plant in the plant sales area!

Of course no post would be complete without a mention of Aberglasney Gardens where everything continues to grow and flourish and brings pleasure to all the visitors.

Back home the sunshine has meant the watering continues apace! It’s very time consuming but necessary!

The Canada geese are able to cool off, in the recent hot weather, by hiding under the gunnera leaves and amongst the tall grasses in the Pond Field. How the Pond Field is going to get cut is something to worry about later as it looks rather lovely with all the grasses, wild flowers and a steadily increasing number of butterflies flying about. The goslings are now nearly the same size as their parents and practice flapping their wings vigorously on the pond. This helps break up the dreaded pond weed which is strangling everything else!

The rest of the garden is looking bright and more flowers are popping up in unexpected places!

The cottage has been buzzing with lovely visitors. It’s all to do with many deciding to stay in the UK for their holidays instead of flying off to countries new and then having problems with covid restrictions. It’s been really enjoyable welcoming people from all over the UK to stay in the cottage. Some have shared our home grown veg when it has been available! However, everyone has been delighted to visit Carmarthenshire, some for the first time, and discover what a beautiful county it is and a perfect place to spend your holiday.

Thank you for reading. Enjoy the sunny weather wherever you are!

 

January 27 Visiting Prince Charles’ Estate January 27, 2017

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Now the title may be a bit over the top but today’s walk did take us through the beautiful estate of Prince Charles!  Again, the weather was very pleasant, chilly but dry,and  considering it’s the last weekend in January  we felt very fortunate not to be soaking wet and knee deep in snow! Our  Walking Well group met up in Mydffai Visitor Centre carpark to begin our trek through the Llwynywormwood ( Welsh: Llwynywermwd) estate owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

DSC07648.jpgWe set off through the village passing the beautiful church and all the lovely cottages accompanied by a wake of red kites flying low overhead and looking very interested in all we were doing.

DSC07649.jpg Sadly my  photos don’t show the red kites at all just specks ..but they were there…honest!

DSC07657.jpgLooking back down the  road there were  beautiful views  all around  showing the  magnificent Brecon Beacons.

DSC07667.jpgApparently this is a broadband box! Here it is right out in the countryside bringing high speed broadband to all…not to our house yet but we wait in anticipation!

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Stepping from the road over a stile onto  the Duchy of Cornwall land the views are more parkland and all looks smart and tidy even the sheep!

DSC07677.jpgIn the distance one can see the residence of Prince Charles- an old coach house   which has been restored and renovated in traditional style. He wasn’t at home!

DSC07679.jpgThe old, deserted, derelict  and now quite spooky looking  country house that  stands nearby  was the home centuries ago of a relation of Ann Boleyn. The estate was also linked to the Physicians of Myddfai , the 13th century healers , who lived in the area  and maybe they used the wormwood plant , which grew on the estate, which in those days  was used  as an antidote to poison.

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We followed the well worn path down over a stream  and through some fine gates   and passed some lovely trees.

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Prince Charles must enjoy honey on his toast as there were a number of bee hives tucked away in a spinney and surrounded by some structural dead hogweed plants.

DSC07688.jpgOne doesn’t usually come across a sentry box in the middle of  a walk but alas there wasn’t a sentry  on duty so we passed by without giving a password!
DSC07691.jpg DSC07692.jpgDSC07693.jpgDSC07700.jpgEvery which way one looked there were silhouetted trees against the vast  darkening skies

DSC07714.jpgA walker with the group gave me some much needed advice on  taking  photos   and  using the  photo software to change colours etc- which is why there are now black and white photos on this post…tah dah! Never too old to learn  but unfortunately too old to remember!

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Post boxes are fascinating- there they are stuck in a hedge on the side of many country lanes and emptied by the postman usually twice a day except Sunday and they are a heritage that should be protected. This postbox had an unusual cipher on the box and I looked it up and it is the cipher of King Edward V11 1901-1910. Over hundred years old and still standing upright and tall  very guard like. Maybe it should be placed in the sentry box!

DSC07734.jpgEvery good walk with friends ends with a coffee and cake. Today was no exception. Myddfai Hall has a wonderful cafe with all sorts on offer soup, jacket potatoes  and of course the yummy cakes! There’s also an amazing shop with Welsh gifts, ranging from jams to paintings. The free range eggs sold there are the tastiest ever – that’s supper sorted tonight then!

 

May 31 A Step Too Far? May 31, 2016

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Another beautiful, sunny day so after mowing  the lawns,  watering some of the plants and hanging out the washing it was decided that a walk was on the cards. Although Jim had had a significant amount of liquid drawn  from his knee in hospital on Friday I thought that  exercise was just what the knee needed!

DSC03945We drove to the Usk Reservoir,  at the Western  end of the Brecon Beacons , only half an hour away from home.

DSC03949DSC03951We walked across the dam and spotted some colourful lichen covering the wall.

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DSC03958-1The reservoir was beautiful to look at  but there were very few people around to admire the view.  Fishing from the beaches and from rowing boats was the only activity to be seen.

DSC03963-1 There was a machine just like those in car parks where one could buy and pay for a fishing permit for the day- what a sensible idea!

DSC03964Along the banks of the reservoir there were a couple of picnic benches where one could sit and admire the lovely views over the water towards Pen Y Fan , the highest peak in South Wales.

 

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Pen Y Fan in the distance.

DSC03967-1  As we looked towards the furthest end of the reservoir it looked a mighty long way to walk but as the knee was holding up we decided to throw caution to the wind  and continue…….isn’t hind sight a wonderful thing!!

DSC03969-1We strolled past vast plantations of forest where all the fir trees had new soft growth like little fingers on the ends of each branch.

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There was much to admire along the pathways ‘fairy glens’ , pretty wildflowers  but the forestry track seemed to go on forever.

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DSC03985 At last we reached the end of the reservoir. There was a delightful stream that ran  down from the hillside into the water  with a boggy area covered in a  dainty little white flower- water buttercup/water crowfoot?

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The end of the reservoir meant we were half way round  and the best half  had been covered!  The rest of the walk was very bumpy and hilly and not picturesque at all and many of the trees   had been mowed down and left . We were so pleased to see the car in the car park  about 3 hours after we’d left it there. Maybe I should have read this first:

4. A stroll beside Usk Reservoir

 

The Usk Reservoir is in a remote area surrounded by forest and moor-land overlooking Mynydd Du or the Black Mountain. There is an 8km circular trail which winds its way around the reservoir.

http://www.breconbeacons.org/4-walk-usk-reservoir

8km – quite a long walk for a poorly knee but we managed it  and now we are home and resting the knee is OK! (thank goodness)

 

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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

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!

 

November 8 Change of Seasons November 8, 2015

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It’s ages since I’ve written on my blog and  although all our lovely visitors have all returned to their own homes for the winter  there is still  a great deal that keeps me busy! We’ve emptied the cottage in preparation for the decorators to arrive and give it a magic coat of paint to spruce it all up for 2016…our 10th year! I had no idea how long it would take to empty the cottage  but it’s all done now. Actually the decorators arrived last week and gave the  outside window frames  and barge boards a once over and then the glorious weather changed  from sun to rain- typical! They will return when the rain leaves!

We went for a walk on Llangadog Common yesterday. The river Sawdde had risen incredibly quickly  due to the cloud bursts we have had and the river looked quite a torrent and sounded even worse!

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DSC01347-1 The view from  Carreg -Sawdde common over towards the hill where  a castle once stood.  More information about  Llangadog and local villages can be found  on the Brecon Beacons website:

http://www.breconbeacons.org/llangadog-western-villages

DSC01361 Another view of the ‘waterfall’ .

DSC01365Separating  the Common from the road is a line of magnificent  stones and each one is covered by variety of different lichen.

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DSC01379-1  Although wet and windy it was a wonderful walk with stunning views …I love Llangadog!

 

September 14 The Adventures of Rufus! September 14, 2015

Rufus, our Maine Coon  kitten will be 1 year old next month and I can’t believe how much he has grown and become a real part of the family- except that is  for Holly!  I am sad to report that Holly and Rufus are not the best of friends and we have to keep them apart for feeding and sleeping!!

Holly, is  a normal, beautiful moggy, who  sleeps all day and night and enjoys a cuddle on the settee in the evening. Rufus thinks he’s a collie dog and bounds ever hopefully towards the sheep, who quite readily butt him away!

Part of our daily routine  is now taking Rufus for a walk around the garden and up the field, where he has many adventures, exploring the trees and everything growing above and below ground!

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Trying to catch dragon flies

Trying to catch dragon flies

DSC00534-1 Pondering whether to climb this tree or wait until the larger lime tree appears!

DSC00538Not sure whether Rufus should be sniffing toadstools but this slug is getting  to grips with eating it in any case.

DSC00545At the base of our magnificent  lime tree before his decision to climb half way up and then fall off!

DSC00553-1Back to the willow tree for some easy climbing practice……

DSC00570-1before he ran off into the large willow tree copse  and climber higher and higher until the branches became too narrow so he had to learn how to reverse…not very elegantly!

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The hips, haws, blackberries and sloes were all sniffed as we made our way to the top of the field.

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Rufus liked sitting on Jim’s bench   looking back towards the house and the  Brecon Beacons hidden by low cloud before he set off at an incredible speed to the bottom of the hill again!

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He roamed through the borders  until he reached the apple and crab apple trees where he had another  climb!

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The one tree he didn’t  try to climb- our Monkey Puzzle Tree!

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At last he had worn himself and me out and settled  down  and tried to make pals with Holly!

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January 17 Walk round Llansadwrn January 17, 2012

Such a lovely, frosty  and bright day we went off for a walk before house cleaning, fire making and odd jobs got in the way!  We went up the hill towards Llansadwrn and turned off to Felindre where we had a long conversation with a  householder  who has just had  their garden hedge laid….it all looked very neat and professionally completed. We continued onwards until we came to a friend’s house….they were busy too…watching some of their trees being pruned…as the branches were causing too many shadows across their newly installed solar panels. We took the name of the tree surgeons as we need  a branch of our  yew tree pruning….another job!! We followed the footpath through our friend’s garden which led us to the top of  a local hill which had marvellous views over the countryside with Pen Y Fan in the far distance.

Rose flowering in friend's garden January 2012

 

View over the Brecon Beacons towards Pen Y Fan

 
We followed the footpath passing a line of wonderful mature oak trees and then descended a hill towards another friend’s farm….and meeting their alpacas, who are kept for their wool for spinning / weaving classes held in the village. What fun and excitement they were turning their best sides to be photographed and jumping , turning and following us down the hill towards the farmhouse.
 

'appy alpacas!

 

Jim in meaningful conversation!

 
 
 
 
 
 
After leaving the farm we  continued on down the lane to the site of an old historic chapel- Libanus. The chapel is in the process of being carefully restored and looked after.
 

Libanus chapel surrounded by magnificent monkey puzzle trees

 
We followed the road back through Llansadwrn, past the church  and the school and back down the hill  until we reached home after a good two hour walk around the neighbourhood.
 
 
 

August 30 Visits to Usk Reservoir August 30, 2011

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Usk Reservoir photo by Andrew

 

A number of our visitors have commented that they have thoroughly enjoyed their visits to Usk Reservoir. Last week’s visitors have kindly sent us their wonderful photos of the reservoir  after they too loved the vistas and walks around the area.

Usk Reservoir photo by Andrew

 

 Usk Reservoir from Brecon Beacons National Park www.breconbeacons.org
 
The Usk Reservoir is in a remote area surrounded by forest and moor-land overlooking Mynydd Du or the Black Mountain. There is an 8km circular trail which winds its way around the reservoir.

 Further information

The surface is a mix of compacted-stone forestry tracks and tarmac roads.  There are lots of opportunities for shorter strolls, both on tarmac and on the tracks. The trail is undulating with some long slopes – heading in a clockwise direction means that many of the longer slopes will be downhill. The route is also used by cyclists. Fishing is available with concessionary rates – pay in the shed on the north side of the reservoir. There are also good views of the lake and surrounding countryside from the car parks.

 

How to get there: The reservoir is located 6 miles from Trecastle and is signposted on the Llanddeusant road.

 OS Grid Reference: Explorer Map OL12 or Landranger Map 160 – SN 834 286.

Facilities: The nearest facilities are in Trecastle (pubs) and Sennybridge (shops and petrol stations).

 

Thank you Andrew and Janet for sending the photographs – we are pleased you enjoyed your honeymoon at Lletty Cottage especially all the walks you completed around the Reservoir.

 
 

 
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