Lletty's Blog

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

February 9 Walk Around Dinefwr and Coffee at The Works Vintage Cafe Llandeilo February 9, 2018

Woke up this morning  and looked out  the window over our garden  towards the   snow clad Carmarthenshire Fans  and saw  and heard the  …  wind, rain, sleet and noisy hail. After  a phone call from a walking pal  we were undecided whether to attempt our Walking Well walk around Dinefwr Park as everywhere looked bleak. My pal lives a few miles up the hill  from us where it’s  colder and  in her garden there was lying snow and potentially more to come. With black clouds overhead and dressed in full waterproofs I decided to have a go and see what it was like at Dinefwr Park and whether Philip’s remarkable run of ‘good’ walking weather would hold true today!

Honestly, how does he do it? Cold and damp it may have been but the sun came out, the blue sky appeared   and off we went! DSC05979

We all set off  from the carpark at a steady pace getting warmer by the second. It was noticeable as we went though the woodland area how may trees had recently been uprooted.

After climbing up a number of steps  it was lovely to see a mat  of snowdrops ( not enough to call it a carpet) flowering amongst the curled autumn leaves. Even some daffodils  were peeping through too.   Taking a photo of anything interesting is always handy and a great excuse to catch one’s breath!


As we emerged from the woodland we saw Newton House in the distance. We followed the pathway over the fields towards the castle and kept up our steady walking speed. I think we were all loving the walk, the views and the company but were mindful of the fact that all that horrid weather wasn’t far away!

DSC05997DSC05987DSC05999DSC06002We overtook a group of nordic walkers…to be fair…they were standing still and doing their pre-walk warm ups. We decided that although it is good to have a warm up before any exercise to get joints and muscles moving, doing warm ups  as well as a walk  might just  be too much exercise for us!

Hope these tree roots are strong and hold these wonderful trees in place for many more years




Stopping to take photos of Newton House, Paxton’s Tower on the hill  and the deer meant that I fell behind the group so I had a bit of a jog to add to my exercise to catch up with the others!


Carefully avoiding a tractor carrying a load of turnips I caught up with everyone just in time to see the White Cattle being fed in their winter quarters.



You could  hear them nomnomming  away and  see them enjoying their treat with their head and horns buried in their hay.


The kites and buzzards were also enjoying the sunny spell and were heard calling in the blue sky above.  The black spot is a kite not a fly on my lens!

Following the potholed muddy track …well it wouldn’t be a proper walk without some mud… we  made our way back  to ours cars. A  3 mile walk …well nearly…in dry conditions…don’t know how you do it Philip but thank you again. DSC06026DSC06027DSC06031DSC06032The Vintage Cafe, next  to the garden centre in Llandeilo was todays choice for our  after walk refreshments. The coffee and cake were all delicious  and the icing on the cake was enjoying seeing all the beautiful  plants that are  for sale in The Works Garden Centre.

DSC06034DSC06036DSC06037DSC06039Now this is what my photo of a kite should  have looked like! This print is  by artist Kathryn Harvey  for sale in The Vintage Cafe. DSC06044


May 7 2017 Carmel Woods Walk May 7, 2017

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Another sunny, bright and warmish Friday – it must be Walking Well Day. Unbelievably, the group has been running ( or should I say walking!) for two years every other Friday and only once has it been damp/ raining a bit! They do say the sun shines on the righteous!  Anyway, after meeting at Llandeilo railway station we drove on in shared cars to Carmel Woods  carpark which is about 5 miles outside Llandeilo. We had walked here previously but Philip assured us that this was a new walk and not too strenuous  at all! We left the cars and followed the country lane  down passed some lovely country properties some with 5 * accommodation for their horses.




Leaving the road and passing through a farmyard we entered the wood   where we were greeted by an amazing sight of bluebells, orchids, garlic, celandine  and more …all  growing freely up the banks and through the glades. It was quite a climb though!







The climb kept on going!


Reaching  the  top  path there were signs of the old quarry workings  and the explanation board detailing all the wild flowers that we could see and smell.  The Yellow Archangel flower  was new to me  and it was growing in clumps everywhere – it loves to grow on lime soil and as we were surrounded by lime kilns this   made it perfect growing   conditions for this pretty plant. The quarry and workings are all quiet and derelict now and nature has reclaimed the land and covered it in  the beauty of plants again.


We passed a number of stiles and gates but this was the most stylish – no doubt recycled from someone’s garden- one wonders its history  and  which garden has it stood entrance to before.




All that climbing up hill meant that we had fantastic views over the beautiful, rolling Carmarthenshire countryside.DSC00663.jpg

DSC00664.jpgWe ambled  on along a lane passing some quite nosy and lovely  dogs and a cheeky pig!



There seemed lots of interest in our group from some local inhabitants, who stared hard unblinkingly!



Fairy lace/ cow parsley billowing gently in the warm breeze  interspersed with the waving welsh poppy filled the verges  that edged the country lane.



Leaving the lane we made our way back down through the woods  stopping to enjoy the view, the skyscape and a welcome snack – a welsh cake – kindly provided by Philip.




As all good things  end we shall  all  sit and drink and so it  happened!  A  pub  ‘The Stag and Pheasant’ was at the end of our walk and the friendliest landlady ever-  a lovely way to end our latest Walking Well feeling well and happy!








February 10 A Mosey Around Dinefwr February 10, 2017

DSC08001.jpgShall I, shan’t I go walking today as the forecast was dry but very chilly?! Pleased I chose to go  so arrived at Llandeilo station with my pal, Jane,  wrapped up warmly ready to start with everyone on our walk around Dinefwr. We set off  crossing over the railway line and down through the muddy pathways   crossing under the Heart of Wales line again before we climbed the hill back  up into Llandeilo  getting  some great views over the Towy valley on the way.


In the future this view might be dominated by a bye -pass which has  recently been given the go ahead after many years of promise. Still not sure of the route but this may be one of them!


At the top of the climb we reached St Teilo’s Church.The church building  was completed in 1850 and  the tower is late medieval.


Across the road from the church was the kind of bike that I understand!


There was  some activity on the church  roof. I kept quiet…well tried to….as I didn’t want any accidents to be blamed on me!

DSC07988.jpgWe continued  down the road  passing many colourful houses  and  the excellent fruit and veg shop stopping briefly to look inside and say hello to Gerwyn.

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We admired the beautiful bridge over the river Towy  and then crossed the road to continue into Dinefwr Woods.

DSC07995.jpgFollowing the path through the woods we could hear the sound of woodpeckers but sadly no sight of them.


The charming little Llandyfeisant Church is hidden amongst the trees, brambles and bushes and  has a wonderful history. It is still standing but needs  attention. The  small churchyard has much to admire and holds great interest for folk who enjoy finding  out about the past and looking at the flora and fauna.





One of my missions today was to  try to photo  the different trunks of trees. In  an art group I belong to we have been experimenting  with  techniques  to use mixed media to produce   woodland scenes with different textures which means lots of gluing  and sticking …bit like being back at school…in fact a lot like being in school!

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DSC08042.jpgAfter passing through the lovely woods which are still littered with the fallen leaves of autumn we saw the silhouette   of the proud  Dinefwr castle on the brow of the hill  overlooking the scene below.


Downhill  we  skidded now…actually I was the only one who skidded on the mud- but it was  rather a spectacular skid which was only stopped by a fellow walker…thanks!

Walking in front of Newton House  we spotted some deer in the distance  and even I could see  a couple of deer with huge antlers. We decided to stay on the path!




We stopped to admire the new cowshed  for The White Park  Cattle and as luck would have it the gate was open so we could actually talk to the  inhabitants  to ask them what they thought of the new facility!  They were most impressed and very happy with their clean, fresh and new accommodation.

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‘We are in a race against time to save the future of our famous White Park Cattle. The cattle have been at Dinefwr for over one thousand years, but we now need to urgently raise £36,000 to buy a new bull and introduce new females to keep the bloodline alive and #SaveTheHerd.’

Our White Park Cattle are a living link to our very distant past with records of them at Dinefwr dating back to the year 920 when they were referenced in the laws of Hywel Dda (Hywel the Good), who codified the laws of Wales.

With just 750 breeding females left in the world, these animals are rarer than the Giant Panda.’  copied from the National Trust website Dinefwr Park


They are such amazing animals that I hope enough money will be raised to buy the new bull. They are very photogenic  and show their best side to the camera at all times!


Leaving the cattle behind we passed  near some  dells when we espied something moving in the trees…was it a bird? No  Was it a plane? No   Tree surgeons climbing to the very end of not very strong branches…hope they didn’t need the help of  medical surgeons later in the day!


We met some very pleasant walkers on our way round  many of them being taken for their walks by their dogs.

DSC08046.jpgWe were very fortunate to be accompanied all the way  on our walk by the sweetest, smallest dachshund ever, who was as brave as a lion when meeting other four footed friends  and as   cuddly as a teddy  when he wanted carrying.


Toasted teacakes  and raspberry cakes with iced toppings were our choices on cakes today in The Works cafe. After our wonderful 4 and a half mile walk we felt we  all deserved a treat  – so we  had one!


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!




January 14th 2015 Painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints from Llandeilo! January 14, 2015




Being that it’s winter and it’s cold and damp it’s time to do something in the house!  So off to the newish shop in Llandeilo :     http://www.thelittlewelshdresser.com   

The shop is lovely and the staff are very helpful and know their Annie Sloan paint and  are full of ideas and suggestions on its uses.  So as the TV table in Lletty Cottage needed an update I knew where to go for advice.

P1050703-1 TV table in original pine. No work necessary before painting so brush on Chalk Paint Country Grey and let it dry!

P1050710-1 and voila …nearly there! A coating of soft wax gives a lovely  subtle shine.

P1050778-1 All finished and ready  in the cottage and waiting for the first visitors of the season. I didn’t realise we had so many DVD’s !




July 25 Wonderland : Badgers Deer Dolphins and Sunshine July 25, 2014

Just sitting here at the computer wondering when we’ll have a Skype call from our son and family to say that they have arrived safely in Canada. They emigrated today and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions time saying goodbye to our baby twins- but hey…it’s all so exciting too…a new life waits ahead of them  and it may even get me on an aeroplane to visit them.  As I’ve never flown it’s quite a record these days and I’m not sure I want to break it!!

So feeling rather sad it was wonderful to receive an email  and photos from a visitor to Lletty Cottage. We have  amazing  visitors and it’s so interesting to hear where they have visited whilst on holiday here  and places that they recommend to others.

These visitors went to the Badger Watch in the  evening at Dinefwr Castle. They had a superb time and saw deer and  badgers  in a beautiful woodland glade at sunset.

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They travelled to New Quay and went dolphin watching and they were  fortunate to see this magnificent dolphin close at hand.

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Thank you for sending on these and other photos. We look forward to receiving more photos from visitors this summer- it really is great having a holiday cottage and meeting so many lovely folk.


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