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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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

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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!
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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

 

January 26 Botanic Garden of Wales Walk…Again! January 26, 2018

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One can never have too many visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales,  especially in January, when entrance is free during the week!  Weekend entry in January is only £4 and tomorrow 27th and Sunday 28th  there is an Antiques Fair to enjoy too!

Anyway back to my visit today with the Walking Well group led by Philip. Somehow or other he manages to arrange these walks when it is dry and sunny! The weather over the last week has seen our garden flooded!  Today, however,  with the sun shining brightly a large group assembled in the Botanic Garden carpark to begin a figure of eight walk around the parkland.

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The track led us around the perimeter of  the first lake with the Great Glasshouse,

The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere

looking like something from Stars Wars ( I enjoyed The Last of the Jedi..last week!)  set  up high on the opposite bank.  Wonderful reflections of the trees in the water- good enough to paint!

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Brilliant coloured cornus bushes  shone in the sunshine and the aroma from the fountain of green Sarcococca confuse bushes filled the air…everyone stopped  to catch a closer sniff!

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Passing a desolate farmhouse we walked up quite a steep incline until we reached the top. Here  Philip explained there was a spring  hidden behind a locked door and a pump room.

It was well worth carrying on up the hill as looking back we had the most marvellous view over the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, including Paxton’s Tower.

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We walked along the ridge of the hill until we dropped down again  from the Parkland towards the Gardens.  We didn’t take a detour into the woods as we were uncertain what we’d find there!

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It wouldn’t be one of Philip’s walks if it didn’t entail some mud walking and some nature spotting. There’s an excellent exhibition on at the present in the Gardens by Julie Sheridan of the Last Gallery, Llangadog . Her  series of paintings depict the symbiotic nature and pattern of lichen.  She may have been able to identify some of our findings!

 

The Ghost Forest was our next stop!

‘This display of tropical tree roots is one of the most significant environmental art installations to come to Wales

The Ghost Forest has come from the tropical rainforests of Ghana .The oldest tree root is 300 years old, the heaviest weighs 19 tonnes

They’re the inspiration of UK based artist Angela Palmer. She was horrified to learn that a tropical forest the size of a rugby pitch is destroyed every four seconds. Just think how much is lost every minute, every hour………every year.
Apart from the huge loss of species, rainforest loss is contributing to climate change.

Angela Palmer made world ambassadors out of these tree roots. She chose Ghana as it now sustainably manages its rainforests. She brought the tree roots to Trafalgar Square, to the Earth Summit in Copenhagen, to Oxford University and now here, their final resting place.’

Lots of photos as they were amazing  especially against the blue, blue sky!

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Time for coffee and cake in the Glasshouse surrounded by exotic  and some recognisable lovely flowers.

 

Also to view were the antiques. The Rupert annual…one of my favourites  as a child… now classed as an antique!! Help!

The view going down the Broadwalk back to the carpark was  far different from last week when everywhere was coated with shiny icy crystals- this week shiny bright sunshine. I do love our changeable Carmarthenshire climate!!

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Thank you Philip for another happy, enjoyable walk.

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November 9 Dryslwyn Castle Walk November 9, 2016

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On a day when the USA Presidential election result has been announced it’s good to reflect on the simple things in life like enjoying walking  through beautiful countryside with friends  and forgetting  opinion polls and politics.

Our walk started at Dryslwyn carpark on a stunning autumn day with a clear blue sky and a chilly wind. There were lovely  views across the Towy valley and in the distance there were numerous birds to be seen flying in and around the river. Camera on  full zoom could only catch  a glimpse  of the birds  so not sure what they are- maybe greylag?

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Also a great number of magnificent  huge fungi were around the carpark  and looking  quite special in the sunlight.

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Dryslwyn Castle is the only place that I ‘feel’ some connection with the past occupants of the site. One can imagine the township that was situated on the top of the hill by the castle and all the life going on there with children playing and families  carrying on  their day to day lives. There is certainly an ‘atmosphere’ here!  It was politics again that brought the castle walls tumbling down!

We didn’t immediately  climb up to the castle but walked along the road until  we came to a small lane bordered by some   fine trees.

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We followed the lane round and came to a hamlet  called Felindre that I had never visited before. It’s amazing how some places get hidden away and stay quite secluded!

There are many Felindre’s in Wales as it means ‘mill town’ in English. There was no evidence to be seen of the mill but there was a village pump in what could have been the village pound long ago.

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We followed the lane along  passing some lovely houses  with very friendly ‘ guard’ dogs outside.

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This particular collie took such a fancy to us all that he joined the gang and accompanied us all the way back to the carpark!

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Every way one looked there were interesting things to see. The sheep looked very comfy and cosy nestling in the dry autumn leaves and the view of Paxton’s Tower  on the distant hill seemed to follow us around. Paxton’s Tower is a folly which was erected in honour of Lord Nelson. We had nearly completed our circular walk  and the last part was the hardest climbing to the top of the hill to see the castle. It was well worth the effort with the wonderful views all around and the vision of the Towy river meandering its way slowly across the valley on its way passing  through Carmarthen  and on to its estuary by Llanstephan Castle.

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A rather ‘naff’ photo of Paxton’s Tower but I just had to take it!!

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Back to the carpark and a last kick around in the autumn leaves before a coffee and delicious cake at The Hangout, Llandeilo…our new favourite place. Best place to relax to forget politics and anything else that may be troubling the soul!

 

 
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