Sadly tonight we have reached the end of our Welsh trip. We left Saundersfoot this morning leaving behind the stresses of narrow B roads and drove to Carmarthen. Tesco’s provided us with a convenient parking space but I did have to park with my front wheels on the flower bed, Peter and Alison parked sideways across three bays. I enjoyed the walk around Carmarthen it has a variety of shops but we didn’t see what a great deal of what was the historical heritage of the town.
We drove from Carmarthen to Brecon, parked on the car park by the side of the river Usk which we used approx a month ago.After lunch we walked into Brecon and found the market hall which had a craft fair on.
It wasn’t far from Brecon to tonight’s stop at Talybont on Usk, the site is large but not too many motorhomes/ caravans are allowed to stay, it’s well kept and in pleasant surroundings,
Talybont is sandwiched between the Usk River and the Brecon Monmouth canal, the canal is a few metres from the campsite and after our evening meal we went for a walk along the towpath. Like many areas of the country it has a history of industrial development.
Sadly it’s the end of a great week away, we have enjoyed beautiful scenery, stayed at some wonderful campsites and have walked for miles. The news about Covid hasn’t been great, we aren’t sure if and when we will be able to take our next trip, but fingers crossed it won’t be too long.
Many of the lanes that we are driving along on this trip are very narrow and have few passing places, this was the case today as we drove into Manorbier where we met a lady who found it difficult to squeeze over to let us through and consequently we ended up with our near side mirrors bent back. Another repair job when we return home.
That disaster apart Manorbier is a pleasant place to visit.
We are staying tonight at Griffithston Farm Camp Site outside Saundersfoot, the area we are on is sloping, so I’ve borrowed two building blocks and Homer is levelled up on them.The walk into Saundersfoot is steeply down hill and it was a bit of a pull when we returned here late this afternoon.
We walked out of Saundersfoot, to Wisemans Bridge via three short tunnels through which the railways once travelled carrying coal from the local mines to Saundersfoot.
We felt obliged to support the local economy and so enjoyed a few beverages at the Wisemans Bridge Inn. Dutifully refreshed we walked back into Saundersfoot where we purchased fish and chips which we ate sitting by the side of the harbour. The seagulls attempted to join in and one cheeky one attacked Layla when she tried to chase it off.
As I mentioned earlier it was a steep walk uphill on the way back, not helped by full stomachs🙂
Our first stop of the day was at Pembroke, this is a pleasant walled town dating back over 900 years and is famous for its Norman Castle. Pembroke Castle is one of the most complete Norman Castles in the UK and was the birthplace of Henry V11 founder of the Tudor dynasty.
The town like many other high streets looks like it needs a little love and care but it appears there are plans afoot to make improvements in the near future. From Pembroke we drove the short distance to Buckspool Farm campsite near Bosherton. This is a traditional old campsite,a huge field, pitch where you like, facilities were minimal but it had a honesty shop for basics and a honesty box to put your pitch fees in. There was a large variety of vans and tents and the tent opposite us had a wood burner inside with a chimney out of the roof.
After lunch we walked through the fields and across the dunes to the absolutely gorgeous beach at Broad Haven South, a place you could easily spend all day.
From here we walked around all three ponds at Bosherston two of which at the correct time of year are covered in beautiful water lillies. The lakes are man made and are fed by springs from a natural underground reservoir. You can cross the ponds on narrow footbridges and at the head of one pond is an eight arch bridge.
Tonight we are staying on the outskirts of St Davids at Glan y Mor campsite.
We walked into town after lunch and headed for the cathedral, Michelle, Alison and Peter went inside, whilst Layla and I sat on a wall and watched the world go by, when the others exited they commented they were impressed by the interior.
Next to the cathedral are the ruins of the Bishops Palace which unfortunately we weren’t able to go into. At the moment there is limited access.
After a walk around the town which didn’t take long as it’s quite small we headed back to the van where we sat outside and read in the sunshine. After our evening meal we walked down the lane to the coast where there was a tiny bay and the Pembrokeshire coast path wending it’s way along the cliff tops.
Tonight we are staying in Cenarth after a busy and enjoyable day, there is no WiFi or telephone connection here so this post will be delayed.
Our first stop of the day was Abaraeron, a town with a long history as a fishing port, in 1805 plans were laid out to construct a harbour at the mouth of the Aeron River. This led to the town being developed and it now has the air of a charming Georgian Town, many of the houses are painted in bright colours. For a period of time it was a thriving boat building centre.
From here we drove the short distance to New Quay, a picturesque seaside town with sandy beaches and a sheltered harbour, there are various references around town to the fact that Dylan Thomas lived there during 1944/5. New Quay has a special place in my memories as a place that for many years was part of my social life even though it was 120 miles from home.
We found a large car park at the top of the town with a dedicated parking area for motorhomes, you can even stay overnight for a fee.
Our stopover for the night was at Cenarth, by the side of the River Teifi a few metres from this bridge.
Cenarth is on the border of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, the focus of the village is Cenarth Falls, a series of small waterfalls and pools on the River Teifi with a well known salmon leap. There are two good pubs in the village, an ancient water mill and a coracle museum. The bridge over the river was built in 1788 with a series of peculiar circular holes which were designed to reduce the weight of the span of the bridge whilst maintaining its strength.
When I took Layla for a walk around the campsite this morning I came across a tree with signs attached to it, related to floods, they show that at least half of the site would be under water when the river floods.
Today Homer has brought us through the Welsh mountains to Aberystwyth.
The journey was 110 miles, a slow but steady plod, we were held up at times by slow travelling motorhomers. We are staying tonight at Aberystwyth Rugby Football Club for the hearty sum of £10 per night.
Fellow motorhome buddies Alison and Peter arrived just after 3 pm and after a quick cuppa and catch up on news we walked the short distance into Aberystwyth .
We headed straight for the sea front and walked along the promenade to the base of Constitution Hill which rises to a height of 97m above the town, at the top there is a cafe, a two lane bowling alley and a camera obscura.
This afternoon the temperature reached 27 degrees and as a result we chickened out of walking up Constitution Hill and instead caught the cliff railway.
The cliff railway has 778ft of undulating track and is reputed to be the longest of its type in the UK. We paid for a return ticket each and travelled at 4mph to its summit, the views on the way up were superb and once at the top looking in the other direction you could see the Lyn Peninsular, Bardsey Island and Mount Snowden.
When we returned to the bottom we walked back along the promenade past the pier and the original university buildings to the grounds of the ruined castle which gave good views along the coast to the south.
After an evening meal the weather was pleasant enough for us all to sit outside until it got dark.
The weather today has been warm and sunny all day, a pleasant change.
This morning we took a public footpath across fields adjacent to the river to Bidford-on-avon, our round trip including a walk around this small town was about three miles.
The footpath brought us out at the end of the ancient pack horse bridge into Bidford, thankfully the traffic across the bridge is controlled by lights so you can walk speedily into one of the safety spots.
Prior to the construction of the medieval bridge there were three fords across the river, one of which was “ Byda’s Ford”. The town was on an important military route for the Romans and linked to the Fosse Way to the South.
The bridge was built by local monks in the 15th century and has undergone many repairs, during the English Civil War King Charles 1 had the bridge demolished to cover his retreat from Worcester, it wasn’t rebuilt until 1650.
The town has a few shops, cafe and pubs with a small co-op on the outskirts of town, enough for day trippers but I would imagine locals need to travel further afield to do large shopping. There are lots of moorings both private and for passing boats so I would imagine there is a steady trade from these travellers.
We spent the afternoon in relaxation mode and again enjoyed a drink, this time outside the pub, all in aid of chilling out of course.
Homer’s restless wheels have today carried us to a tiny village of Barton outside Bidford-on-Avon, all of 37 miles from home.
Before setting off today we visited our local LPG filling station, the last time we topped up the gas tank was in November last year. It cost a huge £6.16 to fill up, 45p a litre and we took on 13.7 litres, that will keep us going until next year.
This site is to the rear of a pub in a very old building, is has a new modern toilet and shower block adjacent to the pub for camp site use.
The purpose of this trip is to have a little chill out session, we have both been very busy lately and the bones are creaking so time for a rest. It only takes minutes to set up, out came the chairs and books and I began to relax. It takes Michelle longer to switch off so she took Layla for a walk through the adjacent field which leads down to the River Avon.
Michelle’s circular walk took her past the pub and upon her return she decided we should have a drink to help with the relaxation process, off she trotted and returned with a beer and cider.
The medicine seemed to work and we began the slowing down process. After our evening meal we took Layla for a walk and explored the little local village, as we walked along we were surprised by the fruit in the hedgerows, big fat blackberries( ours have finished at home) plums, damsons and apples were all in abundance.
Today with Peter and Alison we spent 5 hours wandering around Shrewsbury a medieval market town in Shropshire close to the Welsh border. The town has over 600 listed buildings including a Castle and Abbey, it is known as the birthplace of Charles Darwin.
There is a large park “Quarry Park” adjacent to the River Severn where you can go on a river trip or hire canoes. We followed the walk along the river from English Bridge all the way back to the campsite.
The town has a good selection of shops from well known high street stores to smaller individual shops, we investigated a few but as is current at the moment having to wear a mask all the time is a little restrictive, I find it especially annoying as my glasses steam up. We had lunch outside underneath the market hall building served by staff wearing face visors.
Apart from the annoyance of the acorns on the roof (unfortunately we couldn’t move pitches) we had a good weekend. The site feels a little run down but much of this is due to huge floods earlier in the year but it is evident work is going on to get back to normal, with its close proximity to Shrewsbury we would certainly use the site again.
It is extremely windy today, we took a route here that avoided dual carriageways and exposed motorways even then we were thrown around by the wind. We had pre-booked a hardstanding pitch with electric hook up and where we are is fine except we are underneath several mature oak trees and we have been peppered with acorns since we pitched up.
Alison and Peter arrived within 5 minutes of ourselves and took the pitch next to us fortunately for them they aren’t under the oak trees.
This site is huge and there are a large number of tents, caravans and motorhomes pitched up but because of its huge size no one is on top of anyone else. The site is bordered by the River Severn and is a 15 minute walk from the centre of Shrewsbury. We have chilled out since arrival and apart from taking Layla for two long walks around the site we have done very little else.
Since we got back from our recent trip to Wales where we had problems, we have purchased two new leisure batteries which I have wired up in parallel and all being well this will give us increased capacity to stay at places without the need for electric hookup.
During the course of the evening the wind has died down and all being well we will have a quiet night.