I intended to write a post last week about the process involved in planning and executing my latest project. But the truth is, I was feeling fairly burned out and needed a respite. Sitting on a warm and sunny beach somewhere while reading books and drinking cocktails sounded pretty nice, but that would involve getting on a plane during the crowded and covid-impacted Easter holiday, which we were determined to avoid. So instead, we drove to Wales for some respite and a change of scenery. I actually managed to leave my laptop at home, and not once did I look at either my email or the news.
Above is a photo of Doug, standing in the front garden of our B&B (this was a return visit to The Royston) at around 8 in the evening as dusk is starting to fall. It is a very lovely and peaceful spot. You can’t see it in the photo, but just to the left of where Doug is standing, are two chairs around a fire pit, where you can sit and enjoy this view. That is where I spent the next afternoon, doing a bit of knitting in the sun.
I hesitate to admit that this is the only time I did any knitting on the entire trip. I also read only one book. Mostly we walked, admired beautiful scenery, breathed deep, and slept 10 hours a night. We went on some great walks. This one was in Snowdownia National Park, near Dolgellau:
It was so lush and green, and peaceful. We walked for hours without passing anyone.
The trail ran along the sides of a ravine, with a river below. The only sound you could hear was that of the river rushing.
We had a lovely adventure when the GPS in the car told us to take a short cut to the seashore, which involved driving through an abandoned slate mine and then on a long track which progressed through a multitude of livestock gates, through country like this:
The lambs did not understand right-of-way:
The seashore was a bit cold and grey but you could walk for miles along the coastal path.
Here is a great stretch of nearly empty beach:
This little steam train ran along the beach, on the other side of the dunes:
We really got a kick out of this brightly painted cinema in the town of Tywyn:
Which is also where Doug grabbed this funny shot:
We spent 4 days up in that part of Wales, near Snowdownia, and then drove to Hay-on-Wye where we stayed for another few days. I had always wanted to visit Hay, which is a spot for book lovers; the town hosts a world famous yearly literary festival, and is home to 38 used book stores. Hay turned out to be a bit too touristy for me (perhaps because it was Easter weekend). It had some funky shops, like this one:
We spent an afternoon wandering through a few of the many book shops. We particularly liked the poetry book shop, where we bought some lovely old and quirky volumes of poetry, and in another shop bought two classic cookbooks from 1961 (the year I was born) and a few books on food writing. We had a fantastic dinner in Hay, at Chapters. If you plan to visit Hay and want to eat there, book well in advance!
We were quite happy that we had not booked a place to stay in the town, instead opting for nearby Glasbury. We spent a fantastic day walking at the National Trust property Begwyns. The website says: “It is possible to see almost the entire Brecon Beacons National Park from the Roundabout, hence all of the views none of the climb.” They are certainly right about the views, which are spectacular, but being not so fit, Doug and I felt that they weren’t entirely honest about there not being a climb.
The Roundabout is a circular, walled piece of forest, at the top of a wide sweep of mostly empty land with views in every direction. You can see it above, and here is a shot from closer up:
In the photo below, I am sitting on a bench in the Roundabout, looking out at one section of the view. You can walk around the walled fence and as far as you can see in every direction are beautiful, rolling hills.
It’s hard to capture an image of the sense of space out there. The sky feels very big and makes you feel very small.
I love the shot below, which has Doug on the left, and a lone tree on the right:
What a beautiful place to take your horse for a ride!
We are now back home and I can’t help but notice that home looks…..well, not unlike Wales! I took the below photo this morning just a few miles from my home:
Hee hee! We could have saved some money by staying home, but then that pesky laptop would have been calling to me, and I would have undoubtedly succumbed to answering emails. Today, the bluebells are at their absolute best, and this part of the world is gorgeous and covered in blankets of the purple wildflowers. Those of you who are long-term readers of this blog may be thinking “Oh no, not more bluebell photos!”, but I couldn’t resist. Besides I am fairly sure that I didn’t post any for the last two years.
These were taken on our walk this morning.
Individually, they are such dainty little flowers, but once they congregate, they become fairly majestic.
I had originally called this post “Wales, walks, wool, wildflowers” and I was going to show you a bunch of wool and knitting photos. But instead, I think I will save those for another time.
Best wishes for a peaceful Sunday.
I love the bluebells. Thanks for including them!
Lovely! Very calming. So glad you were able to get away for some R & R. Karen
gorgeous, how can you ever have too many bluebell photos? glad you got away!
Sigh . . . that’s exactly the sort of quiet get-away I would love.
Thank you, I nearly felt as though I was there. I’m sure my blood pressure went down while I was reading and looking at the beautiful photos. And the blue bell bells ARE magnificen. Thank you
Looks like a lovely getaway! Good for you taking the downtime to relax 🙂 And I LOVE the bluebell photos!
I spy a Minion!! 😍. I grew up on the Wirral so North Wales is pretty familiar and it was lovely seeing your photos. The place you stayed at reminded me of a place in Wales my family stayed in for my mum’s 60th (20 years ago). It wasn’t as lovely and warm inside as that looks but the outside and grounds look very familiar so perhaps it was the same place. It’s too early for bluebells here, we just have the leaves coming so it’s nice to see yours and know ours won’t be too long to follow. It’s good to truly relax and not even need to read or knit…just be present and take a breath.
Looks like such a wonderful holiday! And you can’t ever take too many shots of bluebells!