Coity Castle

On one of those muddled, hazy days between Christmas and New Year – when you’ve forgotten your own name let alone what day it is – Sunny dragged me from my preferred spot on the sofa snoozing off Christmas to take me Coity Castle.

It’s a strange place; perched on the side of a hill in one of the suburbs of Bridgend, it’s surrounded by houses and so the crumbling battlements and towers stick out like a sore thumb. Honestly, I had no idea the place even existed – and since my medieval history is a bit pants I had no idea what I was looking at until I got home and fired up Google.  Originally built during the Norman Conquest of Wales by Sir Payn “the Demon” de Turberville – one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan – the castle was actually still standing all the way up until the 17th century when it was finally abandoned.  (I’m sure once my Dad’s read this he’ll give me a whole essay full of Welsh History to add, but those are the bare bones of the story anyway)

You can walk across the old moat and around the ruins, peer through archways and start up stone staircases that lead to nowhere.  This time of year it’s eerily quiet except for the odd crow call – perfect for a spooky winter stroll.  🙂









I feel like I need to make a trip to all the other castles of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan now – you know, complete the set! 

Boxing Day Walkies

I had originally been planning to velcro myself to the sofa on Boxing Day with a tub of roses balancing on my food baby, but after spending Christmas Day with my head in the oven stressing over turkey that I needed to get out!  It was frosty but fine, so we rounded up the troops and went for our usual walk from Jackson Bay to Barry Island beach.  It’s a favourite ours for spotting cute dogs and on Boxing Day there were plenty – it seemed like everyone was out for walkies!

For breakfast I mashed together all the left over Christmas veg, mixed it with fried bacon and onion and made Bubble and Squeak.  Kind of like a massive hash brown. 🙂




We skimmed stones in Jackson Bay and then walked over the cliffs to Whitmore Bay.  There were so many dogs out walking the beach – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many in one place before!  They were all so excited to be out making friends and skittering across the sand chasing each other into the waves that they completely ignored us humans.  It was so much fun watching them race around 🙂


Had a cwtch with this little guy 🙂



Then we came home and ate the ham I’d prepared before we left – yum!

Christmas Shopping in Cowbridge

Just a few snaps from my trip to Cowbridge Christmas Shopping last week.  It’s looking a little like something out of A Christmas Carol right now with all the old buildings bathed in winter sunshine and the doorways decked out with festive evergreen garlands.  All that’s missing is the snow… but I’m not holding my breath for that!  🙂



I stopped in at No.39 and as usual wanted to buy EVERYTHING.  Top of the list were the Paddywax Library Candles – particularly the Mark Twain tobacco scented one, and the Charles Dickens one for Christmas 🙂


We stopped in at The Penny Farthing for tea; it’s always so cosy in there.

Christmas is creeping closer!  We’ll be slogging around in our Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve before we know it, and then it’ll all be over again for another year.  Sob sob.

Bat Walk

A couple of weeks ago we went for a late walk and saw bats.  Back when we lived in London we used to see them whizzing around at dusk down by the river – they’re really easy to confuse with a small bird and the first time that Sunny saw one he thought it was a demented sparrow 🙂  They’re far more common than you might think!




Nana-nana-nana-nana…!  I can’t take credit for the bat-snaps.  After ten minutes of trying to capture one flitting around overhead (they’re so fast!) I shoved the camera at Sunny and went off in a strop.  He had far more luck (and patience!) than I had! 🙂

If you’re in Cardiff and you’d like to go and see bats but you’re not sure where to look, St Fagans are actually running Bat Walks throughout August, and I’ve been told they’re really good 🙂

Tresilian Bay

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk along the clifftops to Tresilian Bay.  The last time I went down there the path was far too muddy to walk along, even in wellies, but has since baked thanks to all the lovely non-Welsh weather we’ve been having. 🙂  I parked up at Llantwit Major beach and climbed the steps to the clifftop path.  It was hazy, but warm.

The clifftops were covered in pretty clumps of pink Sea Thrift and yellow Gorse…




Eventually the path drops down to Tresilian Bay – famous for its beautiful white house, World War Two outposts, and Colyn Dolphyn’s Cave.



If the weather carries on behaving I’m planning on going back for a sunset barbecue 🙂