When I lived in London, I lived in a flat overlooking the Thames near Dartford Bridge (believe me, not as glamorous as it sounds – although it did mean that when I sang along to London Calling by the Clash I could actually mean the words “I live by the river!” Which I thought was stupidly cool). Anyway,even though I loved watching the ships going up and down the Thames while I was doing the washing up, in winter – when the London fog arrived – it was a pain. We’d be woken up in the middle of the night by the fog horn warning ships off the mud. A sporadic – but annoyingly predictable – double honk every thirty seconds or so.
Anyway, when we went for a walk along the cliffs at Nash Point and came face to face with the fog horn it brought all those memories back. Lucky for everyone sleeping nearby (the cottages around the lighthouse are available to rent), the fog horn isn’t in use anymore – and only sounds for tourists on the first Saturday and third Sunday of every month. The Lighthouse itself at Trwyn yr As – or Nash Point – was actually the last manned lighthouse in Wales, but is still used to warn ships away from Nash Sands.
It’s a lovely place for a cup of coffee (there’s a small cafe opposite the car park) and a short walk over the cliffs, or – if you’re up for it – a long walk to Llantwit Major along the coast. 🙂
Henrhyd Falls is the highest waterfall in the south of the UK apparently – who knew – and in English means Waterfall of the Old Ford. It’s not far from Dan yr Ogof caves, so if you happen to be in that neck of the woods (quite literally in this case!), it’s definitely worth checking out. Wear some wellies (or shoes with grip – the stones can be slippery) and don’t bother curling your hair like I did; the spray will undo all your hard work even if you’re standing way back!
Otherwise known as the A4069, this road runs from Llangadog to Brynamman over Black Mountain; the western portion of the Brecon Beacons. It’s a high, winding road where sheep run wild and winds are strong. It’s a great driving road, as long as you’re not afraid of the drop! 🙂
The Red Kite is Wales’ favourite bird. Every Easter when we travel up to Talley keeping an eye out for their forked tails and rusty plumage circling over the fields is something we always do. Apparently they used to steal clothes from washing lines to make their nests, referenced by Shakespeare in King Lear; “When the Kite builds, look to your lesser linen”. They had a tough time surviving in most of the UK, but in Wales they reign supreme 🙂
Anyway, up in the fields near Llanddeusant there’s a Red Kite Feeding Centre where every day at 3pm (in summer, 2pm in winter) you can watch them eat. It only costs £4 for adults (£2 for kids) and is worth every penny, even if you’re not much of a bird watcher!
If you’re up in the Brecon Beacons, or around Llandeilo or Sennybridge then it’s absolutely worth taking a detour to visit the Feeding Station.
At the end of a narrow country road that could easily compete with Alton Towers for twists, turns and sudden dips, is a quiet village that I visit once a year when the hedges are full of Daffs and the fields are full of lambs. In my last post I mentioned that it’s traditional in Wales to visit the graves of lost loved ones in the days preceding Palm Sunday and lay flowers. Of course there’s an underlying religious point to it, but growing up it felt more like a huge adventure (and still does); a family quest into the Wilds of Wales (*ahem* Camarthenshire) to find the graves of great grandparents, discover lost houses and crumbling mansions hidden deep within the forest and to stumble around ruins in wellies. As a kid, I looked forward to it all year. With my Mamgu at the helm (in spirit – she couldn’t drive), three generations of us would travel in convoy to the countryside where she was born and where my grandfather is buried.
We still head up there every year – dwindled in numbers. Now that Mamgu’s gone, it’s a trip to visit her too.