Henrhyd Falls

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!

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Black Mountain Pass

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! 🙂


“Mountain hair, don’t care.”  I actually don’t mind the windswept look, gives me an excuse for my usually messy hair 😉

“Baa, Ram, Ewe!  Baa, Ram, Ewe!  To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true!  Sheep be true!  Baa, Ram, Ewe!”


The Red Kite Feeding Centre

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!

We took our cameras and went into the hide on the edge of the field and patiently waited in silence with our eyes to the skies…


Then at exactly 3pm they appeared, just as a full bucket of meat and scraps was flung out into the field.  I expected to see a couple maybe, but there were probably at least a hundred circling and swooping!  And once the meat was down it turned into a feeding frenzy!







After about twenty minutes, most of the Kites flew off and so did the other people in the hides with us.  But thanks to a tip off, we stuck around for a little while longer on our own.  The Kites wait for everyone to leave and then they come back for more, and actually come down to land on the field.
So I handed the camera to Sunny, settled down for a cwtch with my new friend and watched the encore.
As well as the Kites we saw a couple of Swallows darting in and out of the hides…

…and it was only when we looked up that we noticed the nest above our heads!




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.

Land of my Mothers

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.

Talley is one of my favourite places (and Edwinsford down the road – I’m desperate to get in there, but that’s another story). It’s a tiny village on the edge of the forest and a large lake and it’s perhaps one of the most peaceful places I know.





Next door to the church (and opposite an ancient yellow cottage where Henry VII is said to have stopped off at on his way to Bosworth Field) are the ruins of an old Abbey with towering arches and stone staircases leading nowhere.



Hey!


Its probably one of the best places to look for Red Kites – which can be seen circling in the sky over fields.

Llandeilo

Driving along winding roads past far-off fields full of sheep, overtaking tractors and travelling through quiet Welsh villages full of pastel-coloured terraced houses, car conversation always seems to steer in the  same direction and to the same question. “Could you live in the middle of nowhere? Isolated, like this?”

Before London I’d have scoffed and said no way. After London? You know what? Yeah. I think I could. Especially if it was a little pink house with sash windows on the edge of Llandeilo. 🙂

In Wales it’s traditional to take flowers to the graves of lost family members before Palm Sunday (more on that later). For us it means a bit of a trek all the way from Cardiff to the “wilds of Wales” (read: Camarthenshire) so we always stop somewhere along the way to stretch our legs a bit and break for a cup of tea.

With sleepy streets full of pastel-coloured homes, boutiques, antique shops and cafes, Llandeilo’s changed a lot since the last time I visited – many, many, many moons ago! But it’s still typically Welsh 🙂

We stopped in The Cawdor Hotel for tea and Welsh Cakes…