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! 

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.

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 🙂

Cefn Onn Park

Walking up past the pond to the big field (…not as big as I remember…) at the top of Cefn Onn Park is something every North Cardiff kid does at some point.  Despite being penned in by the train line and the M4, the only sounds you’ll hear are bird chatter and kids voices echoing from somewhere between the trees (…and then the yell of some poor mother who’s little darling has only gone and bloody fallen in the stream and soaked themselves, even after she warned them about ten times… :-)).

It was looking and feeling very spring-like there last week.  A few sleepy-head Daffs and enough bright pink Camelia peeping to make me want to chuck all my winter jumpers to the back of the cupboard and dig out the sunglasses and summer dresses!  But as the old saying goes, “Don’t cast a clout ’til May is out” – or maybe June…  This is Wales after all…!