12 Week England 2015

July 26 to August 01

Vacation week was very busy and relaxing.  Alot of hiking was had as well as a few rainy mornings…

Sunday – We had a lazy morning after the few beers and long day of driving the day before.  The weather was alittle damp so we thought we would drive around and get our bearings for the week ahead.

Our travels took us up the road from where we are staying down along the Gwn Gwaun Valley.  This valley road was very narrow at places with some beautiful areas with the green tree cover roads. Once we got to Fishguard we decided to head down to Tenby and see what we could see.  We headed for Haverfordwest and Pembroke to Pembroke Castle.  There was a toll bridge along the way to Pembroke – what a view.   We found the Pembroke Castle and decided to check it out even though the rain started to come down.

Andy and I walked into the castle and were separtated as he went one way and I went another to check out the castle.  Eventually we found each other, grabbed a couple hot beverages and found  a cozy place to site in the castle.  This castle was very cool as you could truly see what the castle was like in the Centuries long ago.  This is also where Henry VIII was born, where Tudor was born.  The castle was very big and daunting.  After our time at the Castle and my little shop in the gift store we head on to Tenby.  Driving the roads of Pembrokeshire we came across rain and more narrow roads.  Along our travel passed through Freshwater West (in the middle of a military base where they use the area as a firing range for tanks), Bosherston, St. Govan’s Head – where we saw a 12C church made out of rock on the cliffs by the ocean, Tenby and then back to Newport(home for the week).  There was alot of driving so we ended the day with an order of fish and chips from Moby Dick’s take away.  Was a good day for touring Wales.

Monday – Another lazy morning in Newport at cottage Blaenpant. Today was a walk around Newport Beach.  The day was another cloudy temperate one but a good day for a long hike.  We drove into Newport and parked at Parrog – by the Fishing Club to plan out a route and see where our feet will take us.  The path we headed out on was a well walked one on the way to the beach along the bay and through a golf course.  Once we got to the beach we found a cozy little sport to sit and listen to the waves.  A little walk down the beach made us realize that we had to walk all the way back from where we can to get back to the car.. thought the walk was going to be an easy one..but it turned out I was wrong.  The sand was very damp and hard packed with areas of uneveniness.  This made for not a happy back but we trudged on with thoughts of a warm bath when we got back to the cottage.     With a hot bath and a rest snooze Andy and I got ready to wander down to the pub for some well earned beers.. This was also the second night that the 20 min walk back to the cottage from town got easier..

Tuesday – Another hiking day 🙂  We decided to have any early start today.  In setting our course for today’s venture we had a little detour to Blynearth.  This was a little cove where a pub called The Sailor sat.  As the pub was not opened we took our first venture of the day… ‘up the hill’lol.

The hiked Dinas Cross which took about an hour with some awesome views to a little Welsh town called Cwn – yr – Eglwys (Valley of the Church).  This little seaside town had its own little private sandy beach with the a stone steeple with bell of a 12C church.  There was a bench near the steeple to sit and take it all in..

A 15 min walk got us back to where we parked.  Was a very good walk and the scenery was awesome.

Porthgain was the next stop on our drive around Pembrokshire.  This was an old port that exported the shale from the hills.  There was a restaurant called The Shed which was listed as having the best fish and chips.  The wait was a little long so we decided to drive on.   Next on the route was Whitesands Beach where we stopped for a little chill and some snacks.



After our little hike and chill we started to head back to Newport.  Enroute we decided to head up to Stumble Head at Fishguard.  This is one of the areas of Wales where there is a  lighthouse (which does not function anymore).    To close the night off we headed for Chinese food but instead found fish and chips for tea.    Quiet night after a long day..

Wednesday – Today was a drive around Newport where we are staying.  There were two burial chambers, Carreg Coetar and Pentre Ifan.  These two sights are very surreal to see as they are connected with the people who constructed Stonehenge.  The stone from Preseli Hills were the stones that were used for Stonehenge which were in the same area as we were.    Staying on the road around Newport we came to Castell Henllys – an Iron Age Fort.  This Iron Age hillfort has been the subject of an ongoing excavation for more than twenty years, accompanied by an exercise inreconstruction archaelogy whereby experiments in prehistoric farming have been practised. Four roundhouses and a granary have been reconstructed on their original Iron Age foundations

As we still had daylight left we drove the rural roads of Wales and got to Ceibwr Bay.  There was a little hike to the bay and well worth the hike.

With a half hour chill at this bay we hiked back to the car to pick up our sandwiches for our hike by some trails close to our cottage.   Back at the house we changed and packed our backpacks for our sunset hike.  Once we got to the parking area there was alittle surprise… little ponies.. there were so many of them even a few little colts.


With the sandwiches eaten and the view admired we headed back to the cottage to clean up for a few well earned pints at the Castle Pub.

Thursday – A true vacation start to the day with alittle sleep in then off to Popitt Sands beach.  We did get to the beach before the rush and had a good place for parking and our choice of areas to chill.  The wind was cool so we searched for a sheltered area to enjoy the sound of the waves.  After sometime I headed to check out the water, to see if it was cool or warm.  The one thing that makes me go,  hmm , was the tide.  It is amazing how far the tide goes out.  I found the water warm and wished I had brought shorts to wait into the sea.  With a little wander along the beach I went to the coffee shop for coffees and some snacks.

The trip to this beach was quite enjoyable but it was time to head back to the cottage to get clean up – sand gets in the strangest places..lol.  After a little snooze we went for another hike up the mountain – maybe we will see the ponies again..   We did see the ponies and we found more rocks to climb and see another great sunset before a night out for beers.  The way to relax on vacation..

Friday – Well this was our last day before vacation was over.  It was an somewhat of an early morning, had breakie and headed out to St. David’s.  We took a look at St. David’s Cathedral, had a little wander around then grabbed a coffee before hitting the road again.  We headed to one of the many woolen mills in this area.  The Solva mill was the one we came across which made wool runner carpets for the stairs.  It was intersting to see that the mill still uses the old looms to make the carpets.

We did more of the country driving before we came upon Trefin and decided to see where the walking path took us.  It was to a grain mill outside the little village.  I had made some sandwiches so we chilled, ate lunch on the slate rocks and took in the sound of the waves.  We decided to hang out a little and did some wandering.  It was amazing to see what the waves can do to rock, making smooth surfaces and carving cool caves.  We found a spot on the rocks, sat down and took in the sun.  We also noticed how fast the tide was coming in and decided to sit and watch how long it took the tide to come up where we sat.. it took about an hour for the tide to cover the rocks where we once walked.. There was also a family doing some snorkeling which I found quite interesting.  What kind of life forms are in this cold Irish Sea??

After taking in the sea air it was time to head back, get some Chinese takeaway for tea and then pack for the drive back home.   Was a very interesting kind of day.  There is so much to see and hike in Pembrokeshire National Park.

Saturday – Was a not too early start.  We made sure the cottage was a tidy before we packed the car and gave the keys back to Mr. Davies.  Was a wonderful stay.  The day was overcast with some rain.  This was good driving weather but does not make for good viewing weather.. lol.  The clouds were low hanging so it made a for a little of a surreal drive as we came close to driving through them in some areas.

Andy chose a different route to head back via A470 to Portmeirion, Conwy and Chester.  The mountains here are not like the mountains in Canada but there is height to them nonetheless. After a couple hours drive we came to Portmeirion and what a sight it was.

Visit by car

It was an village that Clough Williams-Ellis built to show people that you can build and live in landscape.  The Medditerrain looking village give you a warm cozy feeling and makes you feel like you are not in Wales but somewhere else.  The UK series “The Prisoner was also filmed here.  This is a perfect place to film as series as the village does look like a film set.    Was nice walking around the village and having a little lunch before we headed for home.

Visit Portmeirion

We arrived home about 5pm and had a quiet evening and winding down from a wonderful vacation to Wales. 🙂

This was a wonderful trip to see the Pembrokeshire National Park in south Wales.  There is so much history in such a little area.  I can’t imagine what other beauty we would of seen if we stayed longer and head farther down the coast.  Even a quick trip to Ireland as it was so close ( 90 miles) from Fishguard.


Hope all are well.. Stay cool…

Big Hugs with Love …xx



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