29 Jan Visiting Wales
I grew-up in Wales, my parents still live in the same house and when I speak to my siblings we always refer to it as ‘home’; even though we haven’t permanently lived there for years. Whenever I think of Wales or go back there it invokes happy childhood memories of having no responsibilities and playing football until dusk. All that changed when I moved to Bristol for University and then on to London to become a teacher. Although I haven’t lived in Wales since, I will always think of it as my childhood home and would recommend visiting.
There are many things to do in Wales; I’ve probably done most of them since meeting Amy as she would refuse to go unless I found her a castle or something else to visit (or unless we could find a dog to take with us!). We have many great walking/running/cycling routes nearby, with amazing views, so long as you don’t mind sometimes getting a bit wet or cold. Some of the beaches on the south and west coast like Tenby or New Quay are the best places to see in Wales; we have spent many a summer’s day jumping off the jetty, spotting dolphins and eating fish and chips. The problem is that Amy doesn’t see it quite the same way I do…
Amy’s view on Visiting Wales
When we first met, Amy somehow got the impression that my family back in Wales lived very much like the Celts used to. She liked the idea that I used to live in a deep valley cut-off from civilisation (the perfect place to hide out in the event of an apocalypse) and was very disappointed when she found that it only took 10 minutes to visit Carmarthen from ‘home’. What’s more, Amy prefers the hustle and bustle of city-life to the ‘slow’ pace of country living so she doesn’t just measure the distance from London to Wales in miles, but also in terms of way of life. Of course it doesn’t help that all she seems to see on her trips to Wales is rain – and lots of it. This really dampens (excuse the pun) her spirit and she isn’t quite so keen to get out and explore or even to cross the border at all. With all that said, here’s some of what we have seen in Wales:
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)Posted at 23:15h, 29 January
I have only visited Wales briefly, as in, for a few hours, while waiting to catch the ferry over to Ireland. These pictures make me seriously regret that, although I too am generally a big city girl. I hope one day I’ll get to rectify my oversight!
AndrewPosted at 08:56h, 30 January
It really is a beautiful place. It does seem to rain quite a bit but it still looks great! It’s also been snowing quite heavily recently and I wish I could have got some pictures of that.
AmyPosted at 09:54h, 30 January
If you love castles Wales is a great place to visit Steph. I’ve always been keen to do a castle tour there but we’ve just never had the time. I think because Andrew lived in Wales too he doesn’t consider going out to sight-see unless I make him!
ShanePosted at 08:57h, 30 January
We lived in Wales for three years when we returned from our RTW trip. My dad has since retired there. I used to enjoy standing on our battlement style wall watching the swans go up and down the river and, if there wasn’t any leaves on the trees, we could see the castle from our garden. We lived ten minutes from Camarthen too (in Kidwelly). While I, like Amy, do like big cities, I did like our time there and think of Wales fondly but not being able to drive did make life difficult at times. Whenever anyone visited with a car we would highjack them and make them take us to Tenby.
AmyPosted at 09:52h, 30 January
What a coincidence that you guys lived just down the road from where Andrew grew up! I often ask Andrew how he managed to survive growing up in Wales as you just can’t get anywhere without a car – I think he spent a lot of time in his village playing football! While it’s certainly a beautiful place, half the problem for me is that it’s so far from London and we have to fit visits into the short times I have off work, which means we don’t get time to do much – oh, and then it rains!
ShanePosted at 10:11h, 30 January
There was an awful lot of rain during our time in Wales but on our first day we went to a nearby beach. The sun was out and this beach was wide and gorgeous, rivalling anything we had seen in Australia, for instance. Of course, next day it rained.
AmyPosted at 11:25h, 30 January
AndrewPosted at 20:40h, 30 January
You have to remember that it wouldn’t look so good in Wales without the rain, keeps it looking ‘lush’! Was that Pembrey by any chance Shane?
AndrewPosted at 20:39h, 30 January
I don’t know anyone who has been to Wales who has nothing positive to say about it (apart from Amy:)). I like the big city too, but it’s always nice to get away from it all (sorry about the cliché).
AnnPosted at 11:59h, 30 January
What a lovely write up Andrew, it almost brought a tear to my eye. Wonderful photos too I’ve never seen Brechfa Forest look so good. As you know being local we don’t make the most of all the beautiful places to visit around us, and ther are plenty of them, visitors tend to see far more than we do. We made a determined effort to rectify this when we walked the whole of the Pembrokeshire costal path last year it was one way of seeing places we wouldn’t normally have seen and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys walking. We just need to finish off the Cardigan coastal path now, we are waiting for the ground to dry up a bit first, otherwise we’ll be losing our walking boots in all the mud. Amy it’s not just you that brings the rain whatever you may think, but it doesn’t always rain HONEST!
AmyPosted at 12:08h, 30 January
I believe you Ann! By the way you should definitely get your Carmarthen b&b up and running; you could even start up your own Welsh Walking Tours business!
AndrewPosted at 20:47h, 30 January
Thanks mum; took me hours and hours! (just kidding) I’ll have to get on and do some more. Maybe you could take a few pics of your coastal path walks. I’ve seen some of the views from there and they’re great!
AmyPosted at 21:17h, 30 January
Took hours for Andrew to write and hours for me to edit (just kidding)!
AndrewPosted at 21:19h, 30 January
BeastPosted at 22:10h, 30 January
Stunning photos andrew, makes me want to visit Wales! Lovely pictures of Brooke, especially the one of her looking over the wall- would make a good advert for the welsh tourist board.
AndrewPosted at 22:41h, 30 January
Thanks Beast – Brooke is a very photogenic dog! My parents have a big enough place for you to to stay in Wales, I’m sure you’d be welcome, dogs in tow!
JanPosted at 15:19h, 28 March
Thank you for your lovely blog. We are visiting Wales soon from the U.S. Any tips on getting around if we don’t want to rent a car? We’re antsy about driving on the left side of the road. Thank you again.
AmyPosted at 07:52h, 29 March
Hi Jan, car is the most convenient way to get around as it can be quite some distance from place to place. However, if you really don’t want to try driving on the wrong side of the road (I’m sure you’d get used to it though), there are pretty reliable train services throughout wales as long as you’re not planning to go to really remote places. Check out the National Rail website; it could also be worth looking at the bus services; National Express or MegaBus might work out cheaper than the train. Have a great time in Wales!