We are out on our second trip of 2021 striking out west into Wales, from where we’ll head north into territory I may not [or may have] been before. I say this because I know my family had camping trips to Wales when I was a child but my memory is hazy on which locations. I do recall that some kind of precipitation featured regularly on these trips though and it’s likely to be no different this time round.
We’ve spent two nights on the driveway of a family member [that is to say, in our van- not sleeping rough on the gravel!] then we travel west up through Herefordshire and into Wales, stoppping at Abergavenny for our first cafe meal indoors since last year, which feels momentous and is a novelty, even though the weather is warm and sunny and the cafe has cute outside booths for diners.
The little town is pretty and its long, main street is traffic free. Having lunched and wandered in and out of a few shops we return to the van to press on towards our first stop, a two-night stay at Rhayader, by the River Wye. We’ve followed the Wye path for miles and now we are parked up in a site next to it, a footpath adjoining to take us into the town. Rhayader is a simple, unpretentious place but has an abundance of pubs, which means a great deal to Husband, whose interests include the pursuit of beer.
Next day dawns wet and looks likely to stay that way but after lunch it’s dry and we stride out on a walking route towards the River Elan which meanders up and over sheep populated hills and through corridors of bluebells before leadi ng back into Rhayader. We’ve booked a table to eat at a pub in town, choosing lamb, of course!
We leave Rhayader and continue to travel north on a route through the Cambrian mountains, rugged and spectacular, a beautiful journey and in bright sunshine. We finish at Porthmadog and take a quick look before going to our site half a mile outside the town. A small steam train journey from Porthmadog can take us into the Snowdonia National Park so we buy some tickets for 2 days time then drive along to Tyddyn Llyn site, which is bathed in sunshine and has its own mountain view.
There’s more than enough time after setting up, to find the wooded footpath that leads back into Porthmadog, for a closer inspection of the place and to sit in the sunny courtyard of The Red Lion pub with a late afternoon beer. Then it’s back to our site to make dinner- and to discover that we are to be fleeced 50 pence for the privelege of using their showers, on top of our site fee! Scandalous! We shower in the van.
Next morning we wake to a relentless downpour…
Grace is also known as the novelist, Jane Deans. Her new novel, The Conways at Earthsend is now out and available from Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, W H Smith, Pegasus Publishing and many more sites. Visit my author page on Facebook: (1) Jane Deans, Novellist, Short Fiction and Blog | Facebook
We stayed in a pub in Porthmadog for our November holiday and had dinners there or at the station. Everything else was closed as you might expect in November, but it was fun.
We had a beer at one pub [The Red Lion] in a side street, but other than a place on the main street there didn’t seem to be many hostleries! The station cafe’s coffee was not great, but it looked to have a nice bar [when open!]
My main memory of our first meal at the station cafe was orange walls and a large family all talking Welsh, how clever, even the children speak Welsh!
Yes, it’s spoken a lot here in N Wales. I can say ‘slow river’ in Welsh, although it isn’t exactly a useful phrase-
We visited Abergavenny and Monmouth for the first time in September whilst staying at a hotel in Ross-on-Wye, a pity it was wet for you but enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. Marion
Thank you for your visit, Marion! We are continuing our travels, rain or not!