When I was planning my UK tour I spent so many hours trying to work out the best route to take. I wanted to also include some heritage railways as well as some of the scenic routes that I have watched on TV. I love trains and so was very excited to be able to go on some amazing journeys on this trip.
Part of the reason why I chose to visit Tenby is that the trainline goes all the way along the coast. I did not have time to visit all of the places on the route, but did have a trip to Pembroke Castle, the place where Henry Tudor was born. I have visited many castles but few in South Wales and this was a wonderful one, it is so magnificent and really dominates the small town.
The interpretation in the castle was very good, and covered the history of the town as well as the Tudor connections. It has been restored to some extent, and there was a beautiful little herb garden that had been created to show what the original would have been like.
One of the very interesting exhibits was a piece of crewel work telling the story of one of the most famous of medieval knights, William Marshal, who was the first Earl of Pembroke. This was done in crewel work, in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry by Pamela Earl and six other embroiders from Sussex, and the piece took 4 years to stitch.
As well as the castle there are beautiful ponds around the side and beyond which were gorgeous so I spent some time talking to the swans and geese there before the return journey.
I left Tenby a couple of days later and took the train back to Carmarthen, passing the castle there. I then had a fabulous bus journey through the Welsh countryside to Aberystwyth. The Welsh railway network is a little limited in the west of the country but being on the bus was a great way to see some more of the countryside, and we passed through many very cute villages before going along the coast.
It was very hot in Aberystwyth, an unusual for the UK 29 degrees the first day. I had booked accommodation (with an all important laundrette!) for a couple of days, so I had a quiet first day on the beautiful beach reading a brilliant book, The Book of Lost Names. I have done so much reading since I finished work, which I love doing, and the day on the beach was a wonderful relaxing time.
The following day there was a little railway adventure on the cliff railway, which meant that I could have a walk along the Ceredigion Coastal path with stunning views over the Ceredigion Bay and over to the Llyn Peninsula, which is the part of Wales that sticks out into the sea just below Anglesey.
I then loaded up the bags again for a wonderful train ride from Aberystwyth to Fairbourne, along the Cambrian Coast Railway. The views around the Dovey Estuary were amazing and I passed another couple of castles as well on the route.
I will tell you about the last part of the tour a little later on as I had five more brilliant days at a campsite on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. I have already started planning my trip for next summer, fingers crossed I may have a camper van by then, as I am going to try and pass my driving test when I am back in the UK for 3 months from Jan. However I had so much fun with my little tent and mini camping kit this year, and it all worked so well, I will be just as happy to do another train and bus adventure. Everything I needed for 5 weeks away fitted into the two bags in the picture below, plus a small rucksack with my books, knitting and IT supplies, so it was a great test of what I could do by train.
We are off on a Spanish train adventure this week, we are going to the medieval walled town of Caceres, in Northern Spain, another trip inspired by travel vloggers, this time Spain Revealed. I am very excited to be doing this, we are going to stay in an apartment within the old part of the city so I will have a wonderful time looking at old buildings, cathedrals and museums! So many lovely things happening, and I am so lucky to be able to be doing all this, it really is a dream come true.
I have also been doing a little crafting, Ellen taught me to crochet while she was here and I have nearly finished my first project. I am also getting sorted with Christmas ornaments, not helped by the fact that I gave away all my Christmas fabric and most of the charms and beads. For some reason I didn’t think that I would be making ornaments here! I have managed to find some things here in the local shops and a very kind new friend from my sewing group took me to a craft market this week where I bought a bit of material. I will stock up on things when I am in the UK as I have the potential to get more storage here. It will never quite be the old craft room proportions but there will be room for a little more stash 😉
I hope that you are all well and happy too, and have a good week ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.