Day Trips and Short Breaks

August, September, November 2020

The cancellation of all Viking Sailings during 2020 in the middle of August finally put paid to our existing travel plans. That, coupled with the uncertainty of travel, domestic and foreign, caused us to plan less and instead make “spur of the moment” decisions to visit places, either as a day-trip or a few away-days in self-contained accommodation. 

28 July 2020 - Builth Wells/Llangadog

A familiar route through the Brecon Beacons to a favourite spot just outside Builth Wells (Erwood Station) in Powys. The Arts & Crafts gallery was closed.

So on to Builth for a walk along the rivers Wye & Irfon and then along a route never before used to Pembrokeshire and the Black Mountain. Amazing, spectacular scenery.

3 August 2020 - Carew Pembrokeshire.

This time we traveled to Pembrokeshire and the Tenby area to Carew. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Carew and her birth was registered in Tenby. Who knows? 

We’ve never been there (it’s a mere speck on a map) and so we were surprised to find the tiniest of villages and a massive “castle” (Elizabethan Manor House?). Also there was a tidal mill - we never knew such things existed.

A really lovely place to stop, walk along the river and around the estuary. No evidence, however, of personal claims to Baronial fortunes. Can’t win ‘em all.

14 August 2020 - Penuwch & Aberaeron, Ceredigion

Our son and his wife rented a cottage just outside Penuwch for a summer break. Covid-safe, it’s miles from nowhere - there didn’t even seem to be any sheep!

It’s a lovely little place. One of two cottages adjoining the owner’s property, which is a carp-fishing lake. So very quiet and peaceful.

We also travelled to Aberaeron for a stroll around. We’ve never been there and should have. It’s a lovely place. Fish & chips sitting on a bench by the harbour, followed after a stroll by honey-sweetened ice-cream.

The journey there and back… Best not spoken of because of West Wales’ so-called roads. Our time there… One of our best ever Days’ Out.

30 August 2020 - Chepstow, Raglan & Abergavenny…

… and an impromptu tour of the Forest of Dean. We’d planned to stop in the Forest of Dean for our picnic lunch; we tried for several picnic spots via map or satnav, but either we couldn’t find the location or it was crowded beyond belief. Teach us to venture into England!!!

As it turned out we visited 3 Welsh castles. We didn’t even know Abergavenny had one! None were “open”. You had to pre-book to gain admission.

Chepstow was holding a lovely street market - good to see attempts to get back to normal. Also, strolling around (we’ve rarely stopped there) it was a lot more interesting than expected.

Raglan Castle had a massive grassy car park, perfect for a picnic. Lots of other people had the same idea, but there was plenty of space for everyone.

We went to Abergavenny as we knew it had a nice town centre and discovered a Castle! 

7-9 September 2020 - Madeley, Shropshire

Our first attempt at a few days away, based in an AirBnB in Telford. We’ve booked a “private” rental, the entire place to ourselves. It looks brilliant value on paper - we’ll find out when we arrive.

The location is very good. Close to the Ironbridge, Shrewsbury and lots of scenic woods & hills. The weather forecast’s changing by the hour… that’s why we have several umbrellas!.

Three day trips in one! 

22 September 2020 - Goytre Wharf

Situated around 30 miles from home, on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, the wharf is a terminal for canal barge holiday hire. Lots of barges are “parked up”, partly because of the date and partly because of the pandemic. They’re quite a pretty sight.

Once the wharf was a vital component of the Welsh coal and iron industry and part of the Blaenavon Iron Works, some of the original brickwork is still visible.

We spent a great few hours walking the canal tow path and enjoying a picnic.

26 November 2020 - Craig-y-Nos (Brecon Beacons)

It’s been ages since either the weather’s been good enough or there haven’t been any restrictions, but today the sun came out so we grabbed the opportunity, packed a picnic and warm clothes for a change of scene.

Craig-y-Nos was the home of Adelina Patti. She is the centre of a family legend that alleges that my Grandmother (Ellen Carew) was asked by Madame Patti to join her company, but my Great-grandmother didn’t think the stage appropriate for a young lady. Who knows? Family legends are famously unreliable!

Definitely a lovely, never before visited, location.