We had some very good weather, and the house we booked just close by the Church in Laugharne was a perfect place from where to explore this delightful corner of Wales. The Castle perched on a rock outcrop seems to hover over the estuary, with small boats sheltering in the shallow Coran Stream which winds its way into the Taf Estuary.
There are the most wonderful views from the battlements
In the late September the weather was fine and the skies streaked with wonderful clouds. Some days there were row upon row of vapour trails from planes crossing the Atlantic, which made me wonder just how much these affected weather and climate. Of course not all the cloud formations were vapour trails.
Within the Castle Walls is a fine 'knot garden' or rather garden of boxes....edged with box. The paths as I remember particularly by the ramparts by the estuary were made up of crushed cockle shells.
We also enjoyed sitting in the sheltered gazebo with fine views of the estuary.
Here by the 14th Century Church of St Martin's, for most of the week, we were entertained by all the comings and goings of the large vehicles which had taken over this little village, where the second series of Keeping Faith was being filmed.
Our neighbour Marjorie was a Key Holder for the Church, and we enjoyed our private little tour.
There is a beautiful path flanked on both sides by some admirable large unclipped yew trees. Of course here people on a Dylan Thomas themed visit would visit the graveyard where his resting place is marked by a white wooden cross.
The center of the Village is well worth while wandering around. The Town Hall, with its clock tower topped by a gilded Cockerel Weather Vane is a very fine 'Municipal Building'. There are many layers of history to be discovered in this small town. The Town Hall is important and Laugharne is one of the last medieval corporations, dating back to 1290 when it was granted a Royal Charter.
There are many other fine well maintained homes, such as Sea View House, one of the places lived in by Dylan and Caitlin Thomas.
Another of the houses where they lived was the Boat House. This one is open to the public. We didn't do a 'tour', but we enjoyed a delicious 'Welsh Tea', which is quite delicious, and sufficient to share between two, if you order an extra drink. We sat in the sunshine, on the back terrace, enjoying watching the effect of the incoming tide as the sea raced up little inlets in the estuary.
A walk along the Clifton Street and High Street which is the Main Road, is the way to admire the many fine large 'Residences', beautifully restored...one of my favourites being Ty Mawr. It looked as if no one was at home with the internal shutters closed. It is in fact a very beautiful house which is available to rent.
Just a short drive away, Pendine Sands and Cliffs at Dolwen Point were particularly interesting.
When we wanted to travel a little further afield, top of my requests was the National Wool Museum. Everything here was well set out, but I would have liked a little more information.
There were some beautiful old stockings, dated 1874 on these white lacy ones... probably knitted on a sock loom. If anyone knows more about these, please do leave a comment.
The following alone will make your visit to the Museum a must, that is if you are a Millionaire's Shortbread fan. The Cafe where all the baking takes place on the premises is a delight. Mr S says that the very best Millionaire's Shortcake that I have had is a 'figment' of my imagine. But I do protest, since I have yet to find anything to match the piece I had on Holy Island in Northumberland many many years ago. Even when we visited a second time, it was not up to scratch at all. I really ought to get round to baking a pan of this...maybe for my birthday. Chocolate doesn't agree with me, but I do make an exception for very very special occasions.
The ladies who make this confection assure me that they use real butter etc...and I just had to leave a note of thanks in the Visitor's Book.
Close by is Newcastle Emlyn Castle, and the walk along the serpentine river there are beautiful views not only of the castle but attractive countryside.
On my wish list was a visit to Colby Woodland Garden. They are delighful.....
The little rhyll tumbles down the slope on tiles. It is narrow and flanked each side by a ribbon of Astilbe Chinesis Pumila and Black mondo grass: Ohhiopogon planicapus, recognising them as they are two plants I have in the garden.
We had a walk along the leafy trails admiring some of the cyclamen, but didn't have the time to walk down to the shore, as our aim was to make for Tenby just a short way away.
We found the Tudor Merchant House interesting...admiring some of the reproduction furniture...of course this is what it would have looked like then.
This 'draining bowl, and fine woven willow spoon were beautifully made.
As always we can't resist looking at some of the commemoration plaques in churches. The one celebration the Mathematician Robert Recorde who invented the = sign. I had not realised that the equal sign as we know it today dates back to 1557!
Equally amazing, forgive the pun, is an encounter on the beach. Just as we were walking round Castle Beach and heading up to the steps, we heard someone call hello. An Architect whom Mr S had interviewed for a post, was on the beach with her delightful daughter, and husband. We spent a few minutes catching up with the holidaying family...and then continued on our way.
Another day we had a delightful drive to visit Newton House and Grounds. Not only is the house really interesting, but on a fine day we had a lovely walk along leafy paths. With well padded trainers I was walking the furthest I had since my serious foot trauma in Crete.
We decided to walk along the beautiful wooded paths up to Dinefwr Castle
With wonderful views over the surrounding Countryside, and only being accessible on foot, there were very few visitors. In the peace we heard a strange bird call, and then spent several minutes enthralled by a pair of Ravens flying around us. They were enjoying themselves calling to each other, these are very large birds with characteristic wedged shaped tails, totally mastered the air around the turrets.
The parkland has a deer herd, and I managed to get this picture of a deer, only metres from where we were walking along the path.
In an old stump: little fungi fruiting.
The Old Oak Tree plantation was very impressive.
On the homeward journey we popped into Tyntesfield...we shall be visiting again soon...in the meantime a reminder that it is Pumpkin time! Here is a display of fruits ripening in the sunshine...all grown in the walled garden.