Showing posts with label wales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wales. Show all posts

A stay in a cottage in the Brecon Beacons

For the first time in years we had a family holiday! Mainly as I agreed not to insist on canvas so that my Dear Husband felt able to come with Dear Daughter and I to the Brecon Beacons in Wales, in October.

We rented a cottage from Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages, we have been using the company since before we were married! So probably about 25 years (is that really possible?) and this made us confident that we'd get what we paid for.We started using them because they have a really good selection of dog friendly places, and Wales is excellent for dog walks! (Bring flexi leads though - there are lots of sheep about)

As we hadn't been away as a family for years I splashed out a bit and we rented a lovely 2 bedroom cottage in Talybont on Usk, with wifi, real log fire and all modern conveniences.

We were delighted to find the cottage was better equipped than our own home, with sky TV, two televisions bigger than our home one, a dishwasher (another thing we don't have) and a washing machine and tumble drier. The kitchen had claimed 'well equipped' and in the past I've found this to be an exaggeration unless a potato peeler and a bottle opener are the limits of your desires but in the case of the Malt House Coach House this was no exaggeration, from mixer to electric carving knife, from cafetiere to microwave, from knives to toaster, with pans, cake making stuff, was amazing. (not that I did much more than grill Welsh beefburgers and fry Welsh fillet steak)

The wifi only worked at one end of the house which ended up being a blessing as it forced me to read when curled up on one of the various sofas in front of the log fire. (and all logs were provided) There were whole libraries of books, and DVDs for dark afternoons or wet days. On the last day of the holiday DH and I discovered there were hairdryers in each room too!

The cottage was perfect for lazy walks and pub visits - the nearest pub was across the road - and we spent some restful mornings wandering the canal. There was plenty to occupy us for the week and we were really spoilt. The young lady that welcomed was so helpful and friendly. In the summer the cottage even has use of a swimming pool, so we may well visit again.

We have all always loved the Beacons and this holiday was just lovely. I totally recommend Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages if you are after self catering accommodation in the area. Great for walking both canal side and mountain, for food, pubs and general relaxing.

Edited to add - This cottage in Wales is no longer available to rent for holidays, but you can still find your perfect Welsh Hoilday Cottage (many dog friendly) with Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages.

Off road cycling in Wales

CTC Cymru, Open MTB, Welsh Cycling and British Cycling have applauded the Welsh Government’s proposal to adopt similar rules on access to the countryside as those enjoyed in Scotland.

Currently in Wales the Rights of Way system is based upon recorded historic use of routes instead of suitability. As a result, cyclists have rights to use just 21% of the network, with permission to ride along narrow rocky sheep tracks on steep ground but denied access to thousands of miles of public footpaths lying on metalled farm and forest roads. As a walker I can see how frustrating this is, some tracks are so wide two cars can pass each other on them! It seems rather silly to deny cyclists access.

In Scotland, following the Land Reform Act 2003, it is very different. Scotland enjoys ‘presumed access’. This means there is a presumption of “responsible access”, subject to exemptions laid out in the Outdoor Access Code (eg forestry operations). Consequently, Scottish off-road and leisure cycle tourism are booming and contribute between £236.2m and £358m a year.

Recent research indicates that outdoor activity in Wales contributes to nearly 10% of the Welsh tourist economy. The group argues that changes to countryside access within Wales could dramatically increase this figure, thereby offering more social, transport, recreational and health benefits for both residents and visitors to the country.

Tom Hutton, Snowdonia based mountain bike journalist and guide, speaking on behalf of Open MTB said:
“I don’t think we can exaggerate what an amazing opportunity for mountain biking this is. A change in access laws in Wales could potentially open 1000s of kilometres of currently out of bounds trails.
“It would put Wales back up there with Scotland as one of the best off road destinations in the world, and at the same time, would increase take up of the sport and local participation. It would also potentially pave the way for future changes in England. 

I realise some walkers would be nervous as there are always some inconsiderate cyclists out and about, but I can't help but think they probably don't obey the rules anyway and this would enable responsible bikers much better access.

Consultaion on this has now finished, but keep up to date at  


Live, Laugh, Learn

This post is an entry for the Visit Wales #Wales4Kids Family Holiday Challenge. Wales is the perfect place for a fun-filled family break.

As you know Dear Reader, I adore 'the camping'. I love tents and the wild open spaces..

I love it for many many reasons, it's cheap, it's proper 'feeling alive and at one with nature' (sorry I am a hippy at heart) and it's a great relaxing 'time-free' environment, where one can chill, drink beer, read a book, watch wildlife, snooze...

Or be really active! Run about, build camps, build a fire, catch bugs, damn streams, catch crabs...hang on, this sounds  like things that kids do! Well yes, camping is the perfect time to release your 'inner-child'. Play about, be silly! And it's a great time for children of all ages to try new things and learn some extra responsibilty. Yes, really.

Suddenly washing up is fun in a bucket in a field. Preparing a meal over an open fire is a challenge not a bore, and depending on the age of the child you can almost let them run the place! My young teen camped with her cousins and me last summer. They were happy to take over the cooking for an evening (with minimal supervision) letting us grown ups drink beer relax and enjoy the quiet

So what has camping taught my daughter? Well she has learned the best way to go crab fishing, how to fly a kite, she has learned to light a fire, to toast marsh mallows, to light a camp stove, she has learned how to pick up a toad! And how to wash up in a bucket. How to keep warm in a tent. How to set up a camp bed, how to pitch a tent...

Wales is a full of lovely places to hike and walk. We have holidayed in Wales in cottages before and had great fun but I think maybe we need to try camping there, maybe I will learn things! Like how to pitch a tent on a slope, how to get tent pegs into hard rock, how to keep sheep out of your food stash!

Why not follow @visitwales on Twitter or Visit Wales on Facebook ( I'm sure you'll find some other ideas!

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