It’s not often Hubby and I get to slip away from our rural home here in Mid Wales. Running a small B&B in the tranquil and picturesque setting of Llanwrtyd Wells, reportedly Britain’s smallest town, surrounded on all sides with mountain views (Epynt, Beacons, Black Mountains) and with rivers and lakes on our doorstep (Abergwesyn Valley, River Irfon, Lyn Brianne and Elan Valley); life feels like one long (working) holiday anyway. However, sometimes even we need to switch off from the hustle and bustle of sharing our lives with our lovely guests and drinking in our favourite watering holes ;-).
So we took ourselves off for three days/two nights midweek with the aim of visiting Bodnant Gardens. You can read about just how wonderful that was here, but this blog is about the unexpected finds and delights of that same trip. Being a lover of booking.com we discovered a pub with guest rooms not far from Bodnant and were drawn in by its delightful name, Fairy Falls Inn. It was perfect for us. Apart from the obvious plus of being based at a pub (!) the rooms were spacious and well equipped; with verandas, each with a small table and couple of chairs so you could sit out late into the night and listen to the silence; only disturbed by the rushing water of the Fairy Falls themselves. (If you have dogs its a great place as both the pub and accommodation are pet friendly). We did stroll up to the falls and were delighted to see the there was plenty of evidence of fairies ….
Anyway we took the scenic route there detouring to visit Lake Vyrnwy. I have to say the lake and dam were stunning. We went on a 3 mile circular walk and didn’t see a soul which was unbelievable as the cafes and visitor centre were packed. Our only disappointment was that Artisans Cafe served Kelly’s Cornish Ice-cream , which may well be delicious, but we’re in Wales goddamnit, and there are plenty of delicious Welsh brands they could be serving and promoting a proper sense of place.
There are two stunning mountain roads that lead to and from the top of the dam, we followed the A470 for a while after Machynlleth ( there’s a fantastic Alternative Technology Centre there by the way -well worth a day visit and easily accessible from our B&B) and turned off onto the mountain road at a village called Minllyn. Stunning route. After our visit we took the mountain road signposted to Bala, equally spectacular and from there headed up to Trefriw, home of Fairy Falls (Trefriw has a wonderful working woollen mill and gift shop).
On our way home, we took the picturesque A470 all the way back to Machynlleth (its a stunning road to drive, taking you from Betws y Coed, Blaenau Ffestiniog and over the mountains to Dolgellau and down to Machynlleth). Then headed to the coast. We were going to go to the castle at Aberystwyth but then I suggest Borth as we’d never been there. Borth itself is a bit of a nothingy town/village (sorry Borth) except we did discover the most magnificent ice cream parlour right at the north end of the strip (sadly again not a Welsh brand – made in Wiltshire but I couldn’t knock the flavours – tried as many as we could 😉 ) and just before miles of unspoilt sand and shingle beach with a golf course opposite and leading to and dunes.
Borth is part of the Ceredigion Coast Path. We walked about 2 miles (am guessing) and didn’t spot a single bit of dropped or washed up litter. In fact we hardly saw another person, it was magnificent. Really the best way of demonstrating this is through images dso here are a few of my faves
If those don’t tempt you I don’t know what will. …
… and you could do it as a day trip from your base with us at Cerdyn Villa, we can offer you loads of advice on scenic drives and local hidden gems as well as delicious breakfasts , comfy beds and our witty repartee ….. 😉