Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Into God's Own Country

Continuing the journey into Wales, Hay Bluff presides over the town of Hay-on-Wye and the borders - the Welsh Marches. Across the valley to the west is a similar scarp face known as Twmpa in Welsh, and Lord Hereford's Knob in English. Clumps of cottongrass brightened the bogs.
I had hoped to claim Twmpa for England, but the Houyhnhnms had got there first. Glorious views across the border lands.
The Gospel Pass swoops down into the Vale of Ewyas, where nestles the ruin of Llanthony priory, a substantial building "that [Thomas] Cromwell knocked abaht a bit" as my father would have said.
The crypt has been turned into a bar and restaurant, while the one surviving tower houses four rooms, which make an idyllic B&B. We stayed there a few times a few decades ago, waking to the sound of jackdaws and sheep.
This time the B&B of choice was in a farmhouse, Penyclawdd, with the perfect combination of a warm welcome from Mr and Mrs Davies (and Welsh border collies), a huge breakfast and lovely views from the bedroom window.
The B&B was chosen partly for its proximity to two wildlife reserves, Strawberry Cottage and Cwm Coed y Cerrig, both interesting in their own ways.
Western gorse just starting to flower - while our eastern variety is taking a break.
A typical Welsh footpath.

Beware the Black Rabbit!


Phil and Mandy said...

I love Wales, am off to visit afriend next month at his farm in Abergwesyn, this is near Llanwrytd Wells and in the middle of nowhere. Fantastic for wildlife.

NW Nature Nut said...

Thanks for taking us there with you! Your "bee" looks exactly like some Drone Flies I have seen recently in my garden. Must be the same kind. I love the photo of the road with the bright green pastures on each side. Lovely!

Mary said...

Wonderful! I love the photos of the cotton grass and the views. Love the old ruins. Wales is such a beautiful place.

Warren Baker said...

Come on steve stop teasing me. It's long enough to wait till my hols. I cant take any more!!!!!!!!

Kingsdowner said...

We seem to have unanimity regarding how beautiful Wales is.
And Warren...it didn't rain at all!