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

Wild Meadow - our child free weekend away...


This weekend, Dan and I stole ourselves away for 3 nights in Wales. Child free.  We couldn't have been more excited!  A chance for the two of us to just be, relax, talk - talk! to each other, gosh remember that?  

We were looking forward to enjoying the Welsh air, cooking outside, sleeping under the stars, and making the time to indulge in things we like to do, without the boys.

Wild Meadow is stunning.  All we could hope for and more.  Owners Andrea and Jonathan, bought the field a couple of years ago, with the desire to have a patch of land of their own.  Planting initially a small orchard, soon after a veg patch and fruit bushes.... then came the shepherds hut.

Dan and I fell in love.  The hut is beautifully furnished, with indian throws, warm blankets and a log burner.  The bed is the comfiest we've ever slept on, and found sleeping in there a dream.  The outside kitchen is fab, well equipped with a gas stove, fridge and brightly coloured spotty enamel-ware.  To the side is an outside shower room and basin and a little way off a composting loo.

We spent our days, watching the buzzards and red kites soar above us, cooking on the open fire using a Kolitch (which we'd not used before and soon got the hang of).  Eating our way through the raspberries and cherries from the fruit orchard and swinging on the best swing ever!

That swing!  Now parents - sometimes we feel like having a swing, but there is always a child or two saying 'my turn' or 'push me'.  Not this time - oh no.  A double swing, the two of us, with a G&T in hand, sat and watched the sun cast shadows across the hills below us.  It was bliss.

We took day trips to nearby Leominster for the antique / junk shops which there are many.  And to Ledbury for it's cobbled lanes and black and white buildings.

If you are looking for a family break (there is room for two small airbeds inside the shepherds hut) OR if you are looking for a romantic getaway in the great outdoors then Wild Meadow is your place.  We are still dreaming we are there.

National Trust - Powis Castle...

The day we spent exploring Powis Castle in Wales was hot, humid and a deep mist surrounded the mountains.  It seems a world away from the colder days we've experienced recently.

National Trust Powis Castle is such a brilliant place.  Stunning terraced gardens, which felt like we were walking through Italian scenes.  Clipped box hedges, as tall as 3 story buildings and shaped like large fluffy clouds showed us the way down to the bottom garden.  Winding through hedge tunnels, along gravel pathways, the boys ran ahead finding secret steps down into secret terraces. The odd statue leaping into view.

At the bottom the most welcoming National Trust cafe serving cakes, cream teas and coffee - much needed after the walk down and delicious as always.  After a quick pit stop a game of croquet on the lawn and a smell of the roses.

Back up at the castle, the views of the surrounding mountains were typically Welsh and beautiful, the mist just drifting off.  We visited the Museum, a collection of Indian antiques collected by the once Castle owner. Rufus fell in love with golden bejewelled tigers head.  Once back at the Yurt, he drew it in amazing detail.  A sign of a great day.

mountain views and Welsh air...

I love Wales.  The mountains, the soaring views.  The lack of phone reception.  The enforced slow down. 
A friend said to me today, that being in the mountains allows stresses to quite literally fall off your shoulders.  She said it was all that looking up, your worries sliding off your back as you stand their gazing up.  I believe she is right.

Last week, we spent four wonderful days in Mid-Wales, beneath the towering hills of the Black Mountains.  Kite Hill Yurts is a treasure, and absolute joy.  Owned by Canadian Dominic and Brit Kate and their young son, who last year returned to the UK to live the good life.  Searching for a small holding, came across this farm and fell in love.  It is enchanting, fields, views, ducks, a lama and two beautiful large Yurts.

Set high in a field behind the farm house, with breathtaking views of the Black Mountains laid out in front. We stayed in the yurt called Skylark, blue in colour, painted in Buddhist symbols and furnished with a large, comfortable bed, a single with a pull out truckle bed.  Arm chairs and importantly a log burner for cosy nights in bed reading Harry Potter (which we did).

We spent days walking the surrounding moorland, discovering a mountain lake and meeting the local sheep and wild horses.  Playing cricket, board games and catching bugs.  As the evening drew in, we had delicious bbq's, pork chops with aioli and crushed potatoes.  As the sun went down, Dan lit the fire and we made fire apples and sang camp songs.  

After four days in this wonderful location, we felt renewed, revived and in love with Wales even more.

Thank you Dominic and Kate - you have a really special place!  For more information on staying at Kite Hill Yurts, please visit their website or visit their facebook page.

Recipe for Fire Apples:

Brown Sugar

1. Peel your apple (preferably picked from the tree, to be really outdoorsy and authentic)
2. Push the peeled apple onto the stick (found lying near bushes)
3. Roll the apple in a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon
4. Sit comfortably around a blazing camp fire
5. Dangle the sugar coated apple in the flames for a while
6. Check regularly and turn apple to avoid burning
7. Once apple is golden and caramelised, blow a little to cool and scoff
8. Repeat until you are stuffed

Fforest Camp...

During Half Term, we packed our bags, and drove west to the far coast of Wales for a mini adventure. For 2 nights we stayed at the quite stunning Manorafon Camp, part of Fforest.  Set in West Wales, close to the coastal town of Cardigan, Fforest is the most beautiful and unique camping experience I've ever stayed at.

On arriving at the camp site, we were greeted with a warm welcome and shown our very cool dome, our home for the next few days.  Furnished with Welsh blankets, a log burner, thick duvets and deer skin rugs, it smelt of adventure, and belonged in the pages of Oh Pioneer.  We couldn't have been more delighted!  

Our first night we ate with the other guests in the converted barn, lit by candle light and warmed from the stove in the corner.  Delicious home cooked bbq chicken, and salad followed by the most comforting berry crumble & ice cream.  Conversation between the fellow campers flowed whilst the children played.  That night, with full bellies, we climbed into our beds, with the log burner blazing, telling stories to each other.  Outside the rain began to fall and an owl hooted good night.  Cosy and blissfully we slept.

The next morning was full sunshine, the boys rushed down to play with the cats and to meet the other kids at breakfast.  Whilst Dan and I sat on the terrace drinking good coffee, looking out to sea.  Sian and her team have made such a wonderful place to stay, relax and dream.  The smallest detail has been thought of in making the perfect camping trip.  Warm beds, thick duvets and blankets.  The camp kitchen is fully equipped with beautiful enamel wear, pots, pans and teapots.  They have even taken the time to pack fresh coffee, and sugar ready for that important morning brew, just in case you have forgotten yours.

The Cardigan coastline is a place steeped in adventure, wild and free.  Dan and I have always wanted to visit, we have often talked of leaving the city behind and starting a new life there. A life of big skies, free  range children, and room to breathe (maybe one day...)  all I know is, as a family we came away feeling so relaxed, nourished and happy.  After just 2 days in this special place, we can't wait to go back.

The beach, to follow...
For more information on Manorafon please visit their website.

cooking crab on the beach - Wales

fforest microadventure sea kayaking from fforest camp on Vimeo.

I must have played this little video at least 5 times to the boys.
Each time, wanting it played over and over again.
Rufus thinks he is the guy with the yellow Kayak and Charlie the older dude with the beard who catches the crab.
Something to aspire to - at least they can think about it when they are learning to swim.
Fresh cooked crab on the beach anyone?