We were lucky enough, P and I, to have another little break away last week, a few days in beautiful Pembrokeshire. We haven't been for several years so were were really looking forward to it. We stayed in a lovely hotel in the Welsh countryside and spent lots of time on the coastline. Here are some of my snaps.
Spotted this little boat in the harbour at Fishguard. It really reminded me of 'Swallows and Amazons'.
The Lower Town at Fishguard, so pretty.
We spent some time (and a bit of money) in this lovely little bookshop there, and I loved this yarn-bombed bike outside.
Strumble Head lighthouse. The day was extremely blowy, and the scenery wild and beautiful. Such striking colours in the sunshine.
Heather-clad cliffs and white horses racing out at sea.
We stood in the bird-hide, an old WW2 submarine look-out, and watched the sea and cliffs through our binoculars, mesmerised by the relentless salty wind and cries of the sea birds. Two experienced birders were there, and I wished I knew my sea-birds better, although we did identify oyster-catchers and seals. We found it hard to tear ourselves away.
Lovely Welsh dry stone walls, full of floral life.
Newport beach, with jaunty poppies and a jade green boat.
Sand ripples left by the outgoing tide.
The wind blew so hard we were almost blown off our feet. It picked up the top layer of dry sand and blew it across the beach in waves, a whirl of currents and eddies, like a ghostly sea swirling around our legs.
The beautiful Preseli Mountains. Sheep grazed near the rushes on high boggy ground, and the clouds made fast-moving patterns of light and shade across the hills as they scudded across the sky.
The deep sea inlet at Solva, crammed with sailing boats.
A pretty village ,with lovely galleries and craft shops to while away the time in.
We had a little walk into the hills along a wooded path full of ferns and foxgloves, a quiet and magical place.
Further up the valley was the still-working Solva Woollen Mill
I was really fascinated by the machinery and processes involved in weaving wool..
Time for Welsh cakes and a cup of tea.
Pembrokeshire is full of brightly-painted houses, and not just by the seaside, but inland too. They are everywhere. The favoured colours seem to be yellow and deep blue-green.
The beautiful cathedral in St Davids, Britain's smallest city.
Expansive Newgale beach in St Bride's Bay. We've been here several times, and it's our favourite beach in Pembrokeshire. A little village, campsite and large pebble ridge,
then flat sand stretching away to the sea and hills.
It's always breezy here and the beach tent has to be weighed down with pebbles, but it's a wonderful beach to relax and pootle on.
Then on for refreshments at the secluded and bohemian Druidstone Hotel.
Perched on top of the cliffs, it's a stunning spot to sit and look at the view from.
Littlehaven, a pretty village and harbour, was a good place to finish the day and enjoy the evening light.
Last time we were here the tide was out and we rock-pooled around the base of the cliffs - I have never seen so many shellfish and shore creatures.
The setting sun lit up the rock-formation of the cliffs, showing the huge geological upheaval that happened here long ago.
Our last day, and we headed home with a stop-off in mind at somewhere special. Laugharne - the home of one of my favourite poets, Dylan Thomas. We'd been here once before on a very dingy evening, but on this day the sun was hot and the views were wonderful.
The town, with its Norman castle, sits on an estuary. Below, its salt marshes riddled with squiggly little channels, give way to mud flats and sand. Beyond it and around it are lush hills. This is St John's Hill, the setting for one of my favourite poems, 'Poem in October':
'It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and heron
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
In the still sleeping town and set forth'
The poet's home, the boathouse, is a treat of a place, perched on the hillside overlooking the estuary.
I toured the inside, walking around the homely parlour and reading hand-written letters and fragments of his work. It was rather moving. Quirky little touches gave the impression that something of Thomas was still there.
Thomas' writing shed, just above the boathouse. I can imagine how this place must have inspired him.
Estuary patterns made by sand and water, cool blues, mauves and yellows.
Funnily enough they are echoed in the souvenirs that I brought home with me: shells from Newgale beach and woven mats from the woollen mill. Treasures from a special holiday.
Thank you for coming along with me and listening to my holiday tales.
See you soon x