After a little bit of a holiday, what with not being able to accompany us to Iceland, Dervla was back on form, directing us along side roads that blatantly weren’t meant for vehicles any more. Still, it meant that we bypassed the centre of Newtown, and that we reached one of our favourite cafe’s – ‘The Watering Hole’, in super quick time.

The cafe is part of the Midway Holiday Park, does a very cheap but tasty plate of sausage and chips, and sometimes sells goose eggs! We bought four, and after taking advice on how best to cook them (scrambled or as an omelette), we headed a few miles further north west to the Cider House car park for a 6 mile walk along the Kerry Ridgeway.

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This Kerry Way is an ancient Celtic path in mid Wales rather than Ireland, and stretches for fifteen miles from the village of Kerry, in Wales, to Bishops Castle, in England. We’d walked this same stretch two years ago when we stayed at Llethrau, and met Lydia the world’s friendliest sheep, but it was in thick mist so we’d seen nothing of the views. Today we had glorious sunshine, and whilst the wind picked up on the return stretch, we were still able to enjoy the magnificent views of Powys.

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Back at the car park, after a quickly aborted loo stop because a little old lady decided to drive past us very slowly to see what we were up to, we drove the final twenty miles to Gribyn Cottage, our home for the next week. And what a home it is! The cottage is part of an old Welsh barn, which once belonged to the largest farm in Montgomeryshire. The farm has long since been divided up, and Vicky and Tim Ware own the cottage and live in the adjoining barn. Vicky also has her own pottery on site, near to where they keep the chickens and Arkle – the miniature Shetland pony.

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The cottage is compact, quirky, warm, and well equipped. It also comes complete with a view of sunbathing tortoises in Vicky and Tim’s conservatory. A view which Rich enjoyed so much that he now desperately wants his own tortoises! Scarlett, a little terrier who loves cuddles; Peaches – a tortoiseshell cat who also loves cuddles; and Max the lab (cuddle lover), complete the animal part of the family, making it even more of a perfect place to stay if you like fluffy creatures, which of course we do.

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The cottage comes complete with a private deck area overlooking the Trannon valley and village – Llawr y Glyn. Guests are also welcome to walk around Vicky and Tim’s woodland and garden, and to try and persuade Arkle to come over to the fence for cuddles. He was on a diet whilst we were there, and as a result seemed to prefer gently head butting our legs because he was being denied treats!

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After a Romania inspired dinner, and a bottle of Aldi cava, we retreated to bed at 10pm, already feeling relaxed in our rural retreat. For some unknown reason, most tourists tend to flock to either South Wales and the Brecon Beacons, or North Wales and Snowdonia, leaving mid Wales and the Cambrian mountains well alone. We like it like that.

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