After an extremely mild and wet Winter so far, the Gods answered our prayers and sprinkled snow over Llandrindod Wells the night before we arrived. I’m aware that snow makes life that much harder for farmers and older folk, but there’s no denying that it makes the landscape look even more beautiful.
We’re not sure why we’d never visited this part of Wales before. After driving along quiet roads and through gently rolling hills, we stopped for lunch in Kington – a small but pretty market town. The cafe seemed to be quite the hub, and quickly filled up. For the grand total of £10 we each orderd bacon, egg, chips and a cuppa, and settled down to eavesdrop on the locals. It wasn’t long before I’d learned that the lady sitting next to me had won some money at Bingo, which was now safe in her drawer at home, ready for her impending shopping trip to London with her daughter. I hope to goodness no one took advantage of her naivety, or maybe I’m just too suspicious.
Lunch hit the spot, and after a stroll through town to look at the quirky curio shops – there’s even a pie shop called ‘Grump Grampie’s’, we headed further into the hills, enjoying the snow covered vistas. As we couldn’t check in to the cottage until 3pm, we stopped off at Llandrindod’s lake. Walking around the lake makes a very pleasant thirty minute walk, as long as you don’t mind being tailed by greedy swans, geese and ducks. The local humans are also very friendly, and several stopped to chat.
The cottage is in the grounds of Ty-Gwyn Farm, 2.5 miles from Llandrindod. It was converted from an old granary and has a large kitchen and double bedroom with ensuite downstairs, and a lounge and twin room with bathroom upstairs. It’s spacious yet cosy, and as it’s on a working farm, perfect if like us you love animals. There’s a daft cocker spaniel, and a farm cat called Betty – who desperately wants to be an indoor cat and keeps stealing the dog’s bed. At 1 year old this is her first proper Winter, and she wasn’t impressed by the snow – darting across it to avoid getting her paws cold.
We settled in, and I watched a stunning sunset from the lounge window, whilst Rich prepared a very tasty mushroom risotto. This part of Wales is renowned for its ‘Dark Skies’ – free of light pollution, and indeed we were blessed with a crystal clear, starry night, so much so that we couldn’t not wrap up warm and walk down to the farm gate. Unfortunately Rich, complete darkness, and ice do not a good combination make, despite head torches, so after he took a tumble we decided that we’d be safer looking at the stars from inside.