Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Week In… Llandeillo

I have spent a lot of time in Wales. My grandmother was born and raised there, and so when I was younger we always did at least a couple of trips a year to visit the family. As I've grown older my trips have become less frequent, but over the last few years I have tried to visit at least once a year.

[Aside - I really want to learn at least basic Welsh, any tips for any Welsh-language tutoring apps??]

A few weeks ago I spent just under a week in Llandeillo, in Carmarthenshire. It's one of our return-to areas, and where we have stayed the last few times we have visited. It was one of those lovely holidays where you return to the places you usually make a visit to, as well as spending just the right amount of time relaxing. Here are some of my recommendations for anyone visiting the area:

* Shopping

The great thing about this area is that you are never too far away from somewhere to get your high-street-shopping fix, and somewhere to have a poke around in independent stores. The nearest city is Swansea, but i've never found the shopping to really be worth the hassle of the journey. Closer is Carmarthen, which has a good range of recognisable stores as well as a big Debenhams, which should suit your shopping needs.

For those wishing to go down the more independent-shops route, two areas I definitely think are worth a visit are Llandeillo itself (two of my favourite shops are Scorpio and Peppercorn) and Narberth (in particular, the Golden Sheaf Gallery).

* Eating

We only ate out one evening whilst we were there, and we chose The Angel Bistro in Llandeillo for it. You can never be too sure of what to expect when you're staying somewhere with the emphasis on local, however we were really happy with our choice. The food was all interesting and tasty (my prawn and salmon bruschetta starter was a particular highlight) and also ridiculously good value.

We also had lunch at Wright's Food Emporium in Llanarthe. This was a real treat and comes massively recommended from me - as well as serving food they also sell loads of meats, cheeses, pies, etc to enjoy at home. I had a pork belly bap and it was completely delicious. We also spent some time in the wine and beer section, buying both a selection of ales and a bottle of red wine. If you only visit one food-centric place in the area - this is the one!

* Visiting

The Corran Hotel and Spa - my mum and I spent a day visiting the Corran as we wanted to use the Spa, and while we were there we found it so beautiful we decided to stay for afternoon tea. The treatments we had were fab (I went for a massage and facial) and we were also able to use the pool and relaxation room throughout our visit. We were also shown round a couple of the bedrooms which were lush - I'm already planning a mini-break there for later in the year.

Aberglasney Gardens - situated in Llangathen, walking round the restored house and gardens is a lovely way to spend the day, and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. The main house hosts a small craft fair, and there is a cafe on site which serves drinks and snacks. You can also rent out one of the cottages to stay in, which means you can access the gardens whenever you want.

Burry Port to Llanelli - this suggests that you start in Llanelli, but it worked better for us to get the train to Burry Port and walk back and I don't think it really makes any difference. Doing just that section of the walk is about 4.5 miles, so not so much of a challenge as the full one!

Tenby and Llansteffan - the first is worth a visit for the picture ops of the beach and coloured houses, and the latter for the castle.

On the way home we stopped off in Hay-on-Wye (the town of books). As a not-so-secret bookworm I always love to visit here, and we stopped off at the Richard Booth Bookshop for a quick stop in the lovely cafe (definitely worth a visit) and a quick purchase of some reads.

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