West Wales - Land of my Fathers
Margaret Bunker, Holidays Director, shares her personal thoughts on one of her favourites part of Britain.
I first fell in love with Wales over 40 years ago when, newly married, we settled there for a 15-month period. I can still remember the drive from Scotland and the apprehension about leaving my homeland but as soon as we crossed the border into Monmouthshire I thought to myself, “I am going to like it here, the land of hills, valleys and song” And I did like it… more than that, I loved it. The countryside, the people, the accent, and the wonderful rugged scenery. I was particularly fond of Pembrokeshire, when, younger and much fitter I was able to walk the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and scramble down the steep cliff edges to little beaches near Aberbach and Abersoch – myself, the husband and the dog with the bag of cold drinks, a few hastily made sandwiches and some bought Welsh cakes. Quite easy to practice self - isolation because we seldom saw another soul.
Lots of happy “days out” were spent in Tenby which admittedly was packed with trippers in summer, but it was always possible to find quieter areas off the beaten track. Tenby has remained a tremendously popular destination for holidaymakers and deservedly so. It is well positioned for exploring the surrounding area and taking a ride along the Pembrokeshire coast, up as far as St David’s, the smallest city in Britain, with its beautiful cathedral. The first time that I heard the well – known hymn “HOW GREAT THOU ART” was in a tiny church in St Davids. It was played on the Welsh harp and was so beautiful it gave me goosebumps. One of those moments you never forget. Close by, is the little town of Solva which has one of the prettiest harbours I have seen. We also visited a few textile mills in the area to see the wonderful work being produced by the weavers. These were often situated off the beaten track and sadly not always accessible by coach.
The county town of Pembroke boasts a stunning mediaeval castle with a thousand years of history and a museum. It is well worth a visit and a stop at one of the cafes for a tea or a coffee or pop into one of my favourite shopping places, the stylish, country town of Narberth.
We were always able to do such a lot in a day out as getting around the county was so easy, whether it was a day spent on the beach walking and exploring, a leisurely drive out into the Preseli Hills, a visit to Solva or St Davids for a relaxing pub lunch of freshly caught fish, or shopping in the elegant town of Narbeth. The locals were always so helpful and friendly, the pace leisurely. The scenery, sights and sounds were just amazing and most places we visited were totally un-spoilt.
Sadly, at the end of my husband’s contact, we had to leave this most beautiful of counties in what is a truly beautiful country, a Land of Song and Scenery, of stunning views and beautiful beaches, history and crafts and a place of welcome and peace.