We just spent a month in Wales and it turned out to be a big surprise. It really was not on our radar, destiny brought us here. We needed some help with our travel budget and were able to secure some house sits in Wales so off we went. Two came up back to back within 10 kms of each other in neighboring villages, then we procured one in Liverpool and then one in London so we were able to plan a route through Wales and England. From London, Gatwick we traveled by train to Reading and spent the night, then the next day continued on to Cardiff (the capital of Wales) where we rented a car and drove two hours north to our first sit.
We knew nothing about Wales, we thought it was part of England but quickly learned it is its own country within southwest Great Britain and has its own government. Welsh and its Celtic culture are taught in all the schools, the language is spoken throughout and dominates all the roads signs with town names like Llyanfallteg our first home base. You hear it spoken in the pubs and at the grocery store, its a beautiful sounding language but I’m sure difficult to learn. Many of the words have no vowels in them and have unique pronunciations which locals would laughingly try to teach us a few.
The country is surrounded by rugged coastline and its interior mountainous with some lovely national parks. It is sweeping vistas of lush, green farmland laden with sheep, narrow roads flanked by continuous stone and sod walls. The weather here changes quickly and frequently, being spring its mostly comprised of rain, fog and wind but we enjoyed it non the less. I’d love to come back in the summer when every place we visited would look even more like something out of a Hans Christenson Anderson fairytale, the colors ten times more vibrant in the sunlight. Driving the labyrinth of mossy lined roads, canopied in arches of trees and ivy that lead to charming villages of stone homes makes you feel like you are in another realm, another time.
We loved our temporary homes, the pets we got to love and the places we got to visit but most of all the people we met along the way. Our hosts were incredible and treated us like family, it was easy making new friendships and ones we hope might continue. It was an awesome experience to temporarily live in the country and feel like a local. Wandering the misty, foggy fields in my tweed cap, wearing borrowed wellies, with a walking stick and Basset Hound in tow made me feel like a true English Gentleman, call me Mister Darby please!
We visited Castles, beaches, port towns, country villages and English churches while learning some of the history and all within short drives from our home bases in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire areas. We loved Wales and we hope to be back someday!
Here is a link to all our Wales photos by town and below are a few videos to bring you along.