In September it was our 29th wedding anniversary and we decided it would be good to celebrate by spending a couple of nights away somewhere. As is usual, it was my job to organise these things and rather than my default destination (Scotland) I decided to go somewhere we have never been to – West Wales. I booked 2 nights in a hotel on the outskirts of Aberystwyth and planned our trip there and back to ensure we took in a few destinations en-route.
The weather was lovely on the way to the hotel and we took the opportunity to visit Raglan Castle. Somewhere we’ve driven past numerous times but never visited. Before then, however, I had timed our visit to coincide with lunch and we stopped at a lovely country pub nearby called the Clytha Arms with a fantastic garden and a nice cosy and friendly feeling inside. I chose the Croque Madam (a first for me) and Mrs Reggie had the Croque Monsieur. Both meals were delicious but far too much for us. Lunch consumed we headed to Raglan Castle. We were suitably impressed and I took enough photos to write an article for GP when the mood takes me….
We travelled the rest of the way to our hotel – about two hours away – passing some lovely scenery and sights. Neither of us had been that far West in Wales and there is much we would like to go back and see again. Our accommodation, The Aberystwyth Park Hotel, is based just outside Aberystwyth. A reasonably modern building which proved to be of acceptable standards. The meals were pretty good and the staff friendly and efficient. I was considering somewhere nearer the sea / town but all the options I saw online looked a bit grubby and I wasn’t prepared to take a chance (I would never live it down).
Our impressions of Aberystwyth were reasonably positive, however the weather on our only full day there was quite frankly terrible with almost non-stop rain and gusts of wind, but we saw enough to know it had potential to be a good place to come back to in the summer months. There were some lovely old buildings which had some potential and there was a lovely large building near the church which was being refurbished (the Old College). Like most seaside towns there was the usual mix of fast food joints and low-rent cafes etc. Each to their own and they clearly serve a market which frequents these places but they were not for us. Had the weather been better we would have done a lot more exploring.
Having braved the sea-front and slightly fed-up of being lashed by rain we headed for a coffee shop in town and had a quick bite to eat and drink. We considered doing the Cliff Railway tour but the rain put a halt to that. A shame as I think it would be have been a great experience. Dodging yet more showers Mrs Reggie persuaded me to accompany her into several clothes shops where a number of dresses, tops and other items were purchased.
As it was still early afternoon we drove up the coast and then inland to Machynlleth, but the rain was still very much in evidence and we decided to admit defeat and go back to our hotel. We chose to eat in the hotel that evening and after a few drinks at the bar we headed off for an early night
The next day we woke up to sunshine – fantastic for our trip home but why couldn’t it have been nicer the day before? After breakfast we checked out and decided to go back via a different route, taking in New Quay, just down the coast. A really lovely seaside village with a beautiful harbour and I just about managed to catch sight of a dolphin – apparently quite common in that area. A quick bite to eat in one of the cafes and we drove the scenic route until we joined the M4 near it’s start / end in Pontardulais. We stopped off in Cardiff on the way home, but other than that it was uneventful.
We will visit West Wales again but choose a season when the weather is likely to be far better. Over all we enjoyed our break and I have already chosen our destination for the big 30.
© text & images unless otherwise indicated Reggie 2022