I’ve realised for all the photographs I took on our half-term holiday, I didn’t share where we went, and what a fantastic break we enjoyed. For all my reservations, a week in Llandysul was everything I needed it to be.
My reservations were based on booking another holiday with Sykes Cottages. I don’t think I ever fully wrote about our Easter break last year. As a synopsis, we arrived home two days into our week break and after a lot of phone calls we received a proportionate refund. I still feel like I lost out on our Easter break (I went back to work and Mr J found a last minute deal for him and the kids in the second week).
So when Mr J started messaging ideas of a week in West Wales with Sykes for the February half-term, I wasn’t bouncing off the walls. Fortunately everything was blown out of the water when we arrived at a barn in Llandysul.
I have always wanted to live in a converted barn. In fact, one of the homes Mr J and I were so tempted to buy when deciding to move from our boat was a barn. Practicalities of the single bedroom when accompanied by my baby bump put a halt to the dream.
Our barn in Llandysul had three double bedrooms, absolutely perfect for our family of five. The luxury of under-floor heating and, well, just being a fantastic space. Enclosed, so perfect for Tod and Logan (our springadors), the view for my morning coffee takes some beating.
Whilst Llandysul might not tick every box in terms of a destination, it turned out to be just what we needed. West Wales has so many hidden treasures that to pick one seems fickle. Due to our familiarity, we didn’t use the location to discover Carmarthen, Tenby and Haverfordwest but these are absolutely realistic.
For our holiday, I was eager to visit places I hadn’t been before. It’s worth prefixing this with “as an adult”, I’m sure my mum will tell me we visited these places when I was little.
Of all the places I have fallen hook, line and sinker my current love is for New Quay. Oddly, it’s nothing to do with Newquay but everything to do with New Quay feeling like Tenby on a less intense, smaller scale. And yes, I know describing Tenby as intense is an absolute insult, but New Quay’s energy far more suited my need to offset my children’s high energy with a more relaxed pace.
And if you don’t know Tenby? Where to start. Tenby is my everything. If I could, I would. I don’t think I’d care about the longer commute to wherever. It is joyful.
New Quay has a buoyant harbour life. There is a pier to relax on, to try catching crabs from (I’m not convinced of success rates). New Quay boasts a glorious beach. There are shops, and importantly, there are fantastic fish and chip shops.
I am convinced New Quay is the new Tenby. And far less of a convincing commute to wherever.
Since we’ve moved to South Wales, Llangrannog has been on the radar. Every year (I think) the Year 6’s at the local primary school spend some time at the activity centre. Seeing Llangrannog on the map warranted a visit.
As a nervous driver (on single track roads at least) I have no idea how I’d feel about visiting in the summer. Oddly, I didn’t meet anyone with horror stories about visiting Llangrannog in the summer, so maybe it’s fine.
Maybe the reversing down single track roads to passing areas pales into insignificance when you get to take in the coastline.
Even in February there were surfers making most of the turn in the weather. And, as has become our norm, the boys couldn’t resist getting completely drenched in the waves.
And yes. There were the most fantastic chips.
Reinforcing that it’s all about the savoury.
There is also a fantastic ice-cream place. But for me it’s about the chips!
Aberaeron was the nearest town to the aforementioned Easter break. I never got to Aberaeron last year and felt resentful of making our way there on this break.
Fortunately we swept my prejudices under the carpet.
Aberaeron is one of those fantastic places which reminded me of the towns and villages which surrounded us in Yorkshire.
It does feel like a much needed step back in time.
Aberaeron has its own pace.
It has the parks for children to play. It has places for crabbing (need I mention a continued lack of success?). But within a beautiful harbour. What’s not to love?
And it has honey ice-cream. Which went down well with these four.
(And of course there was a fantastic fish and chip shop on the high street for me).
Last summer Mr J and the kids had a week in Fishguard.
I will take all credit for the last minute deal which worked out well.
I got to live their tales of the pier at Fishguard. Worse still I got to watch the recordings of the children jumping off into the sea.
Fortunately, the weather was far from favourable so they couldn’t recreate this activity.
But the children could chat to well-tempered fisherman about The Deadliest Catch and get to handle starfish and dogfish. I could get to imagine a life on the sea. Entertain daydreams of us all living on a boat, appreciating these were daydreams and no more.
And in doing so, identify my favourite boat. I think I have one in every harbour.
Llandysul offered a much needed break. And fortunately there are walks on the doorstep or a beautiful coast a car drive away.
It’s been a challenge to make this a less photo heavy post than I wanted it to be. But I do hope you’ve enjoyed the photos. It really is a beautiful part of Wales.