Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Barmouth Mawddach Estuary and The George III Hotel, Penmaenpool, Wales

Our final outing on this particular stay in Wales was to the Barmouth Mawddach Estuary where the mountains meet the sea, along the wooded banks and sandy shores. It is in the south west corner of the  Snowdonia National Park,

Barmouth is perched on the side of a mountain with beautiful views of the harbour and Barmouth Bridge which spans the river mouth. There was a bitterly cold wind blowing that day in January but we took a short walk along part of the Railway Walk to the toll bridge across the river mouth.
The Railway Walk - Barmouth to Dolgellau

After our walk we went to  The George III Hotel in Penmaenpool, Dolgellau for lunch, a lovely location with beautiful views over the estuary.   The main hotel was built around 1650 and was once two separate buildings. One half was a pub and the other half a ships chandlers serving the local boat building industry. In 1890 the buildings were joined to make the place into a hotel.  Until 1964 the hotel was adjacent to a railway station, but sadly it was a victim of the Beecham Railway Cuts The hotel was extended in 1977 when the Victorian Railway Station Waiting Room, Ticket Office and Station Masters Quarters were obtained and extended to form bedrooms for the hotel.  

Our lunch was excellent as the hotel prides itself in using the highest quality locally sourced fresh ingredients and the interior surroundings were a cosy respite from the cold weather.

This is another area we would very much like to return to next time we are visiting my sister.

My mosaics and photos will enlarge if you click on them, however if you would prefer to view the photos individually, you may do so in My album entitled. Travel Tales - Barmouth Mawddach Estuary

For further information I direct you to the sources I used myself, The Railway Walk - Barmouth to Dolgellau , Barmouth Snowdonia National Park,  The Mawddach EstuaryThe George III Hotel  Beeching Railway Cuts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Machynlleth and Aberdovy North Wales

Machynlleth is a small market town at the head of the Dyfi estuary in Powys. I do not think we had ever explored the town before, I certainly do not remember ever having done so. Although many years ago we did visit the nearby Centre for Alternative Technology, where you can see hands on displays and gardens. They have a cafe in the town and also the fact that the centre is nearby seems to have attracted many sellers of arts and crafts to the town. Two claims to fame are that Machynlleth is thought to have been the location for the coronation of the Welsh rebel Owain Glyndwr as Prince of Wales in 1404, also Charles 1 is reputed to have stayed in the town in 1644. 

Nowadays Machynlleth is probably best known as the 'town with the clock' which was built by the townspeople in the 1870's. It is the hub of the town, from which the three main streets radiate. A charter granted in 1291 by Edward 1 gave the right for a market to be held in the streets of Machynlleth every Wednesday for ever.

It was Wednesday and therefore market day when we visited, but a wet cold day in January meant it was neither a good day to explore the town or shop in the market. In fact the market was very much depleted in size, as you will notice in my photos, a distinct lack of market stalls.


After enjoying our vegetarian lunch in the cafe owned by the Centre for Alternative Technology,  we headed back towards Tywyn, stopping off in Aberdovy on the way as the rain had stopped and we wanted to have a walk around there.

Aberdovy is the English spelling for Aberdyfi a village on the north banks of the River Dyfi estuary in Gwynedd on the coast. Although founded on a shipbuilding and harbour industry it is nowadays a seaside resort. The centre is on the river and seafront around the original harbour, jetty and beach but it stretches back up the hillside immediately behind it. I hope my photos will give you an idea of the atmosphere of the place, even on a grey day.


I would like to return to  Machynlleth and Aberdovy but next time on a warm and sunny day.                                  

All photos will enlarge if you click on them, however if you would prefer to view the photos individually, you may do so in My album entitled Travel Tales - Machynlleth and Aberdovy

For more information I direct you to the sources I used myself, Machynlleth - WikipediaCentre for Alternative TechnologyAberdyfi - Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tywyn – North Wales

The next stop on our UK trip was to drive from Salisbury to stay with my sister and her husband at their relatively new home in Tywyn Wales, which they are in the process of renovating as a lovely home for their retirement years.

The pace of life there is definitely more relaxed than Salisbury, where they lived before. Tywyn was not unknown to them as they had lived in the town before, about thirty years ago in fact on the army base. We had spent a holiday there with them and remembered how beautiful the area was and taking a ride on the The Talyllyn Railway. Of course this trip it was mid winter and rather different but it was still lovely to explore the area and spend some quality time together.

Tywyn is a small town and seaside resort on the Cardigan Bay coast of Gwynedd in north Wales and it has everything one needs for town living within easy walking distance including a cinema and a library. There are also excellent rail connections if you need to visit other parts of the country with out driving. However I think a huge draw for my sister and her husband was the fact that they are also minutes on foot from the beach and the welsh hills.

                                               The Town

                               A Walk To The Broadwater

The Broadwater, is a lagoon just a mile to the north of the town which flows into Cardigan Bay, popular for fishing, canoeing and bird watching.

                      Bird Rock viewed across The Broadwater.

                                      The Beach, Sea, Sky.

My next couple of posts will also be tales from our stay in Wales.

All photos will enlarge if you click on them, however if you would prefer to view the photos individually you may do so in My album Travel Tales - Tywyn

For more information I direct you to the sources I used myself. Tywyn – Wikipedia, and The Talyllyn Railway Tywyn Tourist Information

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Salisbury Cathedral - United Kingdom

We were in Salisbury early in the New Year visiting our younger daughter and meeting up with my sister to sort out the last of our Mothers affairs and possessions after her death back in the summer.  Sad and happy times, a mixture of emotions as we sorted through things and stirred many memories.

While we were there I was determined to make a visit to the Cathedral, as it was some years since we had last done so and I had not yet had the opportunity to photograph the infinity font which was installed in 2008. Of course I also took a few other photos to share in a Travel Tale post.

Before we even went inside we came across something else interesting we had not seen before and first were unable to work out what it was all about.  The next photo shows the sort of sculptures one expects to see on the outside of the Cathedral, along with one that came as a complete surprise. What was your initial  reaction?

We really thought he was real at first, but how could he be, then one of us noticed the board behind with the following explanation.

We then went inside via the attractive cloisters.

The Cathedral was still decorated for the festive season so not only was I able to get the photos I came for but some of the Christmas decorations as well.

Finally one of the many beautiful stained glass windows, unfortunately it was not a sunny day.

All photos are my own taken in January 2012.
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 
These photos may also be viewed individually in my Travel Tales Collection at My  account. 

Salisbury Cathedral, once known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built between 1220 and 1258 and is considered a fine example of early English architecture. At 123m or 404ft the spire is the tallest church spire in the UK, it also has the largest cloister area and largest Cathedral Close. 

In 2008 when the Cathedral celebrated its 750th anniversary the Baptismal Font was consecrated in the September. Designed by William Pye, a water sculptor, it is the Cathedral's first permanent font for over 150 years. It beautifully combines both movement and stillness across its three metre span, with water flowing from its four corners, whilst the smooth mirrored surface reflects the surroundings. 

For more information on Salisbury Cathedral please refer to the Official Website or Salisbury CathedralWikipedia. or for information specifically about the font A modern treasure