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Adventures of a short vet

Wales weekend

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 14 January 2011 | Views [444]

A three day weekend is too good an opportunity to pass up on some exploring, and so I decided to make the most of my time off and had back to Wales to see more of the country.

I booked 2 nights in a lovely little B&B near the town of Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan near the southern coast of Wales. After taking the scenic route to avoid the toll bridge and passing through Cardiff, I arrived in Cowbridge in time to explore the town and take a lovely walk through the farming area near the B&B.

The following day I left bright and early after eating the biggest fried breakfast I've had in months, and drove north past Port Talbot and the town of Neath to check out the Aberdulais waterfalls. It was raining and pretty miserable but I wasn't about to let that stop my explorations. Unfortunately I arrived to find that the waterfall path had been shut due to the powerstation having been flooded! Luckily the helpful lady at the information centre directed me further north to Pontneddfechan, where a waterfall walk starts near the Angel Inn. I have never seen so much running water in my life! The waterfalls thundered into once-peaceful streams that were now transformed into raging rivers, and everywhere was the sound of dripping water (when it wasn't raining). I slogged through the mud for an hour before returning to my car, thoroughly soaked. I'd planned on stopping at the pub for a drink, but decided instead to head back down the coast to check out the beach of Ogmore-by-sea, and enjoyed wandering through the ruins of the old castle and taking in the amazing views of the Welsh coast.

After a much-needed sleep and another amazing breakfast, my first stop of the day was to Llantwit Major where I ignored the freezing conditions and ate an ice-cream. Not quite the same as back home though! You can't leave Wales without checking out a castle or two, so on the way home I detoured north through Caerphilly to see Wales' biggest castle (and the second in the UK after Windsor Castle). The weather soon packed it in again though, so I hid in a coffee shop for a while, before hitting the road again. Passing through the town of Caerleon, near Newport, I saw some signs for Roman ruins and decided to check them out, discovering the most extensively excavated Roman amphitheater in the UK. Apparently it is quite an important archaeological site, being the location of a Roman legionary fortress and an Iron Age hill fort. The little museum there was quite interesting, with a reconstruction of the Roman barracks and hundreds of Roman bits and pieces found in the area.

So despite the rain it was a great weekend away and a beautiful country to explore. If only I had more time!

Tags: caerphilly, castles, cowbridge, major llantwit, roman ruins, wales, waterfalls

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