Gosh, it seems ages since my last post! Over the last week or so I've seen so many lovely places on my travels, spent time with old friends, eaten lovely food and generally had a wonderful time. I also had a lovely day out yesterday for my birthday, even though I felt I'd had all my treats the week before, very aptly a visit to the city where I was born, too many years ago now to mention and last but not least I've been given a blog award by Ruth at Dian's Timpanalley. Thank you Ruth, I will get around to answering the questions but I seem to be behind on most things at the moment. I'll also write a post on my birthday visit but for now I'll show you some photos of where we visited last week as we criss-crossed the borders between Wales, Herefordshire and Shropshire. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will perhaps remember that every year I meet up with a couple of friends and we stay at the Thomas Shop in Pennybont, near Llandrindod Wells and this year was no exception just a little later in the year than usual and for the first time Paul accompanied me so we had the car to take us all out and about.
Just a short journey north took us to the town of Rhayader and then up into the Elan Valley. The rain was waiting for us that morning but by the end of the day it was warm, dry and sunny. We saw red kites flying around here their mewling cry is quite distinctive.
We had lunch at the Elan Valley visitor centre where there are displays and exhibitions about the building of the reservoirs and dams by the then Birmingham Corporation and the lost village and valley of Nantgwyllt.
Afterwards we visited Rhyader museum which was an interesting mix of modern, interative displays and local and social history displays. The staff here were very friendly and helpful Above you can see my friends P & S watching one of the video displays in the main art gallery.
I loved the way the designers of this fairly new museum had set old photos in the glass squares going up the staircase to the top floor.
We also visited the picture post card village of Pembridge with is long street of timber framed buildings and church with a separate bell tower.
This was a village we intend to return to to explore some more as there were some wonderful old buildings and a grade 2 listed 16th century open market hall just down from the church.
We had stopped at the village looking for an evening meal. It was about 5.45pm. and just at that time when cafes and tea shops have closed and the pubs and restaurants don't start serving food until 7p.m. so we moved on to Leominster where we found a wonderful Italian pizzeria and enjoyed freshly made pizza and salad.
We also paid a visit to Hereford where we saw the Mappa Mundi and the old chained library as well as the interior of the cathedral. We couldn't take photos in the exhibition area and could only take photos for personal use, for a fee, inside the cathedral so I didn't take any photos inside.
We also visited the old house museum in the centre of the city. Again no photos of the inside but I found it quite fascinating. Built in 1621 it started life as a butcher's shop and just before it was turned into a Museum in 1929 it was a Lloyds bank. In front you can see a life sized bronze statue of a Hereford bull.
No photos again inside the main Museum which is above the library in the centre of the city in this wonderful 'Venetian Gothic' style Victorian building designed in the 1870s by local architect Frederick Robertson Kempson. There were some wonderful displays in here and we spent ages looking around.
On the way back we called into Ludlow and also went to look at the Ludlow Food Centre just on the outskirts of the town. There was some wonderful produce but it was very expensive. I could imagine buying biscuits or jars of preserves or bottles of fruit juices as presents though.
We had afternoon tea at the Carding Mill valley tea shop and had a little wander to stretch our legs but we didn't have time for a proper walk as we were headed for Shrewsbury and then towards home. This is another place we want to return to at a later date to do one the several walks in the area.
I thought it was beautiful with its views of both the Shropshire and Welsh hills, including parts of the famous Long Mynd.
The tea shop and gift shop was very busy with both walkers and families out enjoying themselves and taking advantage of the warm weather. We were only away from home for four days but it seemed far more as we came back as refreshed as if we had been away for much longer.