Considering I went to university in Wales, have family in Wales, and currently live in Wales, I've done a remarkably small amount of exploring.
As a child, we took a couple of family holidays to St Davids (smallest city in the UK), and another to Betws-y-Coed, when I was dragged up a mountain, but since I've been living in Wales as an adult? Nope. Barely ventured outside of Cardiff. Seriously- I haven't made it to St Fagans, Tredegar House, or the Brecon Beacons yet. So when Jenny suggested an Easter Monday trip to the part of Wales she grew up in, I could hardly say no. Even when that involved getting up at 6:20am on a Bank Holiday to get a train at 08:06am to do so. What can I say? I'm a) a great friend and b) a big fan of day trips.
First stop on Jenny's magical mystery tour of South West Wales was Laugharne. Now had Jenny not pronounced it first, I definitely would have said it something like "lock-arne". Turns out, you pronounce it Larne, so we've all learnt something there.
Laugharne is famous for being home to Dylan Thomas, and is supposedly the town Llareggub in Under the Milkwood is based on. (As an aside- Llareggub. Looks convincingly Welsh, right? Read it backwards) It should also be famous for being one of the prettiest towns I've ever seen in the sunshine and for having a castle with a brilliantly thin ruin...
We started the day with tea and teacakes in the brilliantly named The Owl and the Pussycat, but I was too busy gossiping to take pictures. Fortunately for you, the beauty of the coastline shut me up for long enough for me to take a few pictures, as we made our way around to the Dylan Thomas Boathouse...
You first pass Dylan Thomas' writing shed- which is literally a shed, looking over the water. I could certainly be rather inspired there. I mean just look at that light! And the view was unbearably beautiful.
Before you know it, you stumble across the Boathouse itself. Honestly- I currently can't think of anywhere I'd rather live. Who cares about the risk of your house falling into the sea when your whole house overlooks that view?!
The downstairs of the house has been turned into a little tearoom, with a beautiful outside terrace. We aren't the sort of people to pass up an opportunity to sit in the sunshine with a cup of tea, and a Welsh Tea split between three.
Once we had had our fill, we piled back into the car and made our way around the coast to Tenby- which is one of the most perfectly picturesque seaside towns I think I have ever seen, full of ice cream parlours, fish and chip shops, and two huge beautiful sandy beaches. And just look at the colour of that sky!! It seems that there might be a season other than winter after all...
We meandered through the pretty town centre and made our way to the seafront, where I could have spent hours watching the families on the beach from afar, and wishing I owned a pretty pastel coloured house that overlooked the sea. It's now become my "One Day" dream.
We wandered along the path to take a peek at the lifeboat station (those things are huge) towards the second of Tenby's two beaches, and to have a look at the former prison-turned-zoo-turned-tourist-attraction on the rocks. We decided to give scrambling over the rocks a miss for the day, but happily watched holidaymakers picking their way across the sand to the steps, hoping they wouldn't get cut off when the tide turned.
All the adventuring had given us quite the appetite, so Jenny's mum treated us to chips on the sea front. I can't turn down cheesey chips (awful, I know, but some days just have to be like that), while my companions plumped for gravy and mushy peas, and curry sauce.
All too soon, it was time to head back to Jenny's mum's to admire Ben's handiwork (he'd been left a list of DIY to do) and to have a quick snuggle with Pip, Jenny's adorable dog (she does the cutest "play dead!" I've ever seen) before hopping on the train back to Cardiff, suntired and happy.
Thank you so much Jenny (and Jenny's mum!) for such a lovely day exploring. I'll definitely be back soon...