So many corners, so little time

By Colin McFadden
This post is part of a series called UK 2021
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This trip is giving us a sampler platter of Wales and the Cotswolds. At our more typical pace, any given 15 minute slice from this trip would be a whole day of adventure. Just giving us ideas of things to come back to.

We got up early this morning because we wanted to have some coffee and enjoy our room before breakfast. We had a view looking out on the garden, and about 20 rabbits were out having their morning snacks. The best TV there is! We had a delightful breakfast – they even got me a paper copy of the Guardian which felt very fancy indeed.

We set out from Pale Hall around 9 and set out for the so called “Mach Loop” – a scenic stretch of Snowdonia where RAF fighters like to show off. As if on queue, the moment we parked two fighters buzzed us very fast, at a very low altitude. This is one of those stops where we would have been happy spending a day hiking – a glacial “u shaped” valley, with gorgeous trails leading in all directions. Instead, it was back on the road to head for the Elan valley.

The Elan valley contains a series of dams built in the early 1900s to provide water for the city of Birmingham. We popped into the visitor center for a bathroom break, and then worked our way up the valley. We stopped for tea and cakes at a delightful little restaurant and tea room en route. The highlight was parking next to a series 1 Jaguar E-Type. The owner was happy to check out our car as well.

Further up the valley, we stopped and drove across the final and most dramatic dam. There was much gratuitous drone imagery.

Our intended lunch stop ended up being closed due to some COVID scheduling changes, so we pressed on for the charming little town of Brecon just outside the Brecon Beacons National Park. Brecon is the definition of cute. We had fish and chips, poked around an art gallery, purchased some hand thrown mugs, met some nice dogs, and regretted not being able to stop in each and every yarn store. Well, one of us regretted that.

The drive out of Brecon was a big landscape shift – wide open views, faster roads, and relatively little traffic. We were intending to skip the next stop (a distillery) on the tour to win back some time. However, as we drove past we saw quite a site – a parking lot full of Morgans! (And a Westfield). We had to stop. It turns out it was a local Morgan club out for an afternoon drive, culminating in some drinks at the distillery. Quite a coincidence!

Leaving the distillery, the remainder of the afternoon was a little more of a slog, punctuated by a few amazing stretches. Getting down to our overnight in Bath involved taking some more heavily trafficked roads, including some motorways. We needed to cross the Severn Estuary, and it’s hard to do that on backroads! Roadworks meant a lot of slow going as well. We covered about 250 miles today, and by the time we pulled into Bath we were feeling it.

Bath is another on place we’d love to camp out for longer. We had a nice evening strolling, getting some takeout to eat on the river. There’s some fascinatingly bad modern buildings as well. I can’t imagine UNESCO was thrilled about those.

Tomorrow is our last day in the Morgan, and the schedule is a little less frenetic. We’ll leave early to give ourselves a little extra “poking” time in some of the cute Cotswold villages. Perhaps we’ll find a yarn shop.

3 thoughts on “So many corners, so little time

  • Susan August 26, 2021 at 12:01 am Reply

    The driving video is great but what happens when you meet another car coming the other way?

    • Colin McFadden August 26, 2021 at 7:38 am Reply

      You brake and get as far over as possible. If you still don’t fit, one car backs up until you do!

  • Barb August 26, 2021 at 6:06 am Reply

    Great idea to take the drone! Love the pictures and videos! So much history, architecture, bucolic scenery and FOOD. Enjoy!

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