Over The Hills And Into Wales


My sister Jo is a whizz at finding lovely spots for family gatherings, and so it was last Thursday we found ourselves in the Radnorshire hills, staying at Wild Meadow eco-cottage just outside Presteigne. We were only an hour or so’s drive from home, having crossed from Shropshire into Herefordshire, and thence into Wales, although only just inside the border  (red arrow marks the spot):


And we all agreed how very pleasing it was to arrive on holiday so quickly i.e. without the stress of planes, motorways and hours of tedious driving. In fact the entire journey from home was mostly through rolling farm land. It also included our first ever sighting of a terrestrial rainbow. It was lying across the fields below Walton Hills as we drove through Much Wenlock. Most extraordinary. After a brief, sharp drizzle it seemed to have fallen flat out of the sky.


And so here we are (some of us) at Wild Meadow cottage:



Nearby Presteigne was once the county town of the ancient shire of Radnor, but these days is part of Powys, the largest administrative region in Wales. It is fine sheep farming country, and mostly looks like this for miles and miles and miles:



And this is the town. Not much was happening when we stopped there mid afternoon last Thursday, although we were pleased to find coffee was being served in the the bar of the 17th century Radnorshire Arms along with a welcoming smile from the publican.












Back at Wild Meadow, Jo tried out the old oak tree swing:



And after a few squalls of rain, we watched the sun set across the hills.


34 thoughts on “Over The Hills And Into Wales

    1. We could do with a bit of your desert drought and warmth, Janet. Freezing winds still persisting, but then that’s not stopping the wheat and grass from burgeoning.

      1. It’s actually been nice and cool (but certainly not freezing) and thankfully we’ve had an excellent amount of rain and, higher up, snow. I’m sure it will heat up soon enough.

  1. Hi Tish I can’t remember if I ever wrote to you to say I’d quoted from a terrific piece of yours on Elsi Eldridge in one of my Forgotten Women Artists emails 6 months or more ago
    If you send me your email address I’ll happily forward the piece on to you – and I send out one a week so if you’d like to start reading them I’ll add you in to the list.
    I love your blogs – your nature writing especially is beautiful I think. And specially so since some of our closest friends live in Ludlow (we’re near Oxford) so I know that part of the country really well…
    With much appreciation and very best wishes

  2. It is rather lovely not having to drive or travel for hours to reach a holiday destination and although you can often visit such areas on a day trip there is nothing better than having time to relax and thoroughly explore a different area. I have driven through many of these places to and from Ludlow, but never actually stopped to properly look at the wonderful architecture.

    1. There’s nothing like having a good browse around a place. It’s too easy to think you’ve got the gist of somewhere that you drive through a lot. And as you know very well, Jude, there are always wonders to find on or near one’s own doorstep.

  3. What a lovely place to have a family gathering. The hillsides are lush and green, and the town is quaint and beautiful. And being so close to your home is a definite plus.

  4. The agelessness of these historic towns astounds me every time. A building built in 1616 still standing AND IN USE! That building stood in that town even long before my forebears left Europe to settle in Africa.

  5. That’s so calming and pleasant Tish, the story and photos. (Love the map, too. Thanks for that! They’re hard to come by it seems—digitally anyhow.) the rolling hills as you describe is such a tonic for the mind, and as you say, zero stress on holiday. We have a place near us like that we like to visit called Whidbey Island, a small idyllic town there called Langley, that seems preserved in old, small town Americana and insulated from commercialism. Though they do a good tourist trade, ha!

    Looks like fun times, thanks for sharing and be well.

    1. Hello, Bill. Happy weekend to you.

      These ‘off-grid’ places that hang onto their very own special qualities are treasures for those of us who happen on them. They truly do lift the spirits, don’t they; remind one of what’s really important; and often the home to a host of creative people, indigenous and immigrant, who’ve all been drawn there.

      With threats of 15 minute cities and all of human needs facilitated via blockchain wallets, we need to hang on to them.

      Head for the hills!

      Which reminds me. I experienced my first AI-robotic phone call recently. And damn, if it didn’t fool me. I’d phoned national savings to change my phone number, and as the usual sales staff were on holiday, I ended up conversing with a machine about why I was ringing, and how fed up I was with the system. I even took the pauses in the exchange for periods of rational cogitation on the machine’s part. It had such a very nice voice too. Drat and double drat.

      1. Nice postcard there Tish from across the pond, thanks for that. One of my favorite life memories is driving across Scotland in mid November, from the east to southwest, and all that expanse of treeless, golden land. The scrub and scree and so on…how soothing to the mind. But sad they felled all those trees right?!

        On the AI, there may come a day soon when we prefer digital agents for their accuracy and efficiency. I don’t know how I feel about that, but suspect it’s true. I just rewatched 2001 (the film) and finished reading some analysis of it just now. These are rich topics to ruminate on, grateful I have you to share in them with. And an AI could have stated that better but perhaps with its flaws you can tell it’s me 😜

      1. Well said. I like the same thing, yet our rolling hills by our small town aren’t as expansive as yours. Still, we are both lucky.

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