Monday, 28 February 2011

Rolf paints in the style of Shani Rhys James in Rolf on Welsh Art 2nd March

This week in Rolf on Welsh Art, Rolf meets fellow Australian and award winning artist Shani Rhys James. Born in Australia to a Welsh father and Australian mother Shani eventually moved to the UK where she trained as an artist in Loughborough and London and has lived for many years in Llangadfan between Welshpool and Dolgellau, Wales Her paintings are powerful and emotional with imaginative and observational elements.
Rolf Harris with the aid of a hand mirror attempts to paint a self portrait in the same style as Shani whose own self portraits are influenced by her family history and childhood experiences.
Rolf's finished painting can be seen in the National Museum Cardiff.

Shani Rhys James

                                         Rolf with his self portrait painted in the style of Shani Rhys James

Friday, 25 February 2011

Pembrokeshire Coastal Bus Service - Car free and care free

When planning your trip to the Pembrokeshire countryside this summer why not explore some of the opportunites to travel through this gorgeuos county on foot, bike, bus or train.

Did you know that there is a network of coastal buses to help you access the coastal walks, beaches, boat trips, local villages and attractions?, so planning your car free day out couldn’t be easier.

If you’re a walker take advantage of the Pembrokeshire Coast path national trail and enjoy a walk from your cottage door step, using the Pembrokeshire Coastal buses to get back without having to retrace your steps.

The Poppit Rocket, Strumble Shuttle, Celtic Cruiser, Puffin Shuttle and Coastal Cruiser bus services run 7 days a week from May - September. Did you know that Pembrokeshire’s Coastal buses run on recycled vegetable oil?

For those staying in Pembroke, Saundersfoot or Tenby you can use the existing local bus services that run all year round.

Plan your journey with Traveline Cymru. The journey planner will do all the hard work for you.    or text 84268

Or visit and click on tietables for up to date bus timetable information.

For walking, cycling, bus and train inspiration contact

Videos of Pembrokeshire Coastal Bus Journeys

Pembrokeshire County Council have produced 5 excellent videos of coastal bus journeys around the spectacular Pembrokeshire coastline including the Poppit Rocket, Strumble Shuttle, Puffin Shuttle, Coastal Cruiser and Celtic Coaster. Click on coastal bus journeys to see them.

Llynnon Mill, Llanddeusant, Anglesey

Anglesey was once known as the 'Granary of Wales' because the island produced more grain than any other part of the country. At one time there were at least 50 working windmills and watermills. Now Llynnon Mill in Llanddeusant, Anglesey is the ony working mill left in the whole of Wales. You can buy stoneground wholemeal flour made from 100% organic wheat and enjoy cakes baked using the same flour in a traditional Welsh tea served in the mill's tearoom.

The mill's stoneground flour is particularly benefitial in a diabetic diet because the low glycemic index helps to control blood sugars.

Mix n' Match Bodlasan Holiday Cottages near Trearddur Bay Anglesey

A choice of three cottages on a beautiful, peaceful headland on the northwest coast of Anglesey with sweeping views of  the Alaw Estuary, Snowdon and Holyhead Mountain, just 400 yards from an unspoilt, hardly used beach and just a short drive from pretty Trearddur Bay.
Bodlasan House sleeps 7, Bodlasan Cottage sleeps 6
or take both cottages together for a party of 13.
Two dogs are welcome free.
Click on the cottage names for full details.

The beach 400 yards from Bodlasan feels like your own.
                                                                              Pretty Trearddur Bay is a short drive from Bodlasan

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Prince William & Kate Middleton today carried out their first official engagement as a Royal couple

The new Trearddur Bay Lifeboat ' Hereford Endeavour', was launched on Anglesey today by Royal couple Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton, their first Royal duty together. The couple are to be married in April and will continue to live on Anglesey in Wales where Prince William is currently working.

St Davids Day Celebration in Riverside Shopping Centre Haverfordwest

Enjoy a special St Davids Day celebration at Riverside Shopping Centre in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Dathlu Dewi, an open air celebration for St Davids Day with the Pembrokeshire Welsh Language forum from 11am - 2pm on Tuesday 1st March
There will be stalls, cookery demonstrations, singing, traditional folk dancing and members of the Scarlets rugby squad to talk to.
Something for the whole family to enjoy.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Rolf on Welsh Art in Ystradgynlais near the Brecon Beacons National Park

On BBC Wales this week 23rd March Rolf Harris will be visiting the small mining town of Ystradgynlais on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. He will be exploring the adopted home and inspiration of Polish artist Josef Herman. Herman who lost his whole family during the holocaust fled Nazi occupied Warsaw and settled in the mining community of Ysradgynlais in 1944. He studied working people all of his life and particularly coal miners during his 11 years there. Rolf will attempt to paint in the style of Herman. Rolf's painting can be seen in the Glynn Vivian Gallery in Swansea.

'In the pit' by Josef Herman   

Monday, 21 February 2011

Another lovely new Quality Cottage in the Brecon Beacons National Park

A stylish barn conversion sitting in the heart of the Black Mountains on a remote hillside next to the owners house. An absolutely stunning location, within the Brecon Beacons National Park close to Hay on Wye and Abergavenny.
Click on the name for full details.

Hay on Wye 'Book Town'
Abergavenny Market

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Don't forget to watch Rolf on Wales tonight 16th Feb

Tonight on BBC One Wales, Rolf Harris will be painting a portrait of Snowdonia farmer Hefin Jones, father of Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel. He will paint in the style of the late Sir Kyffin Williams celebrated Welsh artist whose work can be seen in Oriel Kyffin Williams Gallery in Rhosmeirch, Llangefni, Anglesey , the home in which he once lived.
Rolf's painting of Hefin Jones is currently on show at the Oriel Ynys Mon in Llangefni.

The late Sir Kyffin Williams

A portrait painted by Sir Kyffin Williams

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

FREE Entry on St Davids Day March 1st

There will be Free Entry to Cadw properties (Cadw is the official guardian of the built heritage of Wales)including Welsh castles and the National Botanical Gardens of Wales on St Davids Day. Great days out for all ages.
                                                                       Conwy Castle
                                                   National Botanical Gardens, Llanarthne

Monday, 14 February 2011

Rolf on Welsh Art

Watch out for Rolf Harris on BBC One Wales,Wednesday nights starting on 16th February. He will be exploring the Welsh landscapes that inspired celebrated artists Sir Kyffin Williams, Graham Sutherland, Joseph Herman and Shani Rhys James. He is also going to attempt to paint in the same style as his chosen artisits.  Rolf has Welsh ancesters. His parents emigrated from Merthry Tydfil to Australia where he was born and brought up before finding fame in the UK. His grandfather was Welsh artist George Frederick Harris.

Bronallt an immaculate pet free cottage in the harbour town of Aberaeron

If you prefer to stay in a cottage free from pets then Bronallt is the place for you. Immaculate and comfortable with wonderful views over Aberaeron harbour and within strolling distance of the town with its range of restaurants, cafes, pubs, shops and pebbly beaches. Click on the name to see full details.
View from the conservatory, patio windows and balcony of Bronallt.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Near Wisemans Bridge and Saundersfoot

Wake up to magnificent sea views over Saundersfoot Bay from this little cottage set within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The popular seaside resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot are both a shortdrive away and a 10 minute stroll will bring you to the beach at Wisemans Bidge.

Click on the name for full details

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A Quality Cottage in the beautiful Dee Valley near Bala Lake

Scandia is a spectacularly appointed farmhouse with a rare blend of rusticity, functionality and style close to picturesque Bala Lake in North Wales.
Click on the name for full details.

All aboard the Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog to Caernarfon

The final section of the Welsh Highland Railway has been completed two months in advance of the scheduled official opening. The services now run for 25 miles between Porthmadog and Caernarfon curling around tightbends, crawling up steep gradients and zigzagging down the mountain side while passing through the spectacularly scenic Snowdonia landscapes.

In Caernarfon the service starts beside the magnificent Caernarfon castle and in Porthmadog the train even travels through the streets.

Half term specials are a regular feature of the Welsh Highland Railaway but this half term promises to be the best yet.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Beudy Uchaf Another beautiful holiday cottage joins the Quality Cottages portfolio

Another beautiful holiday cottage joins the Quality Cottages portfolio. This charming newly converted barn is located in the timeless border country, one of Wales best kept secrets home to mountains, lakes, waterfalls and rivers near Newtown and Welshpool.

2 small dogs welcome free.

Click on the name for full details.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A whale of a time in Wales

Fin whales are being spotted more and more frequently in Welsh waters leading experts to believe their migratory patterns might be changing. Welsh waters offer these majestic creatures good feeding and freedom from persecution typically during late autumn and winter although they have been spotted during the summer months too. They grow up to 80' long and 80 tons in weight blowing water spouts up to 30' when they surface to breathe and usually travel in pods of 2 - 7. Two were spotted from the bridge of the Stena ferry on route from Pembrokeshire to Ireland on 20th Jan 2011. 
Regular ceacean surveys off the Pembrokeshire coast have also recorded sightings of  fin, minke and humpback whales as well as orcas, rissos, dolphins and super pods of common dolphins.

Monday, 7 February 2011

St Teilos Church Llandeloy Pembrokeshire in the care of Friends of Friendless Churches

Charming St Teilos Church in Llandeloy north Pembrokeshire was built on a medieval site in 1926-27 using the Arts & Crafts principle of sourcing simple local materials without copying any particular style or period. The architect was John Coates Carter of Cardiff. The funding was provided by John Frances whose wealth came from copper smelting during that period. The church closed in 2002 and was taken over by The Friends of Friendless Churches. Cadw has designated the church as a Grade II listed building.

The beautiful interior has some lovely features including rood screen, wood carvings, two stone fonts, one of which was built from ancient stone found on the site, evocative paintwork, stained glass and more. When in the area St Teilos is well worth a visit.

Descendents of John Frances, a granddaughter and a grandson, own two of our glorious holiday properties. Vrynylan in Carmarthenshire and Plas Pontfaen in Pembrokeshire.