So you’ve eaten enough turkey, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and chocolate, that you’re quite happy to give it up until next Christmas. You’re a little woozy from all the wine and sitting around watching Christmas movies and playing games. If that’s how you feel, I’ve got just the cure for you (if it’s not raining too much)!
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to go walking up Ben Nevis or swim across the channel. It’s a little less taxing than that and a little closer to home. It involves grabbing some willing family members, a canine friend, a pair of wellies and taking advantage of the beautiful scenery around you.
As you do at this time of year, I’m visiting the family for Christmas. In fact we had family visiting from Hamburg and Paris this year, so it’s a pretty full house. Waiting for your turn in the shower may be a chore, but the banter at the breakfast and dinner table is so worth it.
My family lives in rural Carmarthenshire, and is surrounded by lovely countryside and some stunning walking routes. So after all the food and wine, we wanted a bit of fresh air and so did our Welsh border collie, but none of us really fancied trekking up some mountain for six hours.
So we chose a route closer to home, the Teifi Loop Walk. It’s a short drive from our house and starts in the Coed y Foel Woodland Trust car park. The walk is mainly along country lanes, but can be extended to include a section along the banks of the River Teifi (or in Welsh: Afon Teifi). We did spot a little route slightly off the beaten track on the last leg of our walk, so think we’ll have to try that one out next time…
“…that would have spoiled the fun of jumping through all the puddles!”
We were on the road for about an hour and a half — the perfect post-Christmas distance if you ask me. Wales has suffered from serious rain over the last few weeks, and although we were lucky enough to have chosen a non-rainy day, wellies were still a must. You could just about get away with a good pair of walking boots, but that would have spoiled the fun of jumping through all the puddles!
But Carmarthenshire is not only good for walking. There are a number of other activities and places worth visiting while you’re here.
The amount of rain the county gets is good for at least one thing — the rivers. The Teifi river is great for kayaking and canoeing, and if that’s your thing, there’s a great paddling club in Llandysul. You might also want to keep an eye on this blog over the next couple of weeks, as I’ll be speaking to Fiona Beale, an instructor at Llandysul Paddlers and a former world champion motorcycle stunt rider.
You might also want to stop by the Rock Mill, where you can still purchase traditional tapestry bedspreads, blankets, shawls, scarves, and more. And if you’re keen on staying in the area, the Rock Mill has a lovely self-catering cottage that sleeps up to four people. Or if you’re a bigger group, the Long Barn in Capel Dewi, a fully converted 18th Century stone barn, offers some cosy accommodation for groups and individuals.