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Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought - update: been now!
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Author:  JS [ 05 Jul 2012, 08:47 ]
Post subject:  Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought - update: been now!

I'm going to be in Pembrokeshire later in the year and would like to make a mini CS pilgrimage of it. Pembroke Castle and Bosherston Lily Ponds (a la Carola) are definitely on the agenda but are there any other places to go? I believe Tenby is Carnbach? Is there an equivalent to St Briavels or was that sheer imagination?

We might well travel via Hay-on-Wye/Hereford, so any CS suggestions there would be good too (I've already seen EBD's old house in Hereford and The Green Lion, which I think gets a mention in Three Go).

Also, any idea where Jesanne's Dragon House is?

Author:  Joey [ 05 Jul 2012, 11:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

I was brought up not far from Pembrokeshire, so this is one I can have a go at!

Tenby is possibly the closest match to Carnbach, in other words not all that close. EBD seems to have thought that west Wales was somewhat wild and exotic!

There are a few islands off the coast of Wales and come of them can be visited, but none seems to be a good match for St Briavel's, which in one book is off the coast of West Wales and in another is off the South Wales coast. So it could be anywhere, from industrial South Wales, to rural Pembrokeshire, to the Gower Peninsula!

Since you're in Pembrokeshire, I can recommend some lovely islands. Caldey Island has a monastery and is just south of Tenby: EBD does mention monks coming from a nearby island to conduct the Catholic services, so she may have had Caldey Island in mind for that. You can get a ferry to Caldey Island from Tenby and it's worth a visit (I don't know whether dogs will be welcome, though).

There are quite a few islands that have large colonies of birds and / or seals and other marine mammals - Cardigan Island; Grassholm (third most significant population of gannets in the world, after St Kilda and the Bass Rock); Middleholm; Ramsey Island, which is the third largest island off Wales, has a total population of two humans, is a permanent RSBP reserve and which can be visited by boat from St Justinian's; St Catherine's and St Margaret's islands; Skokholm, which is yet another bird reserve, is surrounded by a marine reserve, and can only be visited by prior arrangement with the Wildlife Trust; Skomer, to which you can get a boat from St Martin's haven; and lots of smaller and tidal islands. You can see where the idea of Kester Bellever came from, and why EBD thought of naming her imaginary island after a saint!

Not EBD-related, but you and your dogs will probably love the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - just be aware that it's harder work than it looks: there are so many small slopes that it's got a very deceptive and unexpected amount of height gain, so it can a lot more tiring than you expect!

I don't know the Hereford area very well, despite family connections - my grandfather played the orgen in Hereford Cathedral professionally as a teenager. I love Hay-on-Wye: if you're going to be staying around there, PM me and I'll pass on the details of the delightful B&B we stayed in last year. It's in England, but is five whole minute's walk from the centre of Hay (which is in Wales). It's also not far from Hereford.

The Dragon House seems to be imaginary as far as I can work out, and I have tried!

Author:  JS [ 05 Jul 2012, 13:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

Quote:
Not EBD-related, but you and your dogs will probably love the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - just be aware that it's harder work than it looks: there are so many small slopes that it's got a very deceptive and unexpected amount of height gain, so it can a lot more tiring than you expect!


Thanks Joey - you'll not be surprised to hear that there's an off-road marathon on that very trail which is why we're going!

Love the idea of the bird islands and possibly running into Kester!

Author:  MHE [ 05 Jul 2012, 20:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

Joey wrote:
Skokholm, which is yet another bird reserve, is surrounded by a marine reserve, and can only be visited by prior arrangement with the Wildlife Trust;


As it happens I know that the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales have announced that they will not be running day trips to the island this year due to the amount of rebuilding and maintenance work being done there.

Quote:
Not EBD-related, but you and your dogs will probably love the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - just be aware that it's harder work than it looks: there are so many small slopes that it's got a very deceptive and unexpected amount of height gain, so it can a lot more tiring than you expect!


The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path forms part of the newly opened Wales Coast Path - 870 miles of coastal walking. I hope you don't get too carried away JS :D

One of my favourite places in Pembrokeshire is St David's - a truly peaceful site. Don't forget that in 1797 the last invasion of Britain took place in Pembrokeshire -I'm sure that Joey, with her love of all things Napolenic, would have visited Fishguard Bay and Llanwnda :lol:

Author:  JS [ 10 Jul 2012, 17:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

Quote:
I hope you don't get too carried away JS


I'll try not to! My husband will be running for around 27 miles but the dogs and I will content ourselves with much less than that.

Thanks for the advice :) I'm really looking forward to it.

Author:  mum-of-one [ 08 Aug 2012, 19:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

I went to the Lily ponds last summer, it was lovely. Great cafe in someone's house, if it rains you sit in their living room and knock the kitchen door for service :) Outside toilet including spiders!!

On page 177 GGBP of Carola it says (they were on their way to the ponds) '...drove round Milford Haven, making for New Milford, where they crossed in the ferry to Pembroke Dock(s).'

I can't see how Carnbach could be Tenby if they came from that direction, BUT the islands like Caldey and that little one on the beach in Tenby (island if tide is in) match up with the monk's island and the bird one...ish.

I think it's a mixture of imagination with some real places. I love the Island stories :)

Have a lovely time, West Wales is wonderful! x

Author:  Elder in Ontario [ 09 Aug 2012, 01:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

There is a piece in the latest FOCS journal on Tenby/Carnbach and Caldey Island - I just received my copy yesterday.

Author:  JS [ 13 Aug 2012, 08:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

Thanks - I'm not in FOCS but am off to Topsy Turvy conference next weekend so hopefully there'll be a copy around :)

Author:  JS [ 31 Aug 2012, 08:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

Have just read the article in FOCS (thanks Elder :) ) and am now very keen to go to Caldey Island -will have to investigate dog-friendly means....

Author:  Chris [ 31 Aug 2012, 13:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

You get to Caldey on a boat, and you can take dogs with you. There is a special hut thing in the harbour where you buy your tickets, and the boat leaves from the castle beach. Takes about 20 mins or so.

Author:  JS [ 10 Oct 2012, 14:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought

Well we had a very pleasant weekend in Pembrokeshire (despite my lingering cold and the fact that we found out with less than a week to go that our accommodation had been double booked and we had to find somewhere else!)

On Sunday we followed in the footsteps of Carola and co and went to Pembroke Castle, followed by Bosherston Lily Ponds. We walked to the beach at Broadhaven, which the dogs loved.

On Monday we went to Tenby and tried to go to Caldey Island but the ferry wasn't running due to the weather, which actually wasn't that bad, although it had been windy during the night. Anyway, I was delighted to find reference to a 'lost staircase' in a rather pretty church, and wondered if that had provided any inspiration. There was also a Culver Road/Street! We did see Caldey Island from the mainland and could see what is presumably the monastery - very large and white, a bit like the Big House.

We then went to St David's and had a walk along the coastal path, which was quite stunning.

It was a lovely weekend, all in all, so thanks to everyone for their advice/suggestions. And my husband came fourth in the marathon, so he was quite pleased too :)

Author:  Jools [ 11 Oct 2012, 13:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pembrokeshire and Carola advice sought - update: been no

Quite envious js! Glad you had a nice time, and congratulations to your husband - coming fourth is very impressive.

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