Not to warmer climes yet, although the preBankHoliday weekend did deliver sunshine, at least in the parts of Wales we visited. If our car were a trusty steed he would know the route by now, another jaunt down the M6. We discovered that the services at Annandale Water have a nice walk around the (small) lake, just make sure to keep your dog under control as there are lots of ducks and geese. Our first overnight stop was deep in the Eden valley at the lovely Drybeck Hall www.drybeckhall.co.uk. It's an old house, dating from 1679, with thick walls and sloping floors; downstairs the stone floor bears the evidence of centuries of steps. Dogs and even horses are welcome and if you don't own either you can enjoy meeting the ponies in the field outside. Don't worry if you're not an animal lover or allergic, the resident dogs stay in their own quarters. We arranged to have our dinner here, and had a lovely relaxed meal.
Next morning after a sound sleep and good breakfast we headed down the Ms 6 and 5 stopping for walkies and human refreshment at Croome www.nationaltrust.org/croom. Then it wasn't far to Wales and our regular bunk chez GlamourPuss. As always the welcome was warm, the food (and drink) plentiful and the company great. No website details, this establishment only accepts a very preferred clientele!
Sunny Sunday saw us on a family outing to Dinefwr estate near Llandeilo www.nationaltrust.org/dinefwr. This is wonderful place for a day trip there are walks for all ages including a very flat one along the boardwalk, a ruined castle and the "big house" itself.
This photo of the gorgeous bluebells in the woods leading to the castle comes courtesy of @KayMoggie.
Next day we explored another National Trust property, Tredegar House www.nationaltrust.org/tredegar-house. We kept Dogstarke under very close control in the park, specially around these little critters, again courtesy of @KayMoggie
Our final night away was at Peterstone Court www.peterstone-court.com in Llanhamlach, just outside Brecon. This hotel has a lovely setting, its terraced gardens leading down to the river and looking across to Pen y Fan. We had a "good" room at the top of the building, large and airy it had a view out to the fields opposite and of the flighty visitors from warmer climes lodging under the eaves. There's a small outdoor pool in a sheltered part of the garden and if we'd visited just a day earlier I'm sure I'd have had a dip.
We ate in the conservatory where we could have Dogstarke join us under the table, dogs are also welcome in some bedrooms, the library and bar. The conservatory has the view across to Pen y Fan though the peaks weren't always visible; warning of how fickle the weather can be out on the hills. Dinner certainly wasn't fickle, it was all good. We tried the duck and pork from the hotel's own farm.
Back on the road our final stop was for a walk and refreshment at Erddig nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig. You may notice a pattern here, when travelling with a dog it's much more fun to be able to go for a proper walk than using the often grubby patches of grass at service stations. We are National Trust members so plan our stops accordingly. Weather permitting many of their cafes have outdoor areas.
At Erddig we were joined by this wee fellow
So now I'm back home trying to avoid the cream teas and embrace exercise. After all the countdown to warmer climes has begun.