Category Archives: Wales

Watching seal pups in Wales

Grey seals in Wales give birth around September-October. A good place to see the conspicuous white pups is Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park which has enough attractions to satisfy all members of a nature-loving family. As well as seals, there’s a good chance to spot Bottle-nosed Dolphins, resident in Cardigan Bay. Birdwatchers can observe Peregrine Falcons or Red-billed Choughs. For young visitors (or not so young) there are friendly farm animals, including Dilwyn the Donkey.

Close encounter with Fin whales

Members of Sea Trust had a spectacularly close view of a group of Fin whales who were feeding on mackerel off the Pembrokeshire coast. One swam directly under their boat. The Fin whale is the second largest animal in the world after the Blue whale, weighing around 60-70 tons, but they are relatively fast swimmers, due to their streamlined shape. Sightings in the area are increasing. See the BBC and Wikipedia

Welsh mountain architecture

Hafod Eryri, Snowdon new visitor’s centre is the highest building and highest café in Britain (see Slideshow). The Guardian’s architecture critic, Jonathan Glanceyn describes it here as a ‘complete surprise’ and “a feat of ‘engineering sorcery’… fits so effortlessly into that peak is a real credit to those who designed and built it.” On arrival, visitors are greeted by lines of poetry carved into the outside walls of building, by Welsh poet Gwyn Thomas. The building must be able to withstand extreme weather conditions on the summit (Winds over 150mph -twice hurricane force-, over 5 metres of rain a year, temperatures of -20°C  -excluding wind chill).

Well worth either the climb or taking Britain’s only rack-and-pinion mountain railway train.

Record Welsh puffin season

Puffins have has begun their annual migration from Wales to the North Atlantic Ocean after a “record breeding season”. Thousands of birds began leaving Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire last weekend. Skomer is currently home to more than 13,500 puffins – up from 10,000 last year. It is thought puffins, unlike at other sites in the UK, the birds may be doing well because of increased numbers of sandeels. The Daily Telegraph

I wonder if their numbers are being bolstered by refugees from the dwindling Scottish colonies in search of sandeels.

Wild campsite in Snowdonia National Park

Campsite in Snowdonia National Park with fabulous views of the Mawddach estuary and Snowdonia mountains. Graig Wen, near Dolgellaux. Graig Wen promises “an inspirational, back to nature experience”.  Perfect for walking, bird-watching, mountain-biking or visiting the area.

4 star Bed and Breakfast accommodation, three holiday cottages and yurts are also available

Visit this site

Electric canal barge holidays

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal threads through some of the most beautiful scenery in South Wales. With it’s industrial life is over, it offers the opportunity to see the Welsh countryside from your very own self-drive diseal or electric narrow boat. The canal covers 33 navigable miles from Brecon to Pontypool. Average cruising speed is 2-3 miles per hour so you will need at least a week to enjoy the canal.
More from Castle Narrowboats.

Guardian review “The owners of Castle Narrowboats, Nick and Sharon Mills, patiently briefed us on the workings of what is one of only two electric narrowboats for hire in Britain – the other one is theirs too – and answered our landlubber questions with admirable patience.”

Snowdonia by Sidney Richard Percy


Sidney Richard Percy (1821 – 1886) is one of my favourite 19th century landscape painters. He had a particular love of the Welsh landscape of Snowdonia and the Merioneth region around the village of Llanbedr. These peaks shrouded in clouds draw me in and make me want to climb them.