Category: News

How to visit Pontcanna, Cardiff’s coolest district for a Welsh weekend like a local

My last story of the year is part of a round-up feature for Telegraph Travel.

I explored the Cardiff suburb of Pontcanna, the en-vogue neighbourhood for shopping, dining and drinking.

Here’s a taster of the text:

The Welsh capital packs heritage attractions and sporting heroes into the compact city centre. But the smart set heads for Pontcanna.

The leafy, northwestern suburb is, along with neighbouring Canton, home to green spaces, hipster hangouts and cool cafes. Crucially, it feels properly Welsh, and the locals outnumber day-trippers.

Better still, it’s just a 20-minute stroll into the city centre via Bute Park and the grounds of Cardiff Castle, part Norman fortress, part Victorian folly, following the river Taff.

Amongst my recommendations are brunch at Milkwood [pictured above] and the restuarant, Thomas.

The latter is the domain of Pembrokeshire-raised chef Tom Simmons, who blends French and Welsh influences for a true taste of the cosmopolitan Cardiff suburbs.

Read the full story via Telegraph Travel, Britain’s coolest 15 neighbourhoods — and how to see them like a local 

How ghost stories reveal the dark reality of life for Yorkshire’s ancient monks

A Halloween trip to the North Yorkshire Moors this autumn.

I took a trip back through time to Rievaulx Abbey [pictured above] to try a new ghost-story-inspired tour of English Heritage properties.

Revenants and Remains is a 90-minute walking tour of five monastic sites across the North of England, ranging from Cumbria to North Yorkshire.

The idea is to peer into the supernatural shadows, using ghost stories to shine light into the darker corners of the medieval sites.

Here’s a sample of the story:

The resident monks drew on ancient beliefs and local folk legends to compile a series of ghost stories, fused with medieval mysticism and the hellfire-brimstone of the Holy scriptures. The tours interpret these stories to explain the symbolism of the medieval belief system, a world dominated by terrifying tales of the afterlife and spooky stories of the undead.

Tour leader, Dr. Michael Carter, Senior Properties Historian at English Heritage, said:

“The stories reveal the lives of medieval monks were epitomised by a constant state of moral vigilance for the sin-stained souls of their patrons, easing their path to Paradise.”

Read the full story via i Travel, The ghost stories and medieval ruins that shaped the North York Moors

 

 

 

Visit the little-known, rural Welsh retreat favoured by the new King Charles

A rare visit over the autumn to a little-known rural retreat in west Wales.

But the Llwynywermod estate, comprising two holiday cottages and a Grade II-listed threshing barn, as well as the main farmhouse, is more than just your average farm-stay holiday accommodation.

It’s the restorative retreat built for our new, King Charles III [pictured above], and the Queen Consort, Camilla, during their regular visits to Wales.

What’s more, the twin holiday cottages, North Range and West Range, are available to the public to book when royal family members are not in residence.

Here’s a taster of the story:

His Royal Highness has been reported as saying it took “a long search lasting some 40 years” to find his bucolic Welsh retreat. The future king retreated to his Welsh home after the death of his father, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April 2021, giving him space needed to “contemplate the future of the Royal Family”.

The estate is located in rural Carmarthenshire, near to the folklore-rich village of Myddfai.

The village is associated with the Physicians of Myddfai, who are said to have practiced from the 12th century, having acquired their early homeopathic skills when local monasteries flourished as schools of herbal medicine.

Their work is celebrated by the Apothecary’s Garden, incorporating a replica Victorian pharmacy, at the nearby National Botanic Garden of Wales.

David Hardy, Head of Communications at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, says:

“His Royal Highness has a strong connection to the county, evidenced by his decision to make his home in Wales here.”

Read the full story via Telegraph Travel, The tiny royal residence you’ve never heard of.

Vote for Chester: Britain’s 15 best high streets for Christmas shopping

Feeling festive? My nomination for Chester made it into Britain’s 15 best high streets for Christmas shopping via Telegrpah Travel.

Read my guide to the city for your next Christmas-shopping weekend break.

Here’s a taster of the text:

Chester was voted the most beautiful city in the world earlier this year in a survey based on Google Street View. Walking the half-timbered main streets is a promenade through 2,000 years of history from the Romans to the modern day. The Xmas market opened November 18 on central Town Hall Square, while nearby examples of Tudor buildings, Georgian townhouses and Victorian flourishes complete a history-spanning backdrop to mooching, gift hunting and hot-chocolate supping.

Find more about Chester (and the other 14 places) here — currently no paywall at this link.

And scroll to the end to vote for Chester (second out of 15 to York when I last checked).