Category: On Tour

Glamping in Bristol

Last year, we went on a glamping holiday, which is the closest I’ve ever got to camping. This year, we went to Bristol to stay in a wigwam for a last minute break. I had no idea what to expect and wasn’t sure how basic it would be. I was pleasantly surprised. The wigwam was fantastic, as were the amenities available on site. We were in one of three wigwams (the dog friendly one), only one of which was used for one night while we were there, so it was nice and quiet.

View of BristolBristol Wigwams Inside Bristol wigwamEach of the wigwams have a picnic bench outside, to sit and enjoy the amazing view of Bristol. Inside, the accommodation is basic, but good quality, clean and comfortable. There’s heating, hot water, a microwave, fridge, kettle and toaster (which, as we don’t have one, I was super excited about!) There’s basic crockery and cutlery, though we didn’t really cook, save for some jacket potatoes and beans, so it wasn’t much of an issue. There’s a sofa, table & chairs out of shot, the door in the picture above leads to the bathroom, which is better than our bathroom at home. I am not kidding. Now, lets talk about the bed. You have to bring your own bedding. No problem. I was worried about the bed, as I need a firm mattress for my back and a lot of times, I’ll stay somewhere and the mattress is super soft, leaving me in agony. This bed, however, was super firm and perfect for me. We stayed for three nights and the wigwam was the perfect base for us. I would happily stay here again.

Sunny Bristol Bristol sunsetBristol at nightThe views into Bristol are spectacular and I can only imagine how the hot air balloon festival looked from here. It was great looking out, spotting different things in and around Bristol. I was really amazed to see both Seven Bridge crossings. Having spent years crossing them, it was funny to see them both at once. The one thing I was really impressed with was the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which lights up at night. It’s really impressive, both from a distance and close up. We didn’t sit out a lot, as it was really windy, and not that warm, plus the Olympics were on. There are log stoves/BBQ’s available for each of the wigwams, and you can buy kindling, lighters and logs there. Phil made an awesome fire one night, so I sat out under my blanket while the sun went down.

View of BristolBristol viewEverything about staying at the wigwam was easy. It is really well placed for exploring the city, as well as other local hotspots, some of which were better than others. (I’ll write more about these later.) The fields opposite the wigwam site can be used by people staying at the wigwam, and we did a lovely walk one evening through them with Poppy. There are two extra shower/toilets in the amenities block, as well as a games room that has a pool table in it. There are also spare chairs to sit outside that are a bit comfier than sitting at the picnic table. We were sent codes that gave us access to the site and the key for our wigwam. Everything was straight forward, which is want you want for a holiday. I can’t recommend the wigwams enough and as we were only there for three nights, there are lots of other things I’d like see and do so would love to go back for another stay.

Colby Woodland Gardens, Pembrokeshire

After walking what felt like all the miles while we were in Pembrokeshire, I wanted our last morning to be a little more gentle and it seemed like the weather agreed (drizzle… again!) For years I’ve been driving past the sign for Colby Woodland Gardens but I’d never been so after a quick walk around Carew Castle and a spot of geocaching, Poppy and I headed for Colby.

Colby obelisk Colby woodland garden Poppy at the Cobly obelisikI didn’t realise that the woodland garden was a National Trust property. Admission is £6.50, but while dogs are allowed almost everywhere, they aren’t allowed int he admissions office, which was tricky as I was on my own and never want to tie Poppy up and leave her outside (because, obviously, the second my back is turned, someone will steal her!) When I went into the admissions office, the lady asked if I was a member, which I wasn’t, and she asked if I wanted to join, but I said that it would take too long and I didn’t want to leave Poppy outside on her own for too long (There were some shifty looking pensioners out there!) The lady offered to come outside and organise the membership, which I thought was really lovely, as I had been meaning to join for some time (Wish I’d joined before parking at Bosherston Lily Ponds – £5!). So I joined the National Trust and got a ton of maps etc, then we headed into the gardens.

tree of coins at colby woodland garden The valley at Colby woodland garden Colby lodgeWe headed up to the left of the valley, to find the obelisk. You can walk down to Amroth beach from the gardens, which I would love to do next time. Dogs have to be kept on leads everywhere but they can’t go into the walled gardens. Poppy really enjoyed exploring the valley, as there are a few ponds and lots of things to smell, apparently. While Poppy is still nervous of the sea, she is super confident in shallow, clear water and now seeks it out!

Poppydog at Colby Woodland Garden Amroth beach from Colby bracket fungus Pamela Chance memorialOn the other side of the valley, the walks get steeper, and there are loads of different walks around this side. One shows great views to Amroth beach and there are lots of different aspects of nature to see. We spotted a jay, some bracket fungus and an owl pellet, which Poppy ate. Nice huh?! It’s a lovely place to visit and I’ll definitely be going back there, especially in a different season, where the tress are changing. There are tea rooms there too, which I didn’t visit this time so naturally I need to go back for that!

Dog Walks in South Pembrokeshire

It rained three out of the four days I was in Pembrokeshire, which is pretty standard. (I managed to get some savage sunburn on the only dry day!) This scuppered my walking plans somewhat so instead of heading up to Marloes Sands like I planned, Poppy and I headed for tried and tested Bosherston Lily Ponds. I knew they would be a bit more sheltered and with the tide out, we could enjoy Broadhaven South beach.

Bosherston Lily Ponds Bosherston LakesBosherston never disappoints. There’s always something to see and this time, there was a pair of swans with a nest full of cygnets. Despite the incessant drizzle, Poppy and I headed for Broadhaven South, where I had planned to do a spot of geocaching, but Poppy and the rain had other ideas so geocaching was abandoned in favor of hitting the beach. It was completely empty and the tide was right out, which meant I could let Poppy off the lead. She loved it! She spent the whole time running about, running back to me for treats and generally wearing herself out. If you ever get to go to this part of the world, make sure Broadhaven South is on your list of beaches to visit. It’s pretty much perfect.

Broadhaven South Broadhaven south beachWe had time before lunch with my mum and as my geocaching plans had failed, I decided to head to West Angle bay, as Poppy had never been there. Plus, as the awesome drizzle hadn’t blown away, I figured that it would be pretty quiet. And I was right!

West Angle bay Angle pembrokeshire geocaching at angle bayWest Angle bay is quite a small beach, but there are lots of rock pools to explore when the tide is out. Plus, you can get pretty good phone signal, meaning you can find out where the geocaches are hidden and I managed to find one (my first one!), pictured above. Am so proud of this! Parking here is free and there’s a lovely cafe and toilets too. There’s a decent circular walk via the coast path, but as the weather wasn’t great, I decided to leave that for another day.

spicy bean and vegetable stew Fleur the dog at South Beach Tenby South Beach TenbyAfter a quick coffee, Poppy and I headed for lunch with my mum and I’d spotted that the local tea room at the garden centre had a few vegan options. I had the spicy bean and vegetable stew on a jacket potato, which was awesome. Very filling and tasty. (It came with a side salad that had coleslaw slap bang in the middle of it, so I just ignored that!) We then headed off for a dog walk. During the summer, most of the beaches in Tenby are a no go for dogs, so we parked up at Penally train station and headed along the beach, which blends into South Beach, which is the only dog friendly beach in Tenby. You’ll know when you get to the end of it, as there are signs. Lots and lots of signs! There’s a few cafes here, where you can stop for a coffee, as well as toilets (tho they require 20p. Annoying if you’re desperate and have to rummage for change!) By this time, the drizzle had stopped and we headed back to the car. Another awesome day for my FitBit step count! Another day Poppy was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow!

Sleeping Poppydog

Walking from St Davids to Abereiddy… Kind of.

One of the things I wanted to achieve this summer from the #summerassignment, was to walk further than I’d ever walked before and considering the fact that there’s no end of coastal paths in Pembrokeshire, I thought that would be an excellent challenge. I decided on walking from St David’s to Porthgain, though by the time we set off from St David’s I thought walking to Porthgain might be a bit of a stretch so decided Poppy and I would walk to Abereiddy. Though this didn’t come to pass either!

St Davids Cathedral Bishops Palace St Davids St Davids walkI parked at Oriel y Parc (though there are car parks closer to the cathedral) and bought a map from the shop. In order to get to the coastal path, I needed to head towards St Justinian’s, but also wanted to have a look at the Bishop’s Palace, as I’d never really seen it. We headed towards the cathedral and had a quick look at the palace (I didn’t realise it was in ruins!) and then headed out on the road towards St Justinian’s. After about ten minutes, there’s a pathway through some fields that eventually leads down towards Whitesands Bay. (We may have gone the wrong way, once or twice at this time!). One of the fields we went through had sheep in it, so if you’re going this way with your dog, make sure they’re on the lead. There are also a few stiles, so Poppy enjoyed a few awkward lifts over them!

Whitesands Bay St Davids Head Pembrokeshire coastal pathWalking Pembrokeshire coastal pathWhitesands Bay is absolutely gorgeous, though has dog restrictions during the summer, so we couldn’t enjoy it this time. (About a mile on the coast path is a smaller dog friendly bay, which is worth a visit, especially on a hot day). Poppy and I had been walking for about an hour by this point so we stopped for a snack and a drink. They have a drinking water tap there, by the toilets, which was very welcome, and outside seating in the shade, which was perfect for Poppy to rest her warm paws. The toilets cost 20p to use (cheek!) so make sure you have change for that, and there is a cafe that serves hot food, though as I had Poppy with me, I didn’t have anything there. We then headed up to the coast path, up on St David’s Head and round towards Abereiddy.

Walking with Poppydog Walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path Pembrokeshire coast Resting Poppydog Coastal flower Sunny PembrokeshireThe views were amazing. Despite having grown up in Pembrokeshire, I never explored the county quite like this. There were bees and butterflies all around and birds constantly flying about. Because I was on my own with Poppy, I couldn’t take any close up pictures, as I was terrified that Poppy would try to track something and pull us both hurtling into the sea! All the pictures were taken on my phone and despite carrying the binoculars, it wasn’t really easy to get them out of my bag so I can’t tell you what the birds were! I had planned for us to walk to Abereiddy, as there’s a dog friendly beach there and I wanted to see the Blue Lagoon. Poppy, however, had other ideas! When we’d set out from St David’s it was cool and overcast. However, by about 11.30/12 o’clock, the sun was out and it was getting really hot. At one point, Poppy saw a bit of shade and lay down it. That was when I knew we weren’t going to Abereiddy! We stopped, rested, had something to eat and lots of water before heading back. By my calculations, we were only half way, which is a real shame, but we’d walked six miles so thought we’d better get back.

Coastal walk Pembrokeshire pony St Davids cathedral in the sun Poppydog paddling in the fordBy the time we arrived back in St Davids, after a pit stop and water bottle refill at Whitesands, Poppy and I headed straight for the ford by the Bishops Palace. Perfect for cooling off hot paws! This was the first time Poppy and I had done a walk like this on our own. I’d never mapped out a walk for us before either and there were times when it was quite scary walking along the coast path on our own, as there can be some sharp drops down to the sea. Having said that, it was loads of fun! There were a few other walkers about, which was nice, especially when they pointed out seals in the sea. I was completely surprised by the terrain, as it kept changing and I hadn’t expected that. Despite not reaching the destination I wanted, I still walked further than I ever had. Poppy was really well behaved and took everything in her stride. I can’t wait to go back and maybe tackle the coast path from the other direction!

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