Wales and the West Midlands

I am about to attempt a condensed version of the last seven days, as promised last night in my post about the garden upon coming home.


To be honest, camping isn’t my ideal way to spend a holiday – a bit too much hard work and lack of comfort. However, it is cheap (well, at a YHA site with membership during the week it’s cheap). And there was a fire pit where the children enjoyed toasting marshmallows.

The elders on the site also provided me with flowers to make cordial. The first lot I threw away as the trees were in the vicinity of this:


Hemlock has flowers which don’t look unlike the elder’s, and even though I made sure the flowers I picked came off the tree, I was spooked. I therefore chose a different site, made the cordial this afternoon, consumed quite a bit of it and am still alive to show you some of the sights on our travels.

Tree which fascinated my daughter on road to Goodrich village, Welsh Bicknor.


Disused tin works – Aberdulais, Wales


Graph showing rainfall at Dyffryn Gardens in Cardiff, Wales. NB Wales is traditionally the wettest part of Britain!!

These hostas at Dyffryn were between three and four feet tall.

Dyffryn Gardens continued

We enjoyed sitting in the Roman gardens at Dyffryn.


I have family connections to Monmouth…. apart from this sign, there was little to show this town is in Wales!


Skenfrith Castle, Wales – not intact. However, the grass inside was good for cartwheels and this little doorway to the outside was intriguing. I had to stoop to go through (I am 167 cm tall/just over five foot five).


Chive flowers used to decorate Skenfrith village church (nearly a thousand years old and intact).


Avoncroft Museum, Bromsgrove, England: a real ‘middle class’ house from the fifteen century. Twenty-first century health and safety would go bananas over the open fire; environmentalists the same over the glass-less windows!

Raised beds in the fifteenth century garden – yes, they have a long tradition. (Avoncroft Museum)

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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16 Responses to Wales and the West Midlands

  1. streepie says:

    Oh yes, time for elder flower cordial! We went elder flower picking this afternoon…

  2. Looks like a great week. The medieval raised beds are amazing.

    • Helen says:

      I guess the beds must have been done in the medieval style with canes/branches for edging, in keeping with the house. They somehow look too modern, though.

  3. skyeent says:

    I loved Avoncroft when I was there a few years ago. The Black Country Living Museum and Blists Hill at Ironbridge are also great to visit.

  4. skyeent says:

    I loved avoncroft when I was there quite a few years ago in a different life! Blists Hill at Ironbridge, and the Black Country living museum are also great to visit. I can’t remember the name of the Welsh buildings museum at Cardiff – St Fagans? That’s also fascinating.

  5. What terrific photos, Helen. I’ve never been to Wales but hope to visit one day. I’m with you on the camping. It was fun when I was much younger, but these days I prefer my comfortable bed, warm food and a hot bath. I hope your daughter had fun.

  6. Pingback: Wales and the West Midlands β€” Growing out of chaos | Taistealaiche

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