Why Llangrannog should be on your list of Welsh beaches to visit

Beach house overlooking Llangrannog beach

When you think about Welsh beaches, you probably think of Aberystwyth or Barmouth, but let me stop you there; because you want to be pointing yourself towards Llangrannog.

I love Llangrannog; it’s fun to try and say (go on, I promise it’s fun), the beach is stunning, the town is charming, the views are amazing, and there are delicious treats to be had.

Prepare yourself for a lot of fangirling about a beach, because you’re gonna be packing your bucket and spade by the time I’m done with you.

 

The beach is beautiful & has caves

Nestled in a little cove, with hills either side of it, Llangrannog beach is my idea of the perfect beach. It’s fairly small, there’s a decent amount of sand for making sandcastles in (very important), and it has a little cave you can go and explore.

It’s not a huge cave but how often do you get the chance to wander into a cave?

Also, at low tide you can walk around the rocks on the right hand side of the beach to get to another little cove. At high tide, you can follow the coastal path over and down to it, but do be careful because the handrails are pretty dodgy – as Daz discovered when he put his hand on one and it just kinda flopped about and wasn’t attached to anything on the other end.

Llangrannog beach

 

The town is adorable

If you’re looking for an “Instagram worthy” seaside town, Llangrannog has got you covered with is multi-coloured buildings.

It’s a fairly small town and has everything you’d need for a day at the seaside, though I do recommend getting there early or avoiding busy periods if you want to park right by the beach because the car park is quite small, and the narrow roads are easier to navigate when there’s less traffic.

Llangrannog beach

 

Perfect for swimming, surfing, or body boarding

I can’t tell you how many days and hours I must have spent here body boarding when I was a kid. The waves are perfect for it, the sea is nice and clear, there’s no rubbish floating about it in (always nice), and it’s not as cold as it looks if you’ve got a wetsuit on.

Llangrannog beach

 

The views

Since it’s nestled between two hills, there are amazing views to be seen either side of the beach. The Cardigan Coastal Path runs right through Llagrannog, so if you fancy a spot of walking while taking in breathtaking views, you just can’t go wrong here.

View over Llangrannog beach

 

ICE CREAM

No trip to the seaside is complete without an unhealthy amount of ice cream. Caffi Patio is right on the edge of the beach and has a delicious selection of ice cream.

 

It’s beautiful

Did I already mention Llangrannog beach is beautiful? Oh, I did? Well it deserves another mention, because look:

Stormy skies over Llangrannog beach

Where’s your favourite beach?

 

Why you need to visit Llangrannog

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8 photos that will make you want to visit Mwnt, Wales

Mwnt beach

For me, Mwnt is the very definition of a ‘hidden gem’. Just a few miles up the coast from Cardigan, this secluded lil’ beach is the perfect place to relax and try to spot bottlenose dolphins and seals.

Mwnt will always hold a special place in my heart because my Nan used to take me, my sister, and cousin every summer when we were younger. The three of us would spend the whole week in the sea and loved it. On reflection, I’m not sure how my Nan kept herself occupied all day, because all we wanted to do was play in the sea.

In the summer, Daz and I spent a couple of days in Mwnt, St. Dogmael’s and Cardigan, and I was reminded all over again why this is one of my favourite parts of the world, and it was so much fun to show it to Daz.

The beach can be fairly busy in the height of summer, but in the week during the rest of the year it’s peaceful and you feel like you’ve got the whole coast to yourself.

I’ma let the photos do the rest of the talking and convince you that you need to visit Mwnt – because you really do.

Mwnt beach

Waves on Mwnt beach

Mwnt beach

Mwnt beach

View from the top of Foel y Mwnt

View over Mwnt beach

Mwnt beach

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Boscobel House & a royally approved book nook

Boscobel House Boscobel House Boscobel House lodge

If you live in the Midlands, it is pretty much mandatory that you will go on a school trip to Boscobel House.

The hiding place of King Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Boscobel House was a safe place for Catholics during a time of religious persecution. I remember learning about that at school and being horrified that people were killed because of their beliefs – and what’s even worse is that hundreds of years later, the world hasn’t learned a thing. 

Boscobel House loft Boscobel House, Royal Oak Tree

After spending a night in an oak tree (the tree above is not the actual oak tree, it’s a descendant), Charles II hid in a priest hole in the beautiful lodge, before making his escape to France.

Boscobel House stables

I remember visiting Boscobel House with school as a kid and imagining what it must have been like to live there; and that’s something that hasn’t changed now. I tend to fall into the trap of thinking it must have been really romantic, but the reality of a working farm in the 1600s was probably most things but romantic. That said, I can’t help but feel that the house must have looked just as beautiful back then.

Can you imagine wandering around the garden and getting to look back on this stunning house? It looks so idyllic – I can’t believe that it wouldn’t have seemed the same way 400 years ago.

Me wearing a silly at at Boscobel HouseBoscobel House dairy kitchenBoscobel House kitchenBoscobel House bookshelf

And the inside was just as perfect. Just look at that bookshelf – you know I’m a sucker for a good bookshelf. Remember how I felt about the library in Drottningholm Palace?

Boscobel House book nook

But perhaps best of all, Boscobel House is home to a dreamworthy book nook. And it’s that ideal a book nook, that even Charles II allegedly spent a few hours reading here. A ROYALLY APPROVED BOOK NOOK!

Can you imagine how nice it must have been on a warm summers day, to sit there and look back towards the house while turning the pages of your book. And in the winter, you’d drag a few blankets up there, a cup of cocoa and wait for snow to coat the garden. Ugh, isn’t that a bookworm’s idea of heaven on earth?

British history is so cool. I’m so lucky to live in a part of the country that has a wealth of buildings and places with interesting stories and roles played in the history of this country. That said, you don’t have to look too far in the UK to find interesting historical things.

Boscobel House, Cockerel Boscobel House lambs

If you’re near the Midlands, I definitely recommend a trip to Boscobel House; rock up, go on a tour and explore the house, have a picnic, wander down to White Ladies Priory, see some sheep (and run away from a cocky looking cockerel…), and explore the lush, green countryside.

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Off the beaten path in Ironbridge

Waterfall Ironbridge

It’s amazing what you can find just a few metres off the trail.

A couple of weeks ago, on one of my rare days off and while my Mum was off for the Easter holidays, we grabbed our cameras and headed out with the intention of photographing a waterfall. We did a spot of research and found one, only to get there and discover there was no where nearby to park and we’d have to park miles away. (Clearly didn’t do enough research.)

Stumped, we spent a few minutes searching the Sat Nav for something else when we saw Ironbridge. My only memories of Ironbridge are my sister and I being forced to dress up in Victorian clothes and have our photo taken together. I think that was the first time I realised I had resting bitch face. I distinctly remember the photographer asking me to look happier, “I am!” was my response.

We headed off in the direction of Ironbridge and I was delighted at what we discovered; a beautiful little British town, nestled in a valley.

Ironbridge townIronbridge town

Iron Bridge

We had a wander through the town (they have an intriguing bookshop that reminds me of the kind I explored in Paris), walked across the famous Iron Bridge, and slipped onto a trail on the other side of the gorge. Quick history lesson: Built in 1781, Iron Bridge was the first arch bridge to be made from cast iron. (Don’t say I don’t teach you anything.)

I’m a little bit of an engineering nerd. I’m fascinated by how people built things like that without modern machinery. We’ve got life so easy with all the machinery we could possibly need that it seems almost incomprehensible that our ancestors could build such grand things without it. Don’t even get me started on Machu Picchu.

Iron bridge trail Waterfall Iron Bridge

We managed to get a little bit lost; the trail just seemed to disappear and we couldn’t figure out where we should have gone. We ended up in a part of the forest that seemed quite jurassic, and ended up doing a bit of poking about, when we spotted a waterfall between the trees.

As we’d left the house with the intention of photographing a waterfall, it seemed like fate. We scrambled over trees, hopped over a stream, and tried not to lose our footing in mud and found our way to the bottom of the waterfall. And it was worth it.

Waterfall Ironbridge Benthall Edge

Waterfall iron bridge benthall edge

For me, there’s something so relaxing and humbling about the power of water. (Do you guys remember how I felt about Dochart Falls?)

It was just the two of us, stood in this little valley, taking in the waterfall with nothing but the sound of water and birds. Moments like that are the moments I live for.

Those moments where nothing else exists. Modern day isn’t a thing, and your eyes are the first eyes to see what’s in front of you.

I need to explore some more falls, so throw any suggestions my way.

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An afternoon at The Roaches

The Roaches

The Roaches

A couple of weeks ago, after my morning lecture finished, I realised that I had nothing planned and could do anything I wanted, and spent the afternoon at The Roaches.

Sometimes I get this need that just builds up and up and up, until it boils over, to spend some time on my own outside. If you’ve ever got the ‘urge’ to get a piercing or a tattoo – it’s that exact same feeling, but to be outside. I’m not the kind of person who likes to always been on their own, but I find being on my own outside really energising. It’s difficult to put into words, but I think Cat from Oddly Lovely did a great job of describing it in a recent post called “I Am a Loner”.

With the realisation that “anywhere” would have to be about an hour’s drive away, I quickly settled upon The Roaches on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Peak District. I always forget how beautiful it is up there – the sun was shining and I wished I’d got a dash cam so I could have captured some footage of how breathtaking it was.

The RoachesThe Roaches

Since it was the middle of the day on a Thursday, it was silent up there. It was like I had the whole place to myself; I saw a couple of rock climbers and a small group of walkers, and that was it. It was me, my camera, and some music.

Abandoned house, The RoachesInside an abandoned house, The RoachesView from an abandoned house, The Roaches

Could you imagine what it must have been like to live in this house? How wonderful the view out the front door must have been every morning.

View over Tittesworth Reservoir from The RoachesView from The RoachesThe Roaches

I climbed up two parts of the Roaches, and enjoyed my lunch perched on the edge with my sandwiches, a flask, and a good book. The cold wind up there was certainly refreshing.

When it got back, I decided to do some research into The Roaches and discovered that they’re are a couple of strange stories about goings on up there.

The Roaches

The first is that their was (and may still be) a small colony of wallabies roaming around after they were released from a private collection in the 30s.

The second is that a mermaid allegedly lives in Doxey Pool (which I want to go and find because it looks beautiful). She supposedly fell in one day while out walking, and spends her afterlife trying to drag other people in to join her. I suspect she’s not trying to drag them in for a tea party either.

It was so nice to get away from everything and I returned home with my boots covered in mud and my mind clear and energised.

Do you like spending time on your own?

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Hampton Court & meeting The Lilac Linnet

Hampton Court

Image courtesy of Llinos at The Lilac Linnet.

The Lilac Linnet is one of my favourite blogs; I read all of Llinos’ posts, and we both have a mutual love for castles. When she suggested an outing to Hampton Court, I wasn’t going to say no.

My trip to Hampton Court was slightly stressful. A journey that should have taken an hour and a half took three hours due to it being a Bank Holiday Saturday. The traffic was chaos and my Sat Nav was a bit mean.

When I finally arrived, I found Llinos and we went for lunch. My lunch was pretty disastrous also; I throw coffee all over myself and my sandwich. I wasn’t too fussed at ruining my sandwich because my scones were safe, but I did have to walk around with a coffee-stained jumper for the rest of the day.

Hampton Court

Hampton Court

Hampton Court

Once we’d finished lunch, we went for a tour around the castle, which is full of medieval weaponry and taxidermy animals. An unnerving amount of taxidermy animals.

Taxidermy lion at Hampton Court

The weirdest of which was this full size, stuffed lion. The lion is thought to be a zoo animal that I guess was stuffed when it died naturally. Apparently, it was taken to Hampton Court in the 90s.

Hampton Court library

Can you spot the false door?

Hampton Court bedrooms

Hampton Court

Hampton Court bathrooms

The rooms in the house were stunning, and so huge. The bathrooms were about the same size as my bedroom, which seems grossly unfair. All of the rooms were so beautiful decorated. Major home goals.

Llinos picked an excellent date to go because they had a medieval fair on, with a bird display. I always love watching bird displays and getting to see magnificent beasts up close.

That was probably one of the best bird displays I’ve ever seen, just because of how huge some of the birds were.

There was also this little guy, who reminded us of a puppy. He kept doing tricks and then running back to his handler for a treat.

After the bird display, we went to explore the marvelous gardens. There was so much to see, and it was so peaceful.

The gardens at Hampton Court

The gardens at Hampton Court

The gardens at Hampton Court

Sheep knitting at Hampton Court

Hampton Court gardens

Fairy door tree Hampton Court

I liked that the gardens looked slightly overgrown. Most of the time when you go to places like this, the gardens are ridiculously manicured, but this was slightly overgrown with plants hanging over the paths. It looked like someone’s garden; a garden that’s lived in.

Llinos remembered seeing something about a maze and we went in search of it. Honestly, I expected it to be a simple maze for kids, but it was actually quite big and quite tricky.

Tower in the maze at Hampton Court

It had a tower in the middle, with four different doors. Only one of the doors opened, the last one of course, and it took us a while to find it.

When you finally get inside the tower, you have two options:

  • Up
  • Down

Down takes you to a tunnel, which is pitch black in places, which comes out in a sunken garden. It’s leafy and overgrown, and would be a perfect place to read a book. It has a small waterfall, which you can walk behind.

Sunken Garden at Hampton Court

Waterfall in the sunken gardens at Hampton Court

Beyond the water fall at Hampton Court

When you go upstairs in the tower, you are greeted to views over the maze, the gardens, and towards Hampton Court.

Hampton Court maze

I had a really fun day meeting Llinos and exploring Hampton Court with her. One of my favourite things about blogging is getting to meet people with similar interests, that there’s no way you’d meet in the real world. I look forward to our next castle exploration!

Have you ever been in a maze?

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Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, London + tips

Hogwarts model Harry Potter studio

I’m going to interrupt the Stockholm schedule to fangirl about my recent trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.

It was my birthday over the weekend, and a family friend’s son’s birthday, so we decided to combine our birthday outings and visit Harry Potter Studios. I first went a couple of years ago, but the addition of the Hogwarts Express was too much to resist. 

Harry Potter Studios Great Hall

Harry Potter studios Great Hall

Harry Potter Studios Great Hall

You start off in the Great Hall, which is fabulous, though I do always expect it to be bigger. There are things you spot that you never notice in the films, such as murals on the wall. 

The Sweet Treats feature was on when I went, and they’d lined one of the tables with tasty looking food. The feature was fantastic; it was really interesting to learn about how they make the food. 

For the most part, they take real food and freeze it so that they can make a mould. Once they’ve got the mould, they can make as many things as they need to. Of course, that doesn’t extend to the ice cream which is made using polyfiller.

Harry Potter Sweet Treats the Dursley's cake

It looked so realistic that it was really hard to tell the difference between what’s real and fake. 

Harry Potter Butterbeer ice cream

As well as selling Butterbeer, they were selling Butterbeer ice cream which was extortionately priced at £5, but it was delicious and I’d pay it again. 

Harry Potter Studios Platform 9 3/4

I guess this blog post is also a good time to explain why there were so few blog posts on Eat Read Glam last week. Some of us decided to go in cloaks, so I spent every spare minute of last week making cloaks for me and my best friend. I had a red hood lining, she went for yellow. Totally worth it, but do know I did miss blogging and I’m looking forward to catching up with you all. 

Harry Potter Studios the Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter Studios the Hogwarts Express

The train was even better than I thought it would be. 

It’s set up in an area on it’s own, and you walk into it and it’s like you’re stepping out into platform 9 and three quarters. The train looks glorious, and my best friend and I did get seriously excited and fangirl like we were 12 years old. It’s ok though; if there’s anywhere you can fangirl like that, it’s Harry Potter Studios. 

Harry Potter studios inside the Hogwart Express

Harry Potter studios Hogwarts Express

The cabins on the train are set up as they were for each film in chronological order, which was really cool. The Hogwarts Express was the highlight of the trip for me. 

Harry Potter studios Night Bus

In the Backlot is where you find the ridiculously priced Butterbeer ice cream, and the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the remains of the Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow, and you can pretend to ride a Ford Anglia and a motorbike. 

Harry Potter Night Bus

Harry Potter Studios Privet Drive

After the Backlot, you go through an area which shows you how they created the masks and creatures, which is fascinating.

Harry Potter Studios

It’s quite scary how realistic they look because that just looks like a shelf with a load of heads on it, which, lets be honest, is pretty sinister.

Harry Potter studios Diagon Alley

Harry Potter studios Flourish & Blotts

You then go through to Diagon Alley, which you can walk down and peer at the shop fronts. Unfortunately they are just that, shop fronts, and you don’t get to go in, which is a shame.

I just really wish I could go into Flourish & Blotts and Fred & George’s joke shop. I loved the way they did the joke shop for the film, it was almost the way I imagined it in my head.

Harry Potter Hogwarts model

Harry Potter Hogwarts model

Harry Potter Studio Hogwarts model

The jewel in the crown, is the Hogwarts model; it’s the perfect way to end the tour. You could spend hours looking at it. It’s so beautiful, detailed, and vast. I really don’t know why someone hasn’t built it. We’ve got plenty of castles in England, but I think it’s about time we had Hogwarts too. 

We had a bit of fun when a member of staff pointed out where the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff towers were and plotted how we would signal each other from so far away. 

If you’ve been a couple of years ago, I do recommend going back because it has improved since I first went. That’s not to say it was bad before, but there are more staff about to tell you more and answer questions, which I thought was really good, and it seems there’s always a seasonal event on. At the moment it’s Sweet Treats, but then there’ll be Back To School, Dark Arts, and Hogwarts In The Snow.

I’m planning on going back at Christmas because I really want to see it. I saw people’s photos last year, and they look stunning. I need to see it for myself. 


Tips:

  • Leave your camera at home – DSLRs struggle in the low light and you can’t take a tripod, but the cameras on our phones handled it perfectly. 
  • Book well in advance – time slots go quickly, especially if you want to go on a weekend or during the winter when they have everything dressed up like Christmas. 
  • You can take lunch – there’s a picnic area and you can eat your own food in the Backlot. 
  • Make a cloak! I used Simplicity’s 1582 pattern. It’s much cheaper than buying one, I think they’re around £70, and you can make it out whatever material you like, and whatever colour you like. The material for my cloak / robe cost £25, which is massively cheaper. 
  • Visit Primark for cheaper Harry Potter t-shirts before you go – they’re licensed and around £8 instead of £20+. 
  • Tell them if it’s your birthday – you get a badge. I like badges. 

Have you been / do you want to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour? 

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