Whenever I tell someone where I’m from and where I live they often just blankly look at me and say “oh yes, I know,” trying to deflect the fact they don’t, or simply say “oh, that’s a long way.”
The fact is I live in Mid Wales. But actually, in around 10 minutes I can cross the border into Shropshire (England) or within 40 minutes be on the Welsh coast.
Yes, it might be rural here, but in fact I can be in Birmingham or Manchester within an hour and 15 minutes or Wales’ capital city in around two-and-a-half hours – yes, it takes longer to get the Welsh capital than anywhere else.
Anyway, my point is that it’s a perfect base and location to reach a lot of places that many people think are too remote from us.
Yesterday we took one of regular trips out to a favourite coastal location – Aberdyfi.
It’s sat alongside the mouth to the Dyfi Estuary and along the Cardigan coastline.
It’s a small and attractive coastal town that, like many others, used to rely on the fishing industry which has since almost disappeared.
Now, it relies heavily on tourists during all seasons, although it must be quite hard for traders in the winter months. Saying that, with its proximity to the Snowdonia National Park and the Cambrian Mountains, there is a regular flow of walkers, mountain bikers, adventure and thrill seekers and countryside lovers who visit come rain or shine.
I suspect the mild winter weather has helped maintain a regular flow of visitors, attracted to the microclimate in this area (it can be raining just around the corner and everywhere else and yet sunny at Aberdyfi).
They can also reach the town by rail on the Cambrian Coast Line, linked via the Cambrian Railway on through Mid Wales and to Shrewsbury and the main rail networks.
Yesterday it was pretty busy on the beach with walkers and others, although the rain soon started to come into site from a south-westerly direction and the fair-weather visitors seem to disappear in a flash.
That wasn’t bad as we’d walked northerly along the beach towards Tywyn, although not quite to the next town up the coast. By the time the rain swept in we turned around and event our two digs decided enough was enough.
So back it was for a snack at one of the welcoming pubs (we regularly go to the Penhelig Hotel but this was closed and being refurbished).
If you ever visit Mid Wales and want to escape to the coast, Aberdfyi is the place. I’m also a fan of Barmouth, but this has a much more mixed attraction and I’l come on to that another time.