Okay. So the title to this post might be a bit misleading. But don’t go telling trading standards.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked, as a favour, if I would be part of some filming for a video that will form part of a compilation of films profiling activities and opportunities in Mid Wales for tourists. They’ll be used on social media.
Normally I’d shy way from such things. But this tempted me as it was focusing on cycling, mountain biking and sailing. The first two are no problem. The third. Well, the third I haven’t done for a very long time and even then it was a taster. But I’m not one to walk away from a challenge.
An early start was needed, although as I live on the Powys / Shropshire border in Mid Wales, I’m pretty much close to all the locations where filming was being undertaken – namely the Revolution Bike Park and downhill MTB centre at Llangynog; the historic border town of Montgomery and Montgomery Castle; Powis Castle at Welshpool and Llyn Clywedog near Llanidloes.
7am and I was enjoying breakfast with Simon the cameraman at a Visit Wales accredited Bed and Breakfast close to Llangynog. They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch – or breakfast in this case. And that was certainly the case.
Heading down a hill
I had to jump on the road bike and cycle up and down a quiet country lane for some pre-shots before heading to Revolution.
I have to say the guys at Revolution were great. I’d not been to the MTB bike park before and while it’s basically a forest near a former lead mine with loads of great runs, it’s an amazing destination for downhill mountain biking.
It was only when we were heading down and through the forest after doing a few shots (walking back up and then flying down past the cameraman) that someone shouted “you’re lucky, this is a balck run we haven’t opened yet.”
I’m not sure if it was the “black run” or “haven’t opened” elements of the comment that ensured I came off several times down that run. Maybe if I hadn’t have been told that I would have made it down without any cuts or bruises.
And on we went. Montgomery was enjoyable. Always love the vista from the edge of Montgomery Castle. You look over a patchwork of fields for miles towards Welshpool in one direction and Shrewsbury and Shropshire in the other. And we were given a natural show with an amazing rainbow.
We then headed off to the Trefeglwys Shooting Range. An impressive site where world and European clay pigeon championships are held regularly. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time here too, although I failed to hit as many clays as I’d hoped.
Set the main sail
And then it was on to Llyn Clywedog. Now for those who don’t know, this is a man made reservoir with a large concrete dam at one end. Unlike most other man made reservoirs that flooded parts of rural Wales, Clywedog wasn’t built to provide water for anyone as such.
It is there to control the flow of water into the River Severn and to ensure the devstating floods that affected parts of the Severn Valley and further downstream in the 1950s and 1960s didn’t happen again.
Today the flooding isn’t so ban in the upper Severn Valley, with just the flood plains overflowing at peak flooding. But there are still floods.
Here I met Keith, the Commodore of the Clywedog Sailing Club. I instantly got along with Keith. A very personable and reassuring chap. He was very calm even when I nearly rammed the rib carrying the cameraman.
It was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed.
The one thing that a day and a half of filming some great activities in Mid Wales dos is actually make you realise what a great place we live and work in. As someone who has lived in this part of the world all my life, I take a great deal for granted – from the stunning scenery to the amazing activities.
If you’re after a great place to stay, play or relax, then make sure you come here. Loads to do and see.