Nestled at the bottom of a secluded part of the Aeron Valley in Ceredigion, west Wales, you'll find Llanerchaeron, a charming country estate that's home to a little known gem – an early Palladian villa by the renowned Regency architect John Nash. In 1789, Colonal William Lewes inherited Llanerchaeron, then a small country estate made... Continue Reading →

Newton House and Dinefwr

Over the summer I was working at the National Eisteddfod, the annual Welsh cultural festival that this year took place near Tregaron in west Wales. Deciding to make something of a weekend of it before I started work, I stopped off at Llandeilo in the neighbouring county of Carmarthenshire so I could spend a couple... Continue Reading →

Ossau Valley

I couldn't very well spend a week in Béarn, in the shadow of the Pyrenees, without spending at least one day exploring the majestic mountain range. So we set off on a road trip that would take us through the Ossau Valley, one of a number of valleys cutting a swathe through the Pyrenees. The... Continue Reading →


With its lush green forests, picturesque medieval architecture and gourmet food, the Dordogne is one of my favourite parts of France. Cutting a swathe through the heart of the region in the south-west of France is its namesake river. The magnificent Dordogne River flows for more than 300 miles from the mountains of the Auvergne near Clermont-Ferrand to the Gironde... Continue Reading →

Cycling around Hue

First off, I should probably start by saying I hate cycling. I mean I really, really, really hate cycling. The last time I'd been on a bicycle was a disastrous cycling trip around Richmond Park in London five years earlier. So when I was asked if I fancied spending the morning cycling around the countryside near Hue, I... Continue Reading →


I love the bays and coves along the south Wales coast. I'm unashamedly biased but I think they're some of the most beautiful in the world. Less well-known than the beaches of west Wales and the Gower Peninsula, their rugged beauty and excellent walking paths make for a great day out. Each one has its... Continue Reading →


Keen for a pre-New Year stroll, we headed up to Crickhowell in mid Wales for a spot of shopping, light lunch and brisk walk in the crisp mountain air. Situated on the banks of the River Usk, this attractive market town is surrounded by the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park, which makes it a great base from... Continue Reading →

Ecomusee d’Alsace

We had a spare day in Alsace and looking for something to do, we had a choice of either visiting the Ecomusée d'Alsace or Staufen-im-Breisgau, which is on the edge of the Black Forest and famous for its association with Doctor Faustus. The Ecomusée won. Partly because it was closer, and partly because our hosts... Continue Reading →

Titisee and the Black Forest

When we were looking for somewhere to visit in the Black Forest and Titisee was mentioned, I readily agreed. I imagined a charming lake in a remote part of the forest with a nice walking trail around it where we could spend a couple of hours ambling and a pretty town where you could stop... Continue Reading →

Route du Vin

There are few things I enjoy more than a good glass of wine, so when I discovered Alsace had its own Route du Vin, there was no way I was going to let that opportunity pass. Snaking its way through the Alsatian countryside in the shadow of the Vosges mountains, the Route du Vin is... Continue Reading →

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