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First things first: Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales, which in Welsh means ‘friends’. Welsh is a Brittonic language, somehow similar to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. The Welsh language is definitely a minority language, kept alive by Welsh people living in Wales and outside of Wales. And I love the fact that it has even become cool, according to this article.
I had the pleasure of discovering Wales thanks to my job at Rabbie’s, once again. Rabbie’s launched a new 5 Day Tour in this lovely part of Britain, with a 2-nights stop in Tenby and another one in Aberystwyth. And my colleagues and I went to meet B&Bs and Hotels’ owners, check parking, and all that sort of things.
So there we are: one Londoner, one Welsh and an Italian, driving from Cardiff to Tenby and then Aberystwyth, on yet another unforgettable experience.
I had been wanting to discover Wales for a long time, despite the country not being highly advertised, or at least not for mass tourism, which of course, is also a blessing.
Wales has a population of around 3 million people, with around half a million calling Cardiff, its capital, their home.
However, it is popular among students who choose Cardiff for its university, and it attracts lots of Brits for the many sports events this wee country hosts.
Tenby is a walled seaside town on the south coast of Wales, enchanting for its small lanes, gorgeous wide sanded beach and picturesque buildings painted in so many colours.
Plantagenet House is a restaurant hidden in a lane which leads to the harbour; a unique dining experience and a must in Tenby.
When we visited it was end of October and a week day so we just showed up and were sat at a table, but I am sure it needs booking in summer, as it is extremely popular, thanks to its Medieval Flemish chimney which is thought to date back to the 10th century!
On top of its unique set up and atmosphere, Plantagenet House offers an incredible menu full of fresh seafood including oysters, squid, mussels, scallops and more.
You can also find vegetarian and meat dishes. And the wine list is also very appealing. I am sure you will not be disappointed.
After visiting hotels and B&Bs in Tenby (yes, my job involved that top) our lovely English senior tour guide and driver Kevin, from London, drove us to the next town in our comfortable Rabbie’s bus.
Aberystwyth is seventy miles north from Tenby and it also lies by the sea, the Irish sea to be more specific.
While it has as many colorful houses as Tenby, Aberystwyth has a completely different vibe to it, I would say it feels rower, more real, and incredibly fascinating.
It is not that Tenby was not appealing, but it seemed to be as I said to Ryan, ‘a chocolate-box village’, with its perfect historic centre, walled town, colorful houses and beautiful shops everywhere.
You may ask what is wrong with a place being so beautiful and wonder if I am crazy.
But, I warn you, I am getting deeper here haha, as everything in life, it’s not all about appearance.
And Aberystwyth, with its stronger and rower personality, has stuck with me more than Tenby has (don’t take it personally Tenby).
Years later I would compare this to Naples and Sorrento; Sorrento was perfect, but Naples was definitely more enriching!
Sorry, I got carried away with my reflections about towns’ souls there, but if you read my blog and know me, you know that I find satisfaction in places that give me something back more than their look, that’s also why I often stay in hostels and not hotels, or eat at the market rather than a fancy restaurant.
But yes, here we are Aberystwyth, with your black sanded beaches and strong waves, you look like a fierce Welsh town, where your cafes still speak your beautiful language and your crime novels are famous around the whole country.
Fun facts about Wales
Did you know that Wales hosts a man vs horse marathon?
For more travel ideas around Britain, please have a look at my posts below 🙂