Our neck of the woods

Atmospheric Carreg Cennen Castle (51°51’15.8″N 3°56’08.3″W)

It was our summer holidays and time to explore our backyard. Not literally, we were going further afield – Raglan and Llansteffan castles were on our ‘TO DO’ list, having visited Carrge Cenen castle some weeks before.

I love Wales, I always have. One of my earliest memories is of the Black Mountains and watching for Idris the dragon – yes I was an ‘Ivor the Engine‘ fan (still am) and was convinced it was all true.

“…Not very long ago, in the top left-hand corner of Wales, there was a railway.  It wasn’t a very long railway or a very important railway, but it was called The Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company Limited, and it was all there was. ” Golly, I remember it like it was yesterday, and I still look for dragons !! Smallfilms were awesome and no doubt had some bearing on my own interest in films and small Welsh railways. I purchased my copy of the entire Ivor the engine series at the ‘Talyllyn Railway‘ gift shop.

Carreg Cennen Castle

Any roads we like to visit the Welsh castles. Wifey likes the walks, the fresh air and views, I like to take photos and find a pub afterwards. When it comes to the photography I do not spend hours composing my piccys, I take the daylight for what it is and try to get pictures that will help me remember our visit. In other words I take pictures I like! That’s what photography is about – pictures we can take, enjoy and share.

(If you are serious about your photography the Royal Photographic Society is a great society to join. They have a section dedicated to historical architecture and there are many other sections too for the enthusiast.)

What constantly amazes me with British castles is the work and invention that is invested in them, it takes my breath away, especially when I remember I am looking at the remains of buildings 700 years old. When you find the clever joins in walls for steps or the careful Arches. Close examination often reveals engineering surprises.

Raglan Castle ( 51°46’12.6″N 2°50’59.7″W ) is one of my favourites, not too far from where we live either, between Abergavenney and Monmouth on the A40.

Raglan was involved in the British civil war and was under seige at one point. The history of the castle is well worth a read.

A View from Llansteffan Castle

Another castle we visited on our break was Llansteffan Castle ( 51°45’55.7″N 4°23’26.2″W) near Carmarthen. This building is a bit of a walk from the village of Llansteffan and I certainly would not recommend it for less able peeps. My legs are not the best and I suffered climbing the gentle slope to the site. If you are fit and able it will present no problem.

A sheep seen en-route to the castle – I always try to take pictures of sheep hoping to use them in my wifes’ wool shop, Neath Valley Wools, in Glynneath

The views from Llansteffan Castle are amazing and part of Llansteffan’s appeal. This headland castle overlooks farmlands, sea and the sands of the Tywi Estuary and Carmarthen Bay. Llansteffan Castles has rough stone walls which date from the late 12th century, enclose an Iron Age promontory fort which was occupied in 600 BC. As you approach the castle you appreciate its position and it feels intimidating size. Once inside its grounds you will find yourself in one of the most breathtaking places in Britain.

For the Dylan Thomas fans amongst you he used to live nearby in a village called Laugharne and it is another place well worth a visit.

And so this is what I want to share with you today, some of my pictures of castles in Wales that I think are well worth visiting. The piccys may not win any awards but they show you the castles for what they are and I encourage you all to get out there and learn about our great British history.

Thank you to Paul and other readers who have made positive comments on Saturn Films 1969 posts, hugely appreciated.

The author with Fuji T20 in hand.

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