My feature about the Welsh Border town of Crickhowell can be found in the current issue of The People’s Friend, and as with all such pieces, there’s only so much that you can fit into three pages, and only so many photos. So here’s some bonus bits that didn’t make the cut …
My first stop on my journey was to the fascinating Tretower Court and Castle, a few miles west of Crickhowell. Photographic regulations meant I could offer my own photos for the article, but here’s some that I took, of these fascinating buildings revealing how our living standards changed over a couple of hundred years …
You may have spotted my comment in the article about a delightful bookshop with a cafe downstairs, where I partook in an extremely tasty slice of gluten-free Jaffa Cake. Well, the bookshop in question is Book-Ish, who not only helped take some money off me in their wonderful cafe, but also upstairs in their delightful bookshop.
Do take a look inside St Edmund’s Church, while you’re there. That’s where I found the effigy of Lady Sybil Pauncefote who cut off her hands as a ransom payment to get her husband back from his captors during a 13th century crusade. (Perhaps this image was a little too gruesome for the magazine?)
The town centre is a delightful mix of independent (and colourfully dressed) shops – click here for a list of retailers and what’s available to tempt you to get out your wallet/purse.
Beaufort Street Car Park is the best place to park. Do be careful while walking through town – the main A40 runs through the town, and while the traffic is slow, some large lorries (somehow manage to) navigate its tiny streets, and narrow pavements. (Some sections of pavement seem to run through buildings in places. (Check out the path past/through Webbs of Crickhowell, opposite The Bear Hotel!
My trip then took me from Crickhowell to Llangattock Quarry Car Park, a short, but heart-stopping drive. It’s an extremely steep, narrow road that leads from Llangattock, on the outskirts of Crickhowell to the quarry car park (one that has grass growing down the middle of it in places). Not only that, but on the day I visited it was bin collection day, and several wheelie bins were out on the side of the road ready for collection. Luckily I managed to reach the car park without meeting a dustcart coming in the other direction!
The journey was worth it, for the views across the Usk Valley were fabulous.
It’s an amazing landscape up at the quarries, which nature is slowly reclaiming. And it’s brilliant for birdlife, too. I spotted several buzzards, and caught sight of a female stonechat, flitting across the tops of the bracken and gorse bushes.
I hope that’s whetted your appetite for Crickhowell. If you want to know what else is going on then check out their What’s On Guide.