Fforest Fields camp site and the boating lake behind it.
We headed off last weekend for our first trip on our every county in Wales challenge. Well, we’re only challenging ourselves. We decided to do Powys which is a huge county and has lots of choice. It is also one of the few counties in Wales which doesn’t have a coastline. We had already been on a couple of trips to Lake Vyrnmy which is in Powys, so we decided to go a bit further South.
We decided on Fforest Fields which is near Bulith Wells and comes highly recommended on http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/ It was our first time on hardstanding as last time we had been put on the grass, so it seemed a bit, well concretey at first and took a few moments to adjust. I do like a bit of grass. We found a hardstanding with some grass next to it so we could put up our tent and settled in. We found the site okay despite realising that we had left our maps at home. They were involved in an accident in which they had got soaking wet and we had taken them out of the van to dry, but I had forgotten to put them back. We were okay with the Satnav app on my phone and the directions from the website, west of Hundred House village. I knew it was Welshpool, Newtown and then either Bulith Wells or Llandridnod Wells.
After playing with the tent and cooking dinner we settled in for the night. I organised the bedding differently. Everyone had one bag with their sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner and sheet for the bed. So just three bags out from under the seat. One up the top in the roof and two for downstairs. It was much quicker and the new sleeping bags were much better than the old ones, very toasty and a lot less messing about than trying to add blankets and things on top. In fact, one of the nights we were all pretty warm and were unzipping in order to keep cool.
Our first full day we decided to go to Hay-on-Wye the book town. We were a little bit worried it wouldn’t live upto expectations. We had been to Wigtown, the Scottish book town before and found it to be a lot smaller and less books than we had expected but Hay-on-Wye was brilliant, once we got there.
We had a bit of a dilemma with the SatNav. First of all, I put in Ross-on-Wye and wondered why the journey time was so long. Then we had a bit of a problem with directions. I was driving and the phone won’t sit on the dashboard with the sucker thing like it did in the car, so my daughter is in charge of it. She is usually in charge of directions as though my son is older he can’t read a map or directions whilst we’re driving. It makes him car sick. None of that phases my youngest and she likes maps and is pretty good with them. Anyway for some reason or other we went badly wrong.( It could have been a right hand turn instead of left out of the campsite.) We went onto a B road which was two lanes, then onto a smaller road which was smaller with passing places and then we ended up a small track with no passing places until the SatNav told me to do a U turn as I was in a farmer’s drive. The SatNav then refused to get a signal even though it had one all the way up there. I just retraced all the roads backwards then until I got back onto the main road and drove up the A road looking for signs. It took us a bit longer than using any minor roads but at least I could relax and breathe properly. We then decided to buy a map Hay-on-Wye. My son said that Edna wanted a bit of an adventure and was obviously trying to do some Free Running or Parkour. That became a bit of a saying then for the rest of the trip. “Is Edna going to do any Parkour?”
The next day we explored the site. There are lots of walks which can be done from the site which is a big plus point, but we had to wait for one of the maps to be downloaded as they had run out when we arrived. The day we left, we realised there were about 5 sheets with useful information and walks on them. It was a real shame we hadn’t had them earlier as we may have done another walk. We walked into the woods above the campsite and zigzagged around and up. There was a big cycle race which we accidentally got caught up with and had to mind out of the way (leap into the verge). It was okay going up hill as we were faster than them but when it got to a downhill part they were going pretty fast and we had to be very vigilant until we could find an alternative route. There were some great views.
A bench with a view
View of the campsite and the fishing lake in the foreground and the boating lake further back.
Then after some more eating and relaxing and discussing where to go the next day we ended up going to sleep. A relaxing day.
The next day we went to Brecon which was lovely and particularly the canal. We ate our lunch by the side of it listening and watching people in hire boats trying to work out what they were doing. Next time we will definitely get there earlier and hire one of the little boats for a few hours.
After that we headed for an ice cream parlour which according to the leaflet was in an area just outside of Brecon. I got the impression it was in a neighbouring village, but we found it a couple of minutes out of the town centre. The ice cream was fabulous. We had two flavours each but they included Turkish Delight, Strawberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake, another cheesecake flavour, Coffee and Walnut, Mango and Chocolate Orange. We decided the Turkish Delight flavour was the best.
The following day we looked at even more sheep and their lambs which the children loved. We walked around the boating and swimming lake and found the fishing lake which we had originally missed as it was over a hummock. The weather was so nice that we caught the sun even though the children had their jumpers on and we had to slather sun cream on after that.
We came back feeling like we had sort of cracked things, unlike the last trip where everything went wrong. We just need to make sure Edna doesn’t decide to do anymore Parkour.