My first time in Wales has been nothing short of scenic and relaxing to say the least. I hope for the sake of the Welsh that I’m doing a much better job of promoting Wales than Liam is doing right now on Love Island (#JusticeForMillie).
Anyhow, before April of this year I hadn’t stepped foot in Wales before. But since the mr. is from South Wales, it was only a matter of time before I had to grace the valleys and mountains of the rural Welsh countryside.
We spent a few weeks staying in Cardiff, two nights in an AirBnB in the Welsh mountains surrounded by sheep, a day trip to Tenby, a day trip to Portmeirion, a day trip to Barry Island, two weeks just outside Swansea and I attended my first ever international rugby game.
So it’s been a fun few weeks in Wales and I’ll tell you all that I got up to.
And as a bonus and absolute CURVE BALL here is a bloody YouTube video of all that we got up to in Wales because yes I’ve jumped into the vlogging life because what else have I to be at?
So you can call me a #vlogger now and I hope you enjoy my first ever YouTube video as I emerge into the world of documenting my entire life and taking you on a journey with me.
Remember what I said in this blog post about leaping outside of my comfort zone? Well here we are.
Stop 1: Cardiff
We started our Welsh adventures in the capital city of Cardiff, and as I love my dear home of Liverpool so much since it’s a rather small city, Cardiff reminded me of Liverpool a little, as it’s one of the smallest cities I’ve been to.
Luckily for us we were staying in an ideal apartment right in the city centre of Cardiff, just above St. David’s shopping centre (if you know where that is). This meant that we had to step outside the apartment building and we were on the high street, a couple of minutes walk from the main shops, bars, restaurants and far too close to Chippy Lane for my liking.
The worst part of this was the lack of steps we racked up in Cardiff. Although I complained about how hilly Edinburgh was, I was glad that it got our step count up for the month.
But Cardiff? I was lucky to do more than 500 steps a day.
You can see most places we ate and drank in the YouTube video (lol who am I) but our favourites were Bootleggers for fancy cocktails, La Pantera for crazy tacos and extremely strong cocktails, The Depot for street food and Pasture for incredible (but expensive) steak.
I was even taken to my first international rugby game, watching Wales vs Argentina. It wasn’t the best game ever but it was our first in-person event in over 18 months so we relished every minute of it, even though the stadium was at 5% capacity.
All in all, Cardiff was absolutely lovely, the people were extremely friendly and I would go back again tomorrow to sit and work from the cute cafes and breakfast spots in the many arcades. I also wouldn’t mind another Welsh Cake either.
Stop 2: Barry Island
I mean, I couldn’t come to Cardiff and not visit the famous Barry Island. If you don’t know (you should) Barry Island is the set of Gavin & Stacy, and as you’d imagine it was every bit as Barry Island as you’d imagine.
Some amusements, a fair ground, memorabilia of the show and you can even go to the different places where the show is set.
We went to the cafe that Stacy worked in, the amusements that Nessa worked in and even went up to Stacy and Bryn’s houses – the quads and glute muscles you would build walking up that hill every day!
Other than being the home of Gavin & Stacy, Barry is also home to a really cool food/shopping building called Goodsheds which is rather like BoxPark in Shoreditch if you’ve ever been.
Stop 3: Glanaman AirBnB
Oh my word this AirBnB. It was a first experience for us, sleeping in a converted shed-of-sorts, a wood-fire heated hot tub, compost toilet and surrounded by nothing but sheep and mountains.
It was the most idyllic setting and we were so lucky that we booked during the heatwave in mid-July. We had a BBQ on the go for every meal, spent an entire day getting in and out of the hot tub, sunbathing, playing checkers, reading, playing Scrabble and watching Love Island and it was probably the first time we switched off for an entire day since Christmas.
I’ve linked the AirBnB here so you can have a look as I received a lot of messages from people asking where they could book this themselves.
Annnnd I made a little Instagram Reel of our stay that took off on my Instagram and received over 3,000 views – I know, please queue in an orderly fashion for my autograph.
Stop 3: Tenby
A common theme to my excursions in Wales are firstly all first-time events, and secondly, all bloody beautiful settings.
Walking through Tenby was like walking around a village in Spain or Italy. It did help that it was around 30 degrees and a Sunday, so the place was dripping with out-of-towners come to enjoy the water and the weather.
I could definitely imagine staying in Tenby for a few days when the weather’s good. I haven’t been to Cornwall before, but I imagine it would be something quite similar.
Anyway, if you’re ever in Tenby and the weather’s good, make sure to bring your swimsuit!
Stop 4: Swansea (ish)
We spent two weeks staying at the mr’s family house which is just on the outskirts of Swansea. It’s a small village in South Wales and I’m sure you can imagine for yourself what it’s like. I was introduced to the local rugby club and I think I passed the test. Hopefully I’ll be invited back.
These two weeks were spent working, sunbathing in an actual garden (the first place we’ve had with a garden this year) and just enjoying having an actual house to stay in rather than being confined to a bedroom and kitchen/living area.
We dined out at a few places in Swansea, having brunch in the Uplands, dinner at Founders & Co. and the Meatery in Banwen.
I got to explore where St. Patrick was originally from which I’m sure a lot of Irish people wouldn’t be able to say as I can’t imagine anyone taking the trip to Banwen for this sole reason.
And we tried and failed to get into a routine of healthy eating for two weeks, but what’s new there?
Stop 5: Portmeirion
Because who doesn’t want to go on a 6 hour drive on a Sunday when it’s 27 degrees?
Yes, we wakened at an early hour on a Sunday morning and decided to drive 3 hours to Portmeirion in North Wales. I’m very glad we did as it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
One minute you’re driving through the Welsh countryside and the next you’re walking through an Italian village.
It’s really incredible and I’m so glad we got the weather for it. You can find a Reel of it on my Instagram here (shameless plug).
Stop 6: Back to Manchester
Our five weeks in Wales have now come to an end and I’m glad I was able to see and explore so much of it.
My little stint in Paris and Nicole’s The Sweet Life has ended and I must return to my much-loved city life.
We’re headed back to Manchester now for another month and I had hoped that this would be us settled for a few months as I actually came to really like Manchester a lot more than I thought I would. But, it’s not to be and we’ll be heading onto somewhere new in September.
I’ll be vlogging our month in Manchester (lol who am I) and recording the journey of finding a new apartment in a new city for a long-term lease (which to us is six months) so I hope you’re looking forward to that!