I must admit that April was a pretty awesome month, probably because we were lucky enough to travel quite a bit. We celebrated our friend Mathieu's 30th in Palma de Mallorca at the beginning of the month and explored Southwest Wales over Easter. I even got the chance to see stunning carpets of bluebells in the Clent Hills near Birmingham last weekend. Not to mention the food highlights - some favourites include eating at 1847 in Birmingham (thank you Louise!) and cooking up simple meals in our sweet little Welsh Airbnb in Cardigan.
Despite so many highlights, I'm going to do a little spotlight on our Easter trip for this favourites post because I have a special soft spot for Wales and coastal paths. Christian and I spent four days in Cardigan/Aberteifi exploring the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and we wish we could have stayed for at least another week. If long distance coastal walking is your thing, this special part of the world is an absolute must-see! Read on for some details about our trip, the highlights and some shots of the stunning scenery, as well as some tips on eating well while on the road and hiking...
April Favourites: Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Southwest Wales
We set off on the Friday morning to pick up a car from Heathrow Airport. After a couple glitches with the rental car company and a quick pub lunch we managed to hit the road. We took a scenic route once we got into Wales, driving through the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park with a pit stop in Brecon. From there we made our way west to Cardigan along winding country roads. I booked a cute little Airbnb in the centre of town, and our host Penny had some really great tips for must-see spots after we told her about our plans to explore the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Initially I wanted to do a 20+ km hike from St Dogmael's to Newport, but the weather wasn't promising and we had a car so we decided to break up our hike into smaller segments, incorporating all of Penny's suggestions. Here's what we did on the Saturday, along with some pictures:
- Drove to Allt y Coed campsite near St Dogmael's/Poppit Sands (the start of the coast trail). From there, we walked halfway to Moylegrove along the path and back.
- Drove from Allt y Coed to Moylegrove. From the village centre we took a forest path towards the coast and the Witches Cauldron, where we had a picnic in the sunshine.
- From Moylegrove, we drove to Pwllgwaelod Beach. From there we walked around Dinas Head, passing by beautiful Cwm yr Eglwys on our way back to the car to head back to Cardigan.
Needless to say we were a bit tired from our Saturday adventures so we took it a bit more mellow on Easter Sunday (although we still managed to see quite a bit!) Here's what we did, along with some photos:
- Had a lazy Easter brunch at the Airbnb before driving south towards Abereiddy beach to check out the Blue Lagoon, passing by Abercastle.
- From Abereiddy beach we headed to St Justinian's (near St David's) to take a boat trip around Ramsay Island. We got to see lots of birds as well as seals!
- From St Justinian's, we drove along the coast stopping at Newgale beach, Little Haven and finally Martin's Haven. From there, we took a short hike out towards the coast where we got to see stunning views of Skomer Island around sunset.
- From Martin's Haven, we drove to Dale for dinner, and then headed back to Cardigan.
In the short space of two full days we were lucky to see so much and we were absolutely amazed by this little corner of the world. Needless to say we are already thinking about our next trip to the Pemrokeshire Coast!
Now, in terms of eating well while travelling on the road - I believe that planning ahead is key! For this trip, I made a little plan of meals around our itinerary and got items that didn't need to be refrigerated in London so that we'd only need to pick up a couple things when we arrived in Wales. Here are some of the things I packed:
- A pre-made mix of the dry ingredients for bircher muesli, a carton of almond milk and a knob of ginger (I finished the muesli on Friday night once we got to the Airbnb so that we'd have breakfasts and snacks at the ready)
- Gluten free gnocchi, plus a can of tomatoes and an onion to make a tomato sauce for a quick dinner on Friday night
- Dark and milk chocolate, granola, dried fruit and nuts for hiking snacks
- Some fresh fruits and vegetables, including bananas, apples, oranges, red pepper and cherry tomatoes
- Some sparkling water, coffee and herbal tea packets
In Brecon we picked up some fresh ingredients as well as a few extras including:
- Parmesan for the gnocchi and broad beans + a small bottle of olive oil for a side
- Milk, eggs, smoked salmon and orange juice for Easter brunch
- Sandwich ingredients (lettuce, gluten free and regular breads, cheese, salami and Dijon mustard)
- A bottle of red wine
With all this we were able to make a delicious dinner when we arrived at the Airbnb. On Saturday morning we had bircher museli for breakfast and made lunch for our hike (we packed sandwiches, orange slices, nuts and chocolate for our picnic, and we kept extra water and granola in the car). Saturday night we were too tired to go out so we had leftovers for dinner and an early night. On Sunday we made a lazy Easter brunch at the Airbnb, and we packed small containers of bircher muesli and granola for the road, and had Easter dinner in at a cute little pub in Dale. Before heading back to London on Monday, we made some more sandwiches and packed some hard-boiled eggs along with any leftover veggies we didn't finish. And voila, it was as simple as that! Here are a few photos of things we ate:
Normally when I travel in cities I like to explore restaurants and the local cuisine. However, when hiking is the main attraction of my trip, I try to plan as much as possible so that we don't need to worry about finding healthy food in remote places. Of course, having enough supplies when walking long distances is really important in case you get lost or stuck, so forward planning is essential.
What are your favourite spots for long-distance walking? Have you been on any stunning coastal paths recently? How do you plan for your walking trips? Do you manage to find the time to eat well while on the road? I'd love to you hear your thoughts in the comments!