Melinda and I had been planning our trip to Wales for some time. Paul and I had not been able to get back to the UK for over 2 years, and was feeling really homesick, and was really missing my family, especially our grandchildren. I am not good at traveling on my own, however my American friend, Melinda, who lives in Minturno, kindly offered to accompany. This was to be her first trip to Wales. So we were counting down the days until our joint holiday. We flew to Bristol, England via Easyjet.
Unfortunately there are currently no direct flights to Cardiff airport, which would have been our preferred destination. Our Bristol flight was due to land at around 7pm, so rather than rushing to pick up the hire car late that evening, we had opted to book a room for that night in a little guesthouse in the nearby village of Winford situated in the Chew Valley. We hired a taxi at the airport which dropped us and our luggage off at The Oaks B&B.
Beforehand I had done my homework, and I knew it was only a short walk from here to the village pub, which went by the name of the Prince of Waterloo, where we both ordered a Fish and Chip and Mushy Peas Supper. How I had longed for fish and chips whilst living in Italy !!! And we were not to be disappointed, it was delicious. Melinda, who loves to sample new beers ordered a pint of Cornish Tribute which also went down very well.
Our twin room at The Oaks Bed and Breakfast was very comfortable.
We found the owner to be very kind and helpful. She told us that previously she and her husband had run the Prince of Wellington pub.
The following morning, after a good breakfast, Melinda and I had a little time on our hands, so we decided to go for a walk and explore the village.
A taxi picked us up and deposited us at the car hire depot at the airport. For a month or more I had been practicing my driving skills. We have been living in Italy for 11 years now, and during that time I have hardly driven at all. Italian drivers can be quite scary, however I really wanted to hire a car for our Wales trip, so I had to force myself to overcome my fear.
We hired a Toyota Yaris, which was a little strange to drive at first but I soon began to get the hang of it. On that day I wanted to avoid motorway driving so we took a cross country route which eventually got us to Aust, where we crossed the River Severn and the River Wye over the Old Severn Bridge
We had now entered my beloved Wales. We then headed into Chepstow and on to the small nearby village of Itton where our first holiday cottage was located. This charming cosy country abode was to be our home for a week. The owner of the property, Helen, made us feel very welcome.
“Clare’s Cottage” was beautifully decorated, warm and well equipped. The cottage also had a beautiful garden.
There were some lovely free range chickens running around the garden.
We soon made friends with some of the neighbours !!!
Highly recommended !!! A great position for exploring the local towns and beautiful countryside of Monmouthshire.
*photos by Melinda Abbott
All other photos by me © Louise Shapcott
(except where photos have been rightfully accredited to the photographer / owner)
#cottage #wyevalley #itton #monmouthshire