I spent a lovely week in Wales with the wondrous @snazzydee, where we traipsed around, went swimming in the OCEAN, ate many tasty foods and drank many tasty wines. Here were the highlights, and my recommendations should you ever happen to find yourself in the Land of No Vowels But Very High Scrabble Scores.
1. Hay on Wye, the town with more bookshops than streets. Eat at The Old Black Lion (try the house ale) and stay at The Bear (make sure you have the bacon with breakfast).
Tenby: One of the absolute highlights of my UK trip. Tenby is a beautiful old walled seaside town. I know that Australians get pretty cocky about our beaches and it's true - our beaches are pretty awesome. But we generally don't have ruined castles on our beaches:
Here is were Snazzy and I went swimming in beautiful clear water that was SO COLD I THOUGHT I MIGHT DIE.
But my very favourite thing about Tenby is the CRAZY TIDES. Here is a photo of low tide, followed by a photo of the exact same place, two hours later.
I am bursting to set a novel there.
Eat at the Plantagenet. Amazing. Try the mussels.
Aberaeron: Lovely little Aberaeron is a fishing village in Southwest Wales. It also has crazy tides. Stay at the Harbour Master for both food and sleeping. Make sure you try the laver bread with your full cooked breakfast (confusingly not bread at all - it's a sort of seaweed and oat rissole that is much, much tastier than it sounds).
I cannot particularly recommend Brecon (sorry, Brecon), but about 10 minutes outside town (towards Hay) is the Felin Fach Griffin, a lovely old inn that has fabulous food, amazing wine lists and a dessert called a Chocolate Nemesis that might kill you, but it'll be worth it.
Other things that were strange and wonderful in Wales:
1. Snazzy's satnav took us on some very random roads, one of which had some spectacular views and a giant standing stone.
3. This isn't actually in Wales, it's in Much Wenlock near Shrewsbury. Much Wenlock is the home of the modern Olympic Games (yep, it really is), because they used to hold the Much Wenlock Games (based on the Ancient Olympics). And some American came by one day and went "Golly, that's a good idea. What if we did this, but bigger?". It's a very cute town with a ruined abbey and streets with names like:
If you happen to find yourself in Much Wenloch, stay and eat at The Raven.