Marloes – Somewhere between heaven and earth

So it was time for a little jaunt and having scoured the internet for a cottage to rent it was decided that Marloes seemed to have it all. A perfect little cottage with log burner, close to the beach and within walking distance of a pub…what more could you want?

Driving from North Wales through to South Wales is a drive and a half and to be honest I couldn’t have chosen a location further away but…who doesn’t love a good ole road trip and it was one full of feasts for the eyes, giggles and great music.

It didn’t take us long to be in breath taking landscape with nothing around bar rolling hills and the odd sheep. I had hoped for a coastal drive but this was equally as rewarding with many stops along the way for us to just take a moment to breathe it all in. I say ‘breathe’ as with country side road tripping comes hazardous smells. Although we didn’t let this sway us, instead we deeply inhaled whilst telling ourselves ‘it is good for you’. Something just about everyone’s mother will have told them at some point but still to this day I have no idea why. So many people say it…therefore…I am guessing…it must be true?! I don’t think I have been on a trip where I have sniffed the air quite so much, I felt like a cat downwind of cooking bacon, slightly less rewarding but just as fun.

As we got closer to Aberystwyth the villages seemed to have a few reoccuring themes. One of which was coloured houses, some peach, some blue some green. Some villages did this really well and it looked beautifully picturesque. However, other areas looked like an obscure pixy village of which I could only assume were of evil mind and lured mermaids to their door via their brightly coloured little obodes.

The other was the naming of the pubs. I think we drove through several villages and only saw pubs named ‘The Black Lion’ expect one…literally one… that thought wayyyy out of the box and named their pub ‘The Red Lion’…I commend them for their boldness.

I have honestly tried to Google this and for once…the internet has failed me. I can only assume that people do not get out much and maybe they do not realise that there is a pub within 1 mile of their own establishment with the same name OR that everyone lost the same bet…I am sure there is a wonderful reasoning to this and it will be my new mission to find out why!

We met a few characters on our way but one will always stick in my mind. We were buying rizla papers in a small little village and the warm and friendly man behind the counter announced, in a very thick welsh accent, that he also sold cigarettes and tobacco. I was a little unsure if he was just making conversation OR if he was a little perplexed that we were merely buying papers from his shop. Regardless he made me smile and I am glad to have interacted with him – little treasure that he was – well and truly in the memory archive.

I loved this road trip…nothing for miles and then a little pocked of life. It made me ponder what these people do for a living and how they ended up there. Dozens of places I didn’t even realise existed…it makes you realise how insignificant you really are.

After what was much more than our anticipated 4 hour drive we finally arrived in Marloes. Such an idyllic little village which seemed to hum with village life. A little shop that is only open a few hours a day, a local pub and a phone box…all the essentials right there.

The cottage itself, The Old Post Office, is beautiful. I felt like I was home the moment I walked through the door. A cozy spacious lounge with two big comfy sofas, a quaint little bedroom, kitchen and a little patio area with BBQ. As soon as I arrived… I wish I had booked for longer.

Liz who owns the cottage is in the next house and couldn’t have been more helpful and told us all about the local sights.

Once unpacked, by this I mean beers and food in the fridge, we decided to take a walk to the local beach. This is Musslewick sands. This takes around 10 minutes to get to from Marloes on foot, however, the beach is only accessible when the tied is out. This said, it is not very obvious where you are supposed to walk down to get to the beach and we were later told that this is by walking down the path with the big black rock, when the tied is out there should be some steps visible. To me however this just looked like an algae disaster slide but if I went back I would totally risk it.

Musslewick Beach

Musslewick Beach

As the tied was in we opted to walk along the path which goes all the way along the cliff edge and the view is just amazing. I could have just sat there watching the gulls swooping up an down on the coastal breeze whilst staring out to sea for hours whilst allowing my worries to just slip away into the abyss. In that moment I felt very content but  drinking red wine, with good company in front of a roaring log burner was pretty damn close to perfection also.

The next day it was decided to take the advice of Liz and to go and explore Marloes Sands and I can honestly say it was some great advice. When we left the skies were blue and the breeze was warm. The closer we got to Marloes Sands the more we drove into cloud and this was the beginning of an experience I will never forget.

There is a car park at Marloes Sands which, due to this being part of the National Trust, is a paid for car park which is manned by its very own lone ranger. There are two ways to get down to the beach, one is an easier route and another, as described by said ranger, was a steeper and harder route. Of course the latter is what we opted for – we were here for an adventure after all.

We walked through two fog drenched fields, more fitting for the likes of Sleepy Hollow than sleepy wales, and we arrived at the cliff edge. We could go left or right, we chose to go right and spent the next 15 minutes or so bimbling around to arrive at sheer drops with the misty beach and jagged rocks below… but no way down.WP_20150522_14_30_51_Pro

I only assumed this was the way as these routes seemed, as described, steep, however it quickly became apparent we needed to go the other, much less step, but equally enjoyable route down.

Once we had descended into the fog we landed on what felt like another planet. You couldn’t see 20 yards in front of you and sharp bleak rocks jetted out of the ground as you walked by.  I felt like I was on a film set and all that was missing was some atmospheric theme music. I expected a pirate ship to appear on the horizon any moment or for some strange being to appear. It was beautifully surreal and hard to take in. Trying to look directly into the fog I got a million light worms in my eyes making me feel like I was about to pass out but I couldn’t look away, it was hypnotic.WP_20150522_14_43_11_Pro

People could have been crawling all over that beach but you wouldn’t have known it. I felt like it was our experience and ours alone. It is not often I am speechless but I had and have no words to really explain what it was like meandering through the heavy haze. I doubt I would have fallen in love quite as much had those blue skies filled this space. I was in awe of this luna landscape, with its chilling fog and I didn’t want to leave. It was like walking through a dream, slightly perplexing but with the desire to go deeper into the rabbit hole.

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I would love to re-visit this amazing location but I would hate for anything to take away from how I experienced this beach the first time around. If someone could guarantee fog I would be there every day to feel its hypnagogic power. It really was somewhere not on this planet…somewhere between heaven and earth…cloud nine with an edge.

Following this epic experience we ventured into Dale. A local village that Liz had recommended. This is home to a small marina, yacht club and a pub, The Griffin.

The Griffin over looks the bay and you can sit on the terrace and watch the boats coming in and out whilst dining on some freshly caught fish. The pub was lovely and the food was phenomenal and well worth a visit.

The clouds drifted away into blue skies making the perfect ending to a perfect day.

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The Griffin terrace, Dale

Peace out

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