Friday, 17 October 2008

Tenby revisited . . .

Tenby from the air from a scanned postcard. The green mound is where the castle was built - for obvious reasons.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

The beach at South Bay and Caldey Island on the left hand side. I have decided that I want a boat trip out there for my birthday outing next year.
You will have to make do with the link as I have spent far too long at the computer this morning, loading up these photos!

I don't know WHY we haven't been to Tenby more often instead of usually heading for Brecon on a day out. Perhaps it was the call of the mountains. Perhaps it was the truly AWFUL bag of chips we bought there when my friend Gay and I went there back in 1989 - reheated so many times that even the seagulls turned their beaks up at them! Perhaps it is because it seemed a long way, though actually it's about 10 miles closer to home than Brecon is. Don't know. What I do know is that we will be going back regularly now.

OK, it won't be so nice in the winter, with the wind howling in off the sea, but it has a tiny little second hand bookshop - so small that with 4 of us in it (plus the owner) yesterday, we had to negotiate which direction we were moving in. There were books in the bookcases, books on the bookcases, books stacked in piles on the floor in front of the bookcases, books teetering in upsidedown piles in corners and leaning into dusty recesses (and of course the most interesting were always at the bottom of the pile at the back!) There's another bookshops selling new books, and they include the sort of new books we find very tempting. They had an excellent dispplay of books about the history, archaeology and natural history of Wales. We picked up, we turned pages, wanted to buy Forgotten Houses of Wales, but it's £20 so it's been put on the Christmas list instead, as we are being abstemious at the moment.

We had a car picnic overlooking the sea. Car picnics are a speciality in our family. They are extremely basic - one crusty loaf, cold meat or cheese, fresh fruit, and an appetite! In Brecon we regularly have a sit down snack at a small cafe near the bookshop, as we did on our last visit, but having forked out nearly £10 for a pot of tea and two toasties, we decided that in future it was a car picnic or a bag of chips. My husband likes his cup of tea though, so we will have to remember to take a vacuum flask next time.

Anyway, we strolled around Tenby, admiring the bright colours of the houses - SO cheerful - and would be so on the darkest winter day too. There were tiny little streets leading off the main street, and a glimpse of the sea everywhere. We visited the Tudor Merchant's House (National Trust) and were fortunate to get there and look round just before a gaggle of excited school children arrived. Photographs were not allowed, but we bought two photographs of the interior. I was pleased to see that in the absence of buying Tudor furniture (which is of course, rare and expensive) the Trust had commissioned several new pieces, made from oak, which were based on Tudor designs and beautifully made. The carving was so crisp on the four poster bed upstairs on the top floor and I fell in love with an aumbrey cupboard on the wall and have put in a request to my husband, who may just be able to reproduce it - though I must confess, my hands were wanting to have a go at the carved and pierced design on the cupboard fronts . . .

We walked past the harbour and up to the Museum. I had visited it before, but not for several years now. However, there was an admission charge of £4 a head - many museums in Wales are now free entry and I am afraid we just turned on our heels and said, "Sorry, we can't afford it." If I am beginning to sound like a skinflint, then so be it, but days out for us have to be on the frugal side - we'd paid to park, two admissions to the Tudor Merchant's House, bought lunch (bread and ham) and things soon start to add up.

This huge tower is part of the town walls shows that defence of Tenby was once paramount - note the arrow slits below the battlements.

This is Major Tom, a lovely Shire who was nuzzling my hands gently, hoping for treats!

He gives carriage rides around the town.

The Tudor Merchant's House.

Inside the Tudor Merchant's House - these two purchased photographs subsequently scanned. Above is the exquisite marriage chest upstairs. You weren't allowed to touch any of the furniture, but this one screamed "touch me" . . . and we had to walk away, hands in pockets.

This is an "Aumbrey Cupboard", made in 1990, from oak, and stunning. I have told my dearly beloved that he has to make me one, but I want to be involved with those stunning carved doors. I shan't hold my breath, but watch this space . . .

Walking up past the Harbour, with more Georgian town houses in view.

What a brace of splendid Regency doors! The blue plaque above mentions that George Eliot stayed here whilst on holiday, and wrote furiously!

My husband walking towards the Museum through one of the castle entrances.

Looking back across the town from the castle.

The watchtower which is in the centre of the castle mound.

There were several splendid cannons - this one pointing back towards Carmarthen Bay.

This will tell you a little bit about Castle Hill. (Click to enlarge of course).

Looking down onto the rock which used to house a small private zoo.

Isn't this gloriously BLUE?! Apparently Lord Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton spent a dirty weekend here back in 1802. The other side of the building has uninterrupted sea views.

One of the little side streets which the camera saw fit to "gloom" as it was so sunny.

This little cutway leads down to the Harbour, past the Tudor Merchant's House which is just on the left with the tall chimney.

1 comment:

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Oh thank you for taking me on the journey...
Even the car picnic sounds lovely!!
It's true everything is about charges and they soon add up.
Being abit inventive helps the purse strings and the memory making!
I love the blue building and what a story to go with it!!
It truly looks lovely and so interesting!!:)