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Why not have a go at being an author?

On this page we are inviting anyone who has travelled on the Heart of Wales to submit an account of their trip (with photographs or without) so that their experiences may be enjoyed by the thousands of Web site visitors that we get each month.

The deservedly popular American travel writer Bill Bryson, author of many engaging reads such as Notes from a Small Island, Down Under and The Lost Continent, rode the whole of the Heart of Wales line and wrote a wonderful article that appeared in the Sunday Times. With reference to the matchless scenery, 'an Eden of green fields and rolling hills', Bryson described the line as being not 'the fastest way to get to Llandrindod Wells, but it was surely the most rewarding.'

Send your submissions via e-mail to David Edwards.

   
   
       
   
 

U3A Expedition from Milford to Swansea to Shrewsbury

Submitted by Geoff Winterman, Pembrokeshire U3A

Pembrokeshire U3A

Seven Pembrokeshire U3A members embarked on the two day return trip to Shrewsbury along the Heart of Wales Railway Line.  They made use of the Arriva Club 55 Scheme that allows one to travel anywhere in Wales and parts of the West Midlands of England for £24.00 return (at date of travel, Feb 2016).  This linked in with the ability to use a bus pass issued in Wales to travel anywhere from Swansea to Shrewsbury.

You can read the entire artical by visiting the Pembrokeshire U3A site.

   
   
       
   
 

Day Tripping in the Snow

Submitted by Paul Crook, Gorseinon

Heart of Wales train at Llanwrtyd in snow

I wanted to send you these 2 photos from a fabulous trip to Shrewsbury on the 09:34am from Bynea on Jan 21st 2013.

I'm a regular traveller on this service and these snaps were taken at Llanwrtyd Station.

 


 

Pulling the catering trolley through the snow

At Llanwrtyd Station, the lovely hostess tried really hard to pull the catering trolley in
the thick snow over to the other side of the platform.

Well done hostess!

 

   
   
       
   
 

Bryn WI Trip on The Heart of Wales Line

Submitted by Stephanie Sims, Bryn WI Secretary

Bryn WI

By the time I joined Bryn WI in 2007 the ladies had already made one trip ‘up the line’ and told me how much they were looking forward to the next one. 

So, one sunny day we congregated, bright and early, at Llangennech station to eager for another day out.

 

The journey to Shrewsbury took some three and a half hours, but it wasn’t boring as it we past some magnificent scenery and pretty villages.  Starting from Llangennech station we encountered our first ‘thrill’ when trying to get our older members on the train.  The platform at Llangennech is roughly two feet below the level of the train door and we had to help a few to get on board.  On our next trip someone was kind enough to provide steps which made life much easier.  I love the way that, as Llangennech is a small station, we have to put up a hand to stop the train when it approaches the station - rather like hailing a bus in the High Street.

Bryn WI

At Shrewsbury there is so much to explore.  Shrewsbury is a fascinating place.  My friend, Margaret and I, toured the Abbey, home to the fictional Brother Cadfael and the shrine of St Winifred.  Shops there are aplenty and many places to explore including beautiful old buildings such as the Market Hall, the Castle and Museum.

We arrived home, tired but happy and planned our next trip to Llangadog.

   
   
       
   
 

On the Rail Ale Trail!

Submitted by Gene Robinson, California

The Rail Ale Trail

My odessy to mid Wales began with my decision to take a trip to Britain in a quest to seek out Real Ales in comfortable pubs. I have enjoyed British Ales since 1965, including Welsh ales in northern Wales in 1978 and '80. In recent years, I have become aware of Real Ales and have been acquiring the CAMRA books since 1998. Since my wife doesn't share my enthusiasm for beer and pubs, nor I hers for shopping, we took separate trips this year.

I had decided that I would visit Shropshire, a locality across the border. In researching for my trip, I noticed how close It is to Wales.

Some of my research included the tour guide, Lonely Planet, which touted your area and the Heart of Wales Line (also recommended by Frommer's). Lonely Planet said Llanwrtyd Wells is the wackiest town in Wales; how could I resist? It also recommended the Drover's Rest B&B and restaurant, which I enjoyed very much and recommend wholeheartedly.

When I arrived at Llanwrtyd, Peter James was waiting for me, standing on the platform in his chef's finery! I had made a reservation at the Drover's Rest for 3 nights and he had offered to meet me at the station, which I had thought was unusually accommodating and hospitable. I stayed 5 nights and experienced unusually good accommodation and hospitality from numerous folks up and down the Heart of Wales Line.

I made use of the fine services of the TIC office, staffed by Jan and others, including the use of the computers for access to the internet. On my third day, I was chatting with Jan and mentioned my interest in Real Ale. She told me the HoWL had just announced the Rail Ale Trail promotion , and that it was so new the brochures were in a box somewhere and she would find one for me. I immediately arranged with Peter to extend my stay, and Jan delivered the brochure to me at breakfast the next morning! Is that extraordinary or what?

Since I had access to 2 of the listed pubs right in Llanwrtyd Wells, I had only 4 others to visit. After looking at the train schedule, I saw that some fine planning would be necessary. I ended up getting my 4 additional pub visits by going to 2 towns each day for 2 days: North to Knighton and Builth the first day and South to Llandeilo and Llandovery. As I recall, I caught a train at about 11 a.m. each day out of Llanwrtyd. I had plenty of time in some of the towns in the pubs and walking. (e.g. 2 miles from the station to town at Builth).

I enjoyed every minute of the 5 days in mid Wales and am serious about returning!

   
   
       
   
 

The Train That Helps You Make Friends!

Submitted by David Edwards, Llangennech

It's happened again! A trip on the Heart of Wales Line has turned into a useful meeting - this time with a rambling enthusiast on her way to a meeting on Rights of Way. As often happens on this line, a chance greeting and remark about the weather led to a conversation being struck up, and before we knew where we were, we found we had interests in common, and were exchanging ideas and useful contacts.

There must be something about the informality and relaxed nature of the line that encourages people to smile and chat to one another - whether it's about business, pleasure, or reminiscences of the line in days gone by.

On recent journeys, I've met a Canadian touring Wales, garden enthusiasts visiting the National Botanic Garden of Wales near to Llandeilo, and a Japanese tourist enthralled by the scenery and curious about the Welsh language. How can this be?

Well, the line passes through the countryside of Merlin, the Welsh wizard - perhaps it has the spell of Welsh friendship cast on it!

   
   
       

 

 

 

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