Over the half term holidays, we were very lucky to enjoy some glorious sunshine at the beginning of the week. Thankfully, this happened during the time we were visiting family back in Ceredigion in West Wales.
It occurred to me that my children had never walked along the Old Railway line from Llanerchaeron to Aberaeron, a place the locals call the “Cwmins”.
Parking our car in the Llanerchaeron National Trust car park (SA48 8DG), we started our stroll along the single track road.
There are other pathways that lead directly through the woodland to the Cwmins, but we chose the old route, which I remember fondly from my regular visits there as a child.
The start of our woodland walk took us along a well worn footpath, the width of a small car, with farmland either side filled with sheep and some lambs.
We crossed a small bridge, we got out first glimpse of the River Aeron and it was here that my two children found a rugged pathway down the side of the bridge to skim stones.
After a while, we continued our walk along a pathway, until we reached the woods.
Following the pathway with the river alongside us we enjoyed a peaceful walk with just the sounds of songbirds, nearby horses and large numbers of sheep in the field.
A couple of miles further along we reached a little picnic area – which was a welcome respite for the kids and adults alike! So we took the opportunity to have a quick snack and drink before continuing on our way.
I remember bringing our black Labrador Ben here, as he loved to swim, especially in this part of the river with its deep pools.
It is also a great place for the kids to skim stones, but unfortunately on this occasion, there were other people sitting there enjoying watching their dogs jumping in and out of the water fetching sticks… just like my Ben used to do.
As we walked further along, I recognised the a side pathway that used to lead back towards Aberaeron comprehensive school… and where we’d have to run the dreaded cross country races!
I seem to recall that not much running was done on this part of the course!
It all brought back fond memories for me of walking along the muddy pathway with my friends, chatting without a care in the world, and without a teacher in sight. Fun times indeed.
The teachers choose (wisely) to stand at the beginning and the end of the path, which was far less muddy and a lot drier for them!
With the children starting to get hungry and thirsty, as they do, we decided to go back toward the car park.
There is a small tea room at the National Trust car park, where we rewarded the kids with a delicious vanilla ice cream and maple syrup milkshake for their walking efforts, and us adults indulged in a huge piece of salted caramel chocolate cake and lemon drizzle cake.
Our snack break over, we walked back through the car park towards the river Aeron, where the kids had another session of skimming stones and my 15 year old decided it was time lob bigger stones into the water, causing him and his sister to laugh hysterically at the almighty splashes. Now this is what being a child is all about, having fun.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go into the Llanerchaeron Estate, where the 200 year old+ Georgian villa sits, as it wasn’t open on the day we visited, but it is worth a visit if you get the chance.
The estate is a self-sufficient estate which includes a farm, walled gardens and a lake. The good news for young families is that the walk is suitable for pushchairs and is also accessible for wheelchairs.
If you’d like to know more, then be sure to check out the National Trust website and you can see for yourself how worthwhile a visit will be.