Hay Baling Wild Meadow by Hand in 2022

Last week was mostly spent cutting Wild Meadow and baling the hay… by hand🤗

Yes we are a bit crazy. But it was mostly great fun. Last year’s wheelie-bin baler has been upgraded 🎉

Leigh built a new baling box that made things much easier & quicker. Just as well – last year we only baled the hay from Picnic Meadow which was about 20 bales. This year we managed 106 bales altogether!

The hay smells amazing but it is really prickly and gets EVERYWHERE 😳

So if ever someone suggests “a roll in the hay” to you, just say no 😂

New Year in the Snow 2021

We were expecting to have a quiet, uneventful New Year’s Eve this year with Wales being in lockdown and having to cancel our cottage guests. But we woke up to the most stunning sight on New Year’s Eve morning.

Our view on New Year’s Eve morning

It had snowed overnight…and was still coming down quite fast. This was our first proper snow since we moved here in March so we were very excited to see the change in the landscape.

Leigh and Ziggy heading down our driveway.
Our Tree Tunnel looks amazing with a covering of snow.
The beech trees seen from the other side – magical.
Woodpecker Cottage in the snow
The view down our lane…looks like we are locked down in more than one way today!
View of the hillside opposite us.
Lampeter below us looking like Hogsmead. 🧙‍♀️⚡️
The pine forest on the hill opposite the cottages.

On New Year’s Day we went for a longer walk up in the hills behind the cottages. We have permission for ourselves and our guests to walk here from the farmer who owns the land.

The track behind our cottages leads up the hill.
You get even more panoramic views from the very top of the hill behind us.
Walk even further into the next field and you have views in a different direction…and the snow is even deeper up here.
A magical Winter Wonderland a little further over the hills.

We were the first ones to walk on the snow…apart from the foxes, hares and rabbits that had left their tracks. We walked to the top of the hill behind us and then round into the field behind that where there is a byway that goes even higher. The snow got deeper the higher we went.

This is just about a 40 minute walk from the cottages’ front doors. Feels like you could be in Scandinavia.

Walking further down the track you come to the road which then leads you in a circle back to the cottages. The hill back up is steep at the end, but it is worth it! This circular route we took was 5 miles altogether, starting and finishing at the cottage door.

The view from the track back up to the cottages.

What a fabulous start to 2021 – lets hope once the lockdowns are over and the virus is under control we can welcome more guests to share the beauty of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire with us. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Check out our cottages here: Winter Holiday Cottages for Couples.

Our Daily Walks in the Hills During Lockdown

During lockdown we have had plenty to keep us busy but we have also set aside time to explore the countryside around the cottages. In Wales, lockdown rules are especially strict and at the moment we are only allowed to go out once per day for exercise and it has to be very close to home – no driving to get to a beauty spot for walking.

Ziggy doesn’t appreciate the scenery but does enjoy snacking on sheep poop.

Just as well that we live in such a gorgeous place then! ? At this time of year when the meadows behind our cottages are empty or just have sheep, the farmer who owns them doesn’t mind us walking up the hill to get some exercise…and more stunning views. As you get higher even more of the landscape opens up.

The meadow we walk up to get to the top of the hill.
View from the top of the hill

Right at the top is an old abandoned slate quarry and the panorama is so amazing from up there it is worth the effort to climb the hill.

View from the top of the Quarry
On a clear day you can see for miles and miles.

The gorse bushes are now blooming and the colours are unreal. ? We have been blessed with some perfect weather and the bluest of skies. It is so calming spending time just taking it all in and stopping to look at the colours and smell the flowers. Did you know that gorse flowers smell like Pina Colada? ?Why did I never know this before? It is quite an intoxicating aroma – very coconutty!

These colours are straight out of the camera(phone) no adjustments!

Being surrounded by nature does make you slow down – it is so therapeutic. We have so many different birds around us. Red Kites and Buzzards circle overhead and the songs of the robin, coal tit, willow warbler and wren are so musical. We even have a resident hare that visits the farmland behind our picnic meadow – we see him most mornings if we are out early enough.

The view from the bottom of the hill on the way back to the cottages.

We have discovered a few different circular walks that you can do right from the cottages so if you want to stretch your legs and connect with nature when you come to stay we can give you directions…or you can just explore and find them for yourself!

Enjoying the morning sun in the Picnic Meadow.

We Borrowed Some Woolly Lawnmowers!

The World's Best Lawnmower

Overnight we have gone from owning an average-sized easily maintained garden to having over 4 acres of land to tend to. Leigh always dreamed of having enough grass to justify getting a ride-on lawnmower. He soon realised that a ride-on wouldn’t cut the mustard with four paddocks to manage. 

Leigh mowing the picnic meadow

His trusty petrol mower is great for trimming the path in the picnic meadow, but for our large paddock we had to call in the experts 🐑

Our biggest meadow needs more than a mower!


Thankfully one of our new neighbours has a flock of sheep that she was happy for us to borrow. 

It gives her pasture time to recover while they stuff their faces with our prime juicy grass! Win-win 😁 

Ziggy wasn’t sure what to make of them at first, but he’s getting used to having new wooly friends (I think he’s a bit scared of a couple of the feistier girls actually). They are such characters and often come and stare up at our window as if they want us to come out and play. 

I do love having them here as they are so entertaining and they are doing a sterling job on that grass ☘️ We need to keep them for a few weeks and I’m sure we’ll have them back again later in the year – they are the best lawnmowers in the world!

New Beginnings in Wales

How it Began

They say “Nothing worth having comes easy”. Well, our relocation to Wales has certainly been eventful! After 6 months of conveyancing and collapsing chains, we finally moved into our new home on 17th March 2020, ready to take over the running of Coedmor Cottages and enjoy all the amazing places Mid-West Wales has to offer. 6 days later, we found ourselves in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Not the start to our new life in the country we were hoping for…but we could be in a worse place!

Zena, Leigh & Ziggy

We are disappointed that we had to cancel the bookings already in the diary for March & April. But looking on the bright side, it means that we have extra time to work on the cottages before we have any guests to stay. We have spent our first 2 weeks settling in, exploring the beautiful walks that we can do from our doorstep and writing the new Coedmor Cottages website.

The view from the walk to the top of the hill behind the cottages

We managed one trip out to Penbryn Beach a couple of days before lockdown…we won’t be allowed to drive anywhere for walks for a while so we’re glad we had one visit to the seaside to keep us going. 

Penbryn Beach, Cardigan Bay
Penbryn Beach
Leigh & Ziggy at Penbryn Beach

Social distancing is tough for everyone but we feel blessed that we moved before the restrictions started and we are in such a beautiful place. We have 4 acres of our own land to wander and have already spotted a pair of Red Kites building a nest in the valley below. There is so much open land around us it is easy to walk without seeing another soul.

What’s next?

We’re going to start work on renovating Woodpecker & Red Kite cottages – new furniture and furnishings and a new shower for Woodpecker too. Interiors are a big passion of mine, so I can’t wait to get started! 👩‍🎨

The Cottages