Castles In Wales – Caldicot Castle

The gatehouse of Caldicot Castle in Monmouthshire, South Wales

The gatehouse of Caldicot Castle in Monmouthshire, South Wales

This blog on Caldicot Castle is the first in a series on photographing Castles in Wales.  Photographing castles is one of my passions and being located just outside Pontypridd in South Wales means that many of them are not that far away.

Caldicot Castle is a wonderfully preserved example of a medieval castle located just outside Caldicot in Monmouthshire, UK.  The castle dates back to 1158 when Humphrey de Bohun III, Earl of Hereford was passed the manor of Caldicot and built the stone keep and curtain walls of the present-day castle.  Further details on the castle can be found on the Caldicot Castle website.

The castle is great to photograph, especially as you can walk around the entire perimeter.  Walking up to the front gatehouse through the trees is a treat, especially with the colours of Autumn.

The photographs in this collection just focuses on external views of the Castle and can be seen on the Paul Fears Photography website.

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Surfing in Stormy Seas

Striding into the bitterly cold sea to search for that special wave.

It is January and the temperature is around 4 degrees C with a wind-chill that takes it below freezing.  I am wrapped up in around 4 layers of clothing, including thick socks and gloves and I am still cold.  Not only is it cold, but there is a strong wind that whips up the waves that are pounding onto the beach at Porthcawl in South Wales, UK.  And yet, I watch and take photographs as surfers brave the elements, striding out into the crashing froth is search of a wave to ride.

Rest Bay in Porthcawl is one of the best beaches for surfing in the area and on Saturday 17th January 2015 the weather was stormy and perfect for surfing.  I couldn’t believe how many surfers were braving the elements and wondered how good those wetsuits were in keeping them warm.  I doubted whether they were that effective.

The photographs I took hopefully tell the story and I particularly like the one with the surfer striding out into sea carrying his surfboard.  The collection can be seen on the Paul Fears Photography website.

Views From Garth Hill Pentyrch South Wales

Views from Garth Hill Panoramic Taffs Well1

Christmas had come and gone and the New Year loomed and so it was time to get some fresh air in the wonderful countryside around South Wales.  Not far from where we live is Garth Hill, made famous by the story and film entitled ‘An Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain’.  The Garth Hill dominates the western skyline as you leave Cardiff and drive up the valley towards Pontypridd on the A470.  From the top it is possible to see the mountains in the Brecon Beacons to the north and Cardiff and across the Bristol Channel to Weston-Super-Mare in the south.  Dotted around the top of the hill are a number of tumuli or burial sites dating back from the early to middle Bronze Age, around 2000 BC.Views from Garth Hill and Tumuli

On this particular day, the sky was blue and the rain had stopped and, like so many others, we walked up to the trig point on the top and then across to the nearly shear drop down into the A470 valley and the Gwaelod-y-Garth village and Taffs Well town.  The views were amazing.  It was a little hazy, but you could still see for miles and we could pick out the Millennium Stadium, the Wales Millennium Centre and Cardiff Bay.

I hadn’t taken my tripod, but I still tried some panoramic views of Pontypridd to the north and Taffs Well and the A470 to the east.  If you live in South Wales and want to enjoy a pleasant walk with amazing views, then I strongly recommend you visiting Garth Hill.  More photographs can be seen on my website.