It’s wonderful to be joined on the blog today by my fabulous Tweep friend, Tony Riches, who talks with great passion about his life in Pembrokeshire, South Wales:
I live and write in Pembrokeshire, near the coast in the far south west of Wales. (For readers who have never heard of it, Pembrokeshire is the most beautiful part of the UK.) As well as the slower pace of life, I enjoy the rich variety of Pembrokeshire landscapes. On a clear day I can see the Wicklow mountains of Ireland from the top of the purple heather covered Preseli hills, where the blue stones of Stonehenge are thought to have originated.
Within half an hour of my house there are mysterious deserted coves, world class surfing beaches and sheltered estuaries, perfect for my favourite pastime of sea kayaking. If I need something more peaceful I have the tranquil River Cleddau, a nature reserve that meanders its way down to the deep water port of Milford Haven. On an evening kayak river trip the silence is only broken by the haunting call of Curlews and the shrill whistle of orange billed Oystercatchers.
The start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is about ten minutes away and takes walkers 186 miles through Britain’s only coastal national park (which rises and fall so much it is said to be equivalent to climbing Everest.) There are places where the path is treacherously close to the edge of towering cliffs but you can see grey seals and almost every type of seabird in the UK.
The nearby medieval walled town and harbour of Tenby draws visitors from all over the world in the summer, many of whom take the short boat trip to visit the monastery on the island of Caldey. Founded as a Celtic monastery in the sixth century, this is now run by the Cistercians, (who contrary to popular belief don’t take a vow of silence – but do make a comfortable living selling perfume and chocolate to visitors.)
There is also some interesting local history, with nearby Pembroke Castle the birthplace of King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, and the home of Sir Jasper Tudor, his protector. It was this castle that inspired my first novel Queen Sacrifice, as I realised there are castles at each ‘corner’ of Wales, just like a chess board, with battles between powerful kings, supported by knights, bishops and their loyal fighting men, the ‘pawns’ in their civil wars.
Tony Riches blogs at ‘The Writing Desk’ http://tonyriches.blogspot.co.uk/ is on twitter @tonyriches has a Goodreads Author page at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches/ and has an Amazon Author page at https://www.amazon.com/author/tonyriches
Check out my new video for ‘Queen Sacrifice’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFU3V4Dt040