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A Photographer's Insight: Spring is in the air

What a wonderful spring we are having here in the Brecon Beacons! The lambs are jumping about; running from one end of the field to the other in the gangs, the blackthorn and cherry blossom has created pretty puffs of white in the hedgerows and forests and the early morning mist that clings to the pine forests has turned in to glorious afternoon sunshine. I love this time of year. As a photographer, the light is really good as the days are getting longer and as a person, I love it because it isn’t raining.

Part of the beast bits of being out and about shooting in different location everyday is that as well as spending a day or two at a property I often get to try the local eateries and coffee houses. Just a perk! Here are a few cottages I have been to and places I have sampled in the last month whilst on shoots.

We have had an influx of lovely new properties which Paul and myself have shot recently. Y Bwthyn Cottage in the Dardy near Llangattock is the latest one set on the hillside with views over the river Usk and Crickhowell to table mountain; a great place to join in with the Crickhowell Walking Festival.

Paul and I headed over there the other week and whilst there we enjoyed the view and the flowering magnolia tree in the garden. For lunch we popped out to the town to sample the food in Number 18 and picked up something deliciously sweet from Askew’s Family Bakery.

Andria and I also went over to the Meeting House where they have just finished two more properties, the Stables and the Granary that can either be one large property or two independent smaller ones with an interlocking hallway. We saw Tarkha the lovely longhaired Weimaraner who last year had very cute puppies and yet again it was a beautifully warm day. See my blog post from my day at the Meeting House with Tom last year.

Going on from here I had another day in the historic, book lover’s town of Hay-on-Wye with Ann shooting Bookends Cottage, a really light and beautiful cosy Victorian cottage with an open fire and gorgeous walks along the river 100 yards from the front door. I popped in to The Blue Boar where my friend Scarlet works for a coffee when we were all done and dusted and having been for food before, I would thoroughly recommend going for the baked brie starter and a delicious ale. And the staff ain’t bad.

The latest one I have been to last week with Joanna, was Penrhos Dairy. An absolutely gorgeous cosy barn conversion with amazing views to Pen Y Fan, lovely oriental inspired garden with a stream and rare breed fluffy Silkie Chickens wandering about the place. This one is fairly remote, although the owners live near by you are right in the middle of the mountains, I don’t think we have any other cottage closer to Pen Y Fan as it is about a mile and a half below Storey Arms separated from the main flow of traffic by a short trip through a mysterious looking, broad leaf forest. The conservatory with its inside-outside qualities was my favourite part of this house and would be warm come summer or winter. Food and drink places here will be the food vans up by Storey Arms but Brecon is not far away and there are plenty of places to see eat and drink in the atmosphere of this old market town.

Down in the town is another new property called Terracotta Cottage, that Paul shot, a perfect place as a base to explore Brecon and it's surrounding countryside or sample fresh foodie delights while you watch the canal barges come and go at the Tipple 'n' Tiffin next door to the Theatre Brycheiniog in the canal basin, maybe even catch a show!

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