A 3-day tour through Mid and South Wales exploring Wales' textile treasures.
Start your journey in Abergavenny and visit Charles and Patricia Lester’s retail outlet. Charles and Patricia Lester have established an international reputation for their textile and couture fashion. Each piece of fabric is hand painted, hand printed or pleated by hand, casting spells of colour and dimension that deceive the mind and the eye and crafted into extraordinary pieces. Their clothes are worn by celebrities including Princess Michael of Kent, Barbara Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor and have featured in renowned opera and film productions.
Continue north along A40/A479/A438 to Hay-on-Wye, the town of books, and on the way back towards Brecon go via Llyswen to have Welsh Cream Tea at Llangoed Hall. The 5 star Edwardian hotel was owned by the late Sir Bernard Ashley, husband of the late Laura Ashley.
Approx. distance: Abergavenny to Llangoed Hall - 40 miles (64 km)
Approx. driving time: 1 hour. Add approx.30-45 minutes to suggested overnight stop
Overnight suggestion: Llandovery, Llandeilo - search for accommodation
Today’s first stop is Jen Jones Welsh Quilts and Blankets shop in Llanybydder. Jen Jones holds hundreds of Welsh quilts, and assembles a collection she believes to be truly representative of the whole spectrum of Welsh quilting. She has written for and has featured in numerous books and magazines and is frequently asked to talk about Welsh quilts, on quilting and interior design programmes on television.
Continue via A475/A484 towards Cardigan and then take A487 along the Pembrokeshire coast towards Fishguard and on to Castle Morris to visit Melin Tregwynt. A family company since 1912, Melin Tregwynt leads to a small but world-famous woollen mill. The shop is a delight.
Approx. distance: Jen Jones Quilting to Melin Tregwynt - 51 miles (82km)
Approx. driving time: 1 hour 40 min
Overnight suggestion: St Davids, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Saundersfoot -search for accommodation
Head back east to Cardiff to discover more textile treasures. Spend the late morning at St Fagans: National History Museum. Clothing dating from the 16th century through to the 20th century is on display, both fashionable and everyday wear, official uniforms and occupational dress. Also included are accessories of all types and items of personal use richly displayed in the costume gallery.
In the afternoon visit Cardiff Bay, Europe's most exciting waterfront development. Here you will find Craft in the Bay, the home of the Makers Guild in Wales, which operates the largest Craft and applied art space in South Wales through its gallery. It is a hub which represents, displays and sells work of the highest quality, including textiles by Craft makers and applied artists from all over Wales, whilst also staging an international programme of exhibitions along with an education prgramme. Work on display all year round includes work by some of Wales' best textile artists.
The Makers Guild of Wales can also put visitors in touch with individual makers in other parts of Wales and studio viewings can be arranged with sufficient notice.
Approx. distance: Pembrokeshire to Cardiff - 100 miles (160 km)
Approx. driving time: 2 hours
Overnight suggestion: Cardiff - search for accommodation