Sunday, 24 July 2016

Treasure Trails

It's the first week of the summer holidays and I'm writing to you from Tenby, here in the south-west corner of Wales. And what a lovely little spot it is too.

This isn't my first visit here. I stayed here in 1975, a trip I have some vague early memories of. I also stayed here in 1992 with my then girlfriend, but oddly, I can't remember a single thing about that holiday or the town itself. That's very odd for me as I have a pretty photographic memory and can recall the finer details of many of my other trips. Yet Tenby in 1992 has somehow erased itself from my hard drive. Where I stayed, where I ate, even what I did remains a complete blank. I can only assume that being 22 I must have spent the whole week drinking and lost the memories because of it. It is a bit worrying that entire chunks of my past can simply disappear like this, though. If only I had had a blog then, I could have written it all down for posterity.

Never mind, we'll just have to start again. All I can say is, what a lovely place. The town itself has very Cornish feel to it, and reminds me a lot of how St Ives used to be twenty years or more ago. It is also  very different to traditional seaside resort in the vogue of Blackpool, Skegness or Yarmouth. Tenby is just a pretty little town by the sea that's managed to stay true to its roots without becoming either run down and shabby, or upmarket and elitist.

The beaches here are amazing, they simply have everything. Lovely golden sand with not a hint of seaweed, or other rubbish on them. A tide that when it runs out leaves rock pools and also natural salt water swimming pools. And best of all, caves! And I mean proper caves that you can actually go in and explore. Here's a couple of photos of Jamie exploring them.

We've eaten out twice already and had two lovely meals, both which ended with a bill of around £40 for a family of four, and that wasn't skimping. I had steak both nights. The town is really lively and there are plenty of places to eat and lots of old fashioned sweet shops and the like. There's also a harbour, cliff walks and stunning views. Tenby really does seem to have it all. I can say this with some confidence as I managed to reach 20,000 steps on my Walk Mate today, the first time I have ever reached that total. And it wasn't from playing Pokemon Go either. Much as this town is loaded with Pokestops and Gyms it's almost impossible to take advantage of them. I don't know if it's just Vodafone, but 4G is practically non-existent in this neck of the woods, 3G is also very hard to come by. In fact, if it wasn't for the apartment we are staying in having Wi-fi, you'd be lucky to get this if I tried to send it via text message.

At least half of those steps came from something fun and different we all did as a family this morning. Before I came away, I chanced across a site called Treasure Trails which you can find here 

What's this all about? Well, what the good people at this site do is provide walking treasure hunts around hundreds of towns and cities throughout Britain. The one we did was like a cross between the car treasure hunts that my family used to do when I was a kid and a game of Cluedo. You walk around the town following clues to various landmarks e.g. gravestones, commemorative plaques, monuments etc, and from the answers you eliminate the suspects, Cluedo style until you are left with just one, plus a murder weapon. It's a great way to explore a new town, get some exercise, fresh air and learn a little about a place's history too. And all this for the princely sum of £6.99 which provided us with a good couple of hours of entertainment. If you have kids, you'll know that seven quid doesn't go a long way, so this is an excellent way to spend a few hours.

I will definitely be investing in a few more of these treasure trails as they will be a great incentive to get out and explore some more new places during the summer. Hot on the heels of Pokemon Go, I have to say, I've never been so active.

So that's the holiday so far, lots more to come, including a trip to Caldey Island, Oakwood theme park and an evening at Ffos Las races (a course I have never visited before). Thumbs up to Tenby, if you haven't been here, I highly recommend it!

Just before I go, I don't like to over plug my books (no-one likes being given the hard sell) but my new novel is released this Friday, and you can find out all about it here:

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