If you live in or near to the Welsh Black Mountains and are looking for an unusual day out in beautiful countryside, do go and visit Rowlestone!
My good friend Chris elected to drive from where we live in Hereford and just over 25 minutes later, we arrived.
Let me quote a few lines from the Rowlestone Court website.
'Our family has farmed here for over 70 years, so we pretty-well know every blade of grass! We have always felt very lucky to live in such a beautiful place and we want to share it with visitors of all ages.
In 2005 we joined Defra's environmental stewardship scheme and have made our farm an accessible and enjoyable place to visit. We have renovated stone buildings that now house our own ice cream parlour, a cafe and small shop. A certified campsite compliments this.
We have sown a wildflower meadow, layed down paths through a native-species garden extending into ancient semi-natural woodland, restored our orchard and hedges, and have made many other changes that enhance the conservation and biodiversity of this area.
Our project is supported by grant-aid from Defra's Rural Enterprise Scheme.
We look forward to meeting you.
Mark and Mary Williams'
Entrance to the café Photo copyright Rowlestone Court
The first port of call was the café where we enjoyed a healthy and freshly prepared ham salad. We then filled up our water bottles and went on the long walk through the woods. The weather was very hot and overcast for much of the time, so the photos are a bit on the murky side I'm afraid! We had to go through the wildflower meadows which were a sight to behold. Many many different butterflies were spotted and lots of bees collecting nectar from the super flowers that grow here free of any sprays. In the distance a farmer was trying to encourage a cow to let her calf suckle but the mother was having none of it. We felt sorry for the calf and wondered if it was an abandoned one and the farmer was hoping it would be adopted? I have since been notified that the farmer is actually Mark getting the cow and her own calf in to join the other cows! She had calves that morning. In the distance we saw a row of Poplar trees on the landscape in front of the Black Mountains.
Mark Williams encouraging cow and calf!
View from the meadow
A bee finally let me take his photo!
Superb wildflower meadow. Photo copyright Rowlestone Court
After a long walk, we finally came to the Lime Kilns and I agreed reluctantly to a photo being taken!
Wonder how tall people coped all those years ago!
Information about the Lime Kilns
Chris thought that two trees meeting up in the middle resembled a stage and as there was nobody about, she began to sing. I encouraged her to join my local choir, but she was non committal!
Chris having fun!
Many types of fungi in the woods. Photo copyright Rowlestone Court
Arriving back at the café, a welcome cup of tea was had and of course the wonderful selection of home made ice creams made it difficult to choose which flavours to try. I opted for one scoop of ginger and one of honeycomb. Chris chose one scoop of ginger and one of strawberry sorbet. Delicious!!! The staff were so friendly and happy too which makes all the difference when visiting a new place.
Rowlestone Court is definitely worth a visit and I for one will be back if only to try some more flavours of the ice creams! There is a £2 charge to go walking in the woods, this is to cover the cost of the upkeep of the wildlife areas and play areas for children. No charge is made for under 12's. I think Mark and Mary Williams have a fabulous place with superb views of the countryside.
Opening hours are Wednesdays to Fridays 11am-4pm; Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am-5pm. Closing Sunday 30 September.
Lots more information is on the website. Let me know if you visit and want to write about it? I can add your review to mine!
Lead image is copyright Rowlestone Court.