An original Pirate of the Caribbean and a survivor of the charge of the Light Brigade would have been some of the fascinating stories our guests in the Blorenge Cottage learned about last weekend when they visited Tredegar House near Newport.

It was one of two National Trust properties Carolyn Knowles and her husband visited during their stay in the Blorenge. Dyffryn House and gardens, beyond Cardiff was the other. Tredegar House is about half an hour away from us; Dyffryn House about 50 minutes.

I know Tredegar House well and it’s well worth a visit. It was the stately home of the Morgan family for 500 years. They were later elevated to the Lords of Tredegar and made their money in coal, iron, canals and railways. The mansion is surrounded by a landscaped garden of 90 acres.

The most infamous was Henry Morgan. He went to Jamaica in 1658 and became a real pirate of the Caribbean. You may have drunk the brand of rum named after him. Cheers “Captain Morgan”.

Godfrey Morgan fought in the Charge of the Light Brigade. He and his horse Sir Briggs survived the battle. They lived at Tredegar house until the horse’s death at the age of 28. Sir Briggs was buried with full military honours in the Cedar Garden.

I must confess I have never been to Dyffryn House but apparently it has a collection of botanical gardens located near the villages of Dyffryn and St. Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan,  The gardens were selected by the British Tourist Authority as one of the top 100 gardens in the UK.

The Knowles were staying in the Blorenge, to which we have added a new feature. Some guests mentioned to us that it would be helpful if their dog (or dogs) had an enclosed outside area in which they could go safely. It has now been added and if it proves successful and popular, we will do the same for the Skirrid.

I did the Tintern walking loop on Sunday with some of my family and dogs. It took us 30 minutes to reach Brockweir on the English side after crossing the wire bridge. The path was VERY muddy in places. Unfortunately, the Brockweir Inn is still being renovated. It was always one of my favourite waterholes on walks along the River Wye, so I look forward to it reopening in the future. I’ll post a blog and review when it does.

The return journey begins by crossing the Brockweir Bridge then you hug the river all the way back to Tintern. About 30 minutes back and then yet another fabulous Sunday Lunch in the Royal George Hotel. I love it that they don’t blink at muddy boots and even muddier dogs. I highly recommend the place and its food.

There is a map with the suggested route from Tintern in each cottage.

Photograph of Tredegar House by Tony Hisgett

Skirrid holiday cottage under construction

Duffryn House and gardens near Cardiff: Photograph by Ben Salter

Skirrid holiday cottage under construction

New dog enclosure for the Blorenge cottage.

Skirrid holiday cottage under construction

A walking group outside the Brockweir Inn in the summer. Renovation continues. Note the Skeleton in the window. Waited too long to be served!