Moving to Wales - an up date

cremedemonthe

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After my previous thread about moving to Wales about 2 years ago or more, I have written an up date on how I am getting on.
Here it is, any questions, PM me, just remember, you'll see things here that in Surrey you'd get arrested for, ANYTHING goes in Wales I have discovered and no one seems to bat an eyelid.
Total different way of life!
Apologies for any spelling mistakes or bad typing

Moving to Wales

It certainly was an eye opener for me and I am still learning.
I came down from busy, modern, Surrey Hills (North Downs - Caterham)
I had a fixed idea in my head about the place, nice countryside, cheaper prices, nice people etc and had to ignore the doubters who were always telling me and still do things
Such as , The Welsh don't like the English, it rains in Wales you know (like I didn't know) and loads of low flying aircraft (fighter jets)
I will deal with these “myths” first

1)The Welsh don't like the English, hmmm well, so far I have only met nice locals, VERY friendly and helpful as are most of the English here and there are lots. The only aggression I have encountered is on the roads by inconsiderate, impatient car drivers, whether they are Welsh, English or Martian I couldn't tell you as we didn't stop to fight about it and I have a dual dash cam anyway so any trouble it's recorded as I drive a White Transit van I am the lowest on the evolutionary scale :) and will no doubt get the blame for any trouble.
I have met a wonderful lady who lives about 600 yards up the road from me and we are now engaged and oh yes, she's WELSH, through and through!
I am learning a lot from her about the Welsh ways but I'm still too thick to learn the language but I try much to her amusement.

2)It rains in Wales, well of course it does, why do they think it's so green?
Actually the last heatwave drought turned everything back to Surrey grass, ie brown and the some of the rivers and smaller springs dried up, including ours on our land.
We have been on the phone to friends and relations back up in Caterham and they were having a series of torrential rain and thunderstorms, day and after, we had beautiful sunshine here and could see the sea 15 miles away at Cardigan and these were the people who were warning us, it rains in Wales you know. It is wetter here, but not a lot more.
Personally, I don't like the heat or the dry parched ground of Surrey anymore, I love the Welsh green grass and after having ridden motor bikes for donkeys years in all weathers I really don't mind the rain.

3)LOADS of low flying fighter jets.
We have a little flurry of them occasionally, maybe 6-12 times a year, can go for several months and nothing then 3 or 4 in one day and they are so fast you blink and miss them, all the animals here don't bat an eyelid. The turbo propped planes (C-27's – wanna be Hercules as I call them) do push their luck once every other year or so with low flying practice, again only once in a blue moon and that scares my chickens but it's gone over within seconds and I love watching them to be honest, we wave at them as they go over. We have a yellow helicoptor once a year maybe hover over our field looking at the electricity poles running through our field, can wave at the pilot too as they are so close to the house, going to hand him a cup of tea one day as he passes.
We really don't mind any of the planes here, better than watching the police helicopters which were EVERY DAY at one point hovering over your house during the day RIGHT above you and at 2am in the morning with search lights as in Caterham or the constant air traffic flying over from Gatwick or Heathrow.

Now, horse owners, there are NO bridlepaths here where I live. The nearest I know of and happy to be corrected by those who know better than me is a place about 4 miles away called the Horse Trail.
Locals keep removing the sign to it as they don't want people to use it though so I had a bit of trouble finding it to walk my dogs along it.
There are a lot of Adders there in the Summer so I tend to keep away from it now.
There are no foothpaths signposted here or open either, we have loads but have been told by one landowner that no the ordinance survey map is wrong, the footpath does not go through our farmyard (had cows in the way to block me anyway) but you can use that field to go round to get back on the path (next day it was full of bullocks so a no go again) The paths are ALL blocked, locked gates, fallen trees, no maintenance by landowners what so ever so walking dogs down the footpaths is impossible.
One beautiful walk about 6 miles from me , the footpath if you can call it that, runs through an area where cattle are kept, electric fencing all round so if you do wish to walk it you have to get through the fence, there's no warning signs up and signposts for the path. And deal with the cattle if they are in there.
I asked Carmarthenshire council to get the landowner to open up the footpaths, not interested, the reply was we don't have the budget and it's not priority also remember this point, further up the valley from me is a councillor and the first thing he did when he moved in was, to close all the footpaths on his land.

I went to a safety on the roads event/show about 2 years ago in Ammanford, the Beacons Equestrian Centre. The Carmarthenshire riders group on facebook asked me to display my Locatas which I happily did and gave them some as a donation. The council were there in attendance boasting how they are opening up and making new bridlepaths for riders ….....Hmmmmmmm
Red rag to a bull , I challenged them on this as there are no bridlepaths near me yet there is an old run down lane (owned by the council) about 100 yards up the lane from me, the farmer who owns the land adjoining this lane blocked the lane about half way up years ago, you can see the lane still but cant walk along it. IF opened up it would make a good bridlepath as well as a walk for dog walkers and walkers. And I also mentioned the lack of open footpaths, the councillor shutting all the paths on his land and the apathy that seems to prevail here when it comes to public rights of way, fobbed off with the excuse, not our department and we didn't deal with it so can't comment.
I feel the attendance by the council was nothing more than a PR exercise to keep local riders happy to be seen to be doing something in other words and they really didn't like me being there asking questions and I am sure I won't be asked back again ;)
I have kept my head down as being the new boy on the block I didn't want to make waves, now I have a different attitude, why the hell shouldn't I use the public rights of way?
So, work in progress.
There's no dog walking here in woods unless you own it, I have only 2 acres and a little wood. The local farmer lets me use his fields which is kind of him.
The way it seems to work here is, ask permission to use the land of the locals and most will allow you but don't try to use any footpaths on their land without asking them first, that's HOW it is here.
The other thing I really had to get used to was, in Caterham my Mum had a newspaper delivered everyday, here it's 12 mile round trip everyday to get one,same as going shopping in Tescos or Morrisons, in Caterham it was under a mile here it's in Carmarthen, 30 mile round trip, so you need to have a reliable vehicle and a deep pocket for the fuel.
We do get powercuts, but have learnt to deal with it. We have a gravity fed Rayburn range so can still cook if the power's out for any length of time but they usually get it sorted pretty quickly, hats off to them.
NO decent broadband from a BT line, absoloutely useless so I have found and use Resqnet, they provide our VOIP phone line (through broadband) and my broadband for my business. Runs at 11.50 Mbps and is good, reliable and cheap.
I would not use BT if you paid me, not only does it run at less then 0.5mbps but the landline only works if THERE'S NOT AN EAST WIND BLOWING (trees rubbing on lines), 2 years on they still can't find the fault so ignored it. We soon got rid of them and saved ourselves a fortune, you can get a grant from the Welsh government to pay most of the installation charges for the broadband, make use of it whilst you can.
All of the above , me moaning is outweighed by, cheaper prices, easier way of life, slower pace, friendly people, beautiful countryside, great food, that is locally produced,cleaner air, QUIET, can see all the stars at night, sea about 15 miles away and shops near enough to be available but far enough not to be worried by traffic or noise. We do get fireworks here, didn't the first year but some bright spark (pardon the pun) in Capel Iwan about 3 miles away has decided to pee the locals off by having them every night for a week around November, this is still not a problem for us with our noise phobic dog as it's far enough away not to be an issue. There are literally thousands of cattle, sheep, poultry and a fair amount of horses here so no one really is going to have a lot of fireworks, it's mainly countryside anyway with very few houses compared to where I came from. We had fireworks most days and nights in Caterham so it's something we can easily live with. NO where in the world is going to be perfect but this is the nearest I have been so far, you just have to use your brain and adapt or find ways round it and ignore the bits you don't like.
The ONLY thing I miss about Caterham apart from friends is the open space to walk my dogs in but even that was getting too crowded with anti social people and their dogs.
Oz
 
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Pinkvboots

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It sounds very much like how my Mum finds it she is in Newcastle Emlyn and has been there about 9 years now although she has put her house on the market, she wants to move back over this way to either Essex or Hertfordshire she misses us too much as we don't get the chance to visit very often although I think we are going at the end of the month for a few days.


there is virtually no mobile phone signal at my mums house which is a bit of pain and my mum doesn't drive but she manages ok with lifts from friends and the dial up a bus service.
 
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I live near Caterham and we have the same sort of BT line here as you do in Wales! Superfast Broadband to the top of the road but the last half a mile of telephone line came out of the ark and it's only as fast as its slowest point (if you see what I mean).

My friend moved to Wales, she has a bridleway running through her field. Lovely she though, off road riding. Wrong - someone further along has built their house extension over it some years ago and nobody gives a damn. I did read somewhere that where she lives shows load of public bridleways, the reality is that none of them are rideable.
 

splashgirl45

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thanks for the update, very interesting, i always thought wales had lots of riding and walking areas as i used to go pony trekking near to builth wells and we had lovely rides, i assume they must have had an arrangement with the local landowners, sounds like you have settled in well...and lovely to have found a partner to share your life with...,
 

twiggy2

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My recent move to Scotland had friends and family telling how the Scottish don't like the English, I have found them exceptionally friendly (more than the English at home), a bit of gentle jesting about the football.
Of course I can walk anywhere here and there is no 'get off my land' mentality but the lurcher can only go off lead in certain areas due to chasing deer.
Phone signal on my mobile is c**p at best but mostly non existent.
Internet at the house is great though, better than back at my last place in essex in fact.
Glad to hear it is mostly working well for you OP, was it your first big move and what prompted it?
 

cremedemonthe

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My recent move to Scotland had friends and family telling how the Scottish don't like the English, I have found them exceptionally friendly (more than the English at home), a bit of gentle jesting about the football.
Of course I can walk anywhere here and there is no 'get off my land' mentality but the lurcher can only go off lead in certain areas due to chasing deer.
Phone signal on my mobile is c**p at best but mostly non existent.
Internet at the house is great though, better than back at my last place in essex in fact.
Glad to hear it is mostly working well for you OP, was it your first big move and what prompted it?
First major up sticks and off, yes, although I have been living around the Caterham, Horley and Banstead areas due to jobs or living with girlfriends most of my life, I had never been away from Caterham for more than a month, I was born in Spencer Road in Caterham on the Hill in our front room Dec 31st in 1960, so it was a very big upheaval. Noise , over crowding, no parking and anti social behaviour by neighbours were my prompts. I lost poultry over excessively loud fireworks from the local (3 miles away and still set car alarms off up the road) golf course hosting "wedding and party events" late at night every weekend in the Summer
I did have YEARS ago in the 80's and 90's local trade (saddlery) where I would go out on site at yards and fix, make, alter and sell saddlery and fit, flock and sell saddles. THEN the internet arrived and cheap imported saddlery which largely killed a lot of my trade as people would throw away stuff rather than get it repaired as it was sometimes cheaper and buy off the net.
Saddle fitting changed beyond all recognition too as to how I was trained (old school) and I stopped that in 2012 so I didn't need local trade and do most of my business now making items and selling online, which of course, meant I could live on the Moon as long as there was a internet signal!
Oz
 

cremedemonthe

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LOL, yes couldn't put it better myself, we alwys have loose lambs out side, sometimes in our garden too. We have a field full of sheep and they get out occasionally, my girlfriend found them once half a mile away on her way to work, she herded them back with her Freelander. More Hares than rabbits, my lurcher misses the Surrey rabbits. NO health and safety, yes you are right and I have seen things being driven on the road so obviously illegal that you'd get arrested on the spot in Surrey, truth is here, no one cares and everyone minds their own business.
My latest escapees and are wandering are Pheasants, all over the place but I seem to have homing Pheasants, they come back for their tea and bed at night!
Oz
 

cremedemonthe

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I live near Caterham and we have the same sort of BT line here as you do in Wales! Superfast Broadband to the top of the road but the last half a mile of telephone line came out of the ark and it's only as fast as its slowest point (if you see what I mean).

My friend moved to Wales, she has a bridleway running through her field. Lovely she though, off road riding. Wrong - someone further along has built their house extension over it some years ago and nobody gives a damn. I did read somewhere that where she lives shows load of public bridleways, the reality is that none of them are rideable.
My Sister lives on Whyteleafe Hill, same with her, she's at the end of the line so to speak and her broadband is rubbish, in this day and age and so near to London not having superfast broadband in Surrey is dreadful.
 

cremedemonthe

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It sounds very much like how my Mum finds it she is in Newcastle Emlyn and has been there about 9 years now although she has put her house on the market, she wants to move back over this way to either Essex or Hertfordshire she misses us too much as we don't get the chance to visit very often although I think we are going at the end of the month for a few days.


there is virtually no mobile phone signal at my mums house which is a bit of pain and my mum doesn't drive but she manages ok with lifts from friends and the dial up a bus service.
Emlyn's about 5-6 miles from me I am in Tanglwst, it's quite hard to sell property here as I know a few who are trying to do it without success.
 

twiggy2

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Bold move then OP glad it has worked for you.
As for livestock on my home from work Saturday there was a cow on the road, someone was slowing traffic and calling the farmer so they were happy to deal with that a bit further on a stray sheep with some non English speaking g foreigners flapping about moving it up and down the road-test helps if you open a gate for it to go through! Ut that one away and off I headed.
On the day of one of the big local agricultural shows and on aur way to work last week, 2 loose sheep belonging to a known farmer put them way and carry on a bit further and about 25 lambs skipping about in a panic on the road, again belonging to another known farmer so we put those away.
Another 2 mornings last week local sheep out, we got woken at just before 6am as they were on the road-nothing to do with us but chap I am staying with is a Shepherd! We spent an hour or more putting that lot away as the were all up and dowe the road, they have still not been fenced in but have stayed off the road.
It's great and so far I love it, only downside is the house is cold, very cold, it's 17degree outside and the fire is lit inside because it's freezing in here.
As for natwest I bank with them and what a bloody nightmare, I will be changing banks this week.
Shopping wise I only found once a week anyway so I have not found that too tough.
 

cremedemonthe

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Here's where I used to live in Spencer Road in Caterham, see the White Transit on the right? That's my old house, now look at the next picture and you can see where I am now looking up my lane.
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view out of my windows of where I am now and our stream in our woods when it's flowing!

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twiggy2

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It's beautiful.
I have given up posting photos on here but my old place to my new place are even more of a change than yours
 

twiggy2

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I just can't get my head round how to do it. If it has 4 legs then it's easy and most computer stuff I am fine with but on here photos have me stumped.
 

twiggy2

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Ok, thanks, make it simple or I shall be at a loss, not at all computer minded despite working on one for 14 yrs before coming to the Highlands.
May be a while as I really ought to get the dogs out for a blast.
 
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I'm glad you like it here so much Oz!
I gave up with my ongoing battle with Carm council over bridlepaths and footpaths and moved my horse down to the Gower - it takes me up to an hour to get to her but there are actual clear bridlepaths and Swansea council addresses any ROW issues quickly. The less I say about Carm council the better; none of it is positive :mad:.

That said some of our riding is curtailed in the summer due to the Adders, horse lives not far from Caswell beach and the woods are full of the damn things - one was sleeping on the bridlepath the other day but (sensible!) horse just waited for it to move.

I'm just down the road from Beacons, you should've called in ;). If you've come off the M4 @ J49 and come along the road into Ammanford you'll have driven past my house!

ETA - Horse markets. I have 2 - Llanybydder and Brecon dangerously close by. I expect horse numbers to rise again shortly.
I'd avoid Llanybydder tbh. It's better than it has been in the past but is still incredibly depressing with some very very sad horses there. Brecon is better :).
 

cremedemonthe

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I'm glad you like it here so much Oz!
I gave up with my ongoing battle with Carm council over bridlepaths and footpaths and moved my horse down to the Gower - it takes me up to an hour to get to her but there are actual clear bridlepaths and Swansea council addresses any ROW issues quickly. The less I say about Carm council the better; none of it is positive :mad:.

That said some of our riding is curtailed in the summer due to the Adders, horse lives not far from Caswell beach and the woods are full of the damn things - one was sleeping on the bridlepath the other day but (sensible!) horse just waited for it to move.

I'm just down the road from Beacons, you should've called in ;). If you've come off the M4 @ J49 and come along the road into Ammanford you'll have driven past my house!



I'd avoid Llanybydder tbh. It's better than it has been in the past but is still incredibly depressing with some very very sad horses there. Brecon is better :).
I'm glad it's not just me battling with Carms council then, they don't unblock the drains here unless you moan it's about to flood my house. I don't bother now, just get my drain rods and go and do it myself. I would like to know who I can take Carms council to boot over for not clearing rights of way and just ignoring any pleas for help, is there a governing body for local government? I ought to know really as I used to work for Tandridge District Council so will ask my old Boss see if she knows. I read somewhere IF you don't register any rights of way by 2026 (I think it is but could be wrong) and these paths aren't used very often (how can you if they are blocked) then the landowners can apply to have them removed so we will lose loads of paths here it seems unless we register each one before that date. It's not widely known if it's true and I can see why, would save the council loads on maintenance (not that they do any now on them mind) so they are hardly going to broadcast it
Oz
 

Pinkvboots

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Emlyn's about 5-6 miles from me I am in Tanglwst, it's quite hard to sell property here as I know a few who are trying to do it without success.
I have heard of that not been there though, it is difficult to sell around there I know her house was on the market for 3 years before she bought it I think her neighbour sold hers after about 2 years.
 
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I'm glad it's not just me battling with Carms council then, they don't unblock the drains here unless you moan it's about to flood my house. I don't bother now, just get my drain rods and go and do it myself. I would like to know who I can take Carms council to boot over for not clearing rights of way and just ignoring any pleas for help, is there a governing body for local government? I ought to know really as I used to work for Tandridge District Council so will ask my old Boss see if she knows. I read somewhere IF you don't register any rights of way by 2026 (I think it is but could be wrong) and these paths aren't used very often (how can you if they are blocked) then the landowners can apply to have them removed so we will lose loads of paths here it seems unless we register each one before that date. It's not widely known if it's true and I can see why, would save the council loads on maintenance (not that they do any now on them mind) so they are hardly going to broadcast it
Oz
Give me a few days to get resources together and I'll PM you. It will involve a lot of letter writing and some FOI requests to get particular routes cleared/re-opened <trying not to get sued>. There are some, er, 'interesting' finances relating to the council...

You're correct about paths needing to be registered before 2026, it's turned into a race against time now as councils are deliberately dragging their feet over certain routes hoping that they can 'time out' the registration.
 
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Thank you Oz :) It's looking as though one or two properties I had my eye on will not be suitable if there are going to be hacking issues.

The Glorious Gower sounds mighty fine though DirectorFury.
 
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Thank you Oz :) It's looking as though one or two properties I had my eye on will not be suitable if there are going to be hacking issues.

The Glorious Gower sounds mighty fine though DirectorFury.
If you do move up this way join the 'Carmarthenshire Riders' Facebook group, a member on there is the BHS access person and the council do tend to take action when she's involved!
If you're thinking of a property the best bet is to go onto Bing Maps (https://www.bing.com/maps) and put the postcode in, then click on the box top right that says 'road'. Change that to 'Ordanance Survey' and it'll show you the OS map for the area for free :).

Gower, Brechfa, Sennybridge, or somewhere in the Brecon Beacons is your best bet for good off road hacking.
 

cremedemonthe

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If you do move up this way join the 'Carmarthenshire Riders' Facebook group, a member on there is the BHS access person and the council do tend to take action when she's involved! .
BUT it's getting her involved, I am a member of the Carms riders group and she was supposed to phone me and come and see the closed off lane I mentioned just up from my house that would make a good bridlepath, that was at least 2 months ago.I am handing her on a plate a good route for horses to ride off road and to get Carms council to put their money where their mouths are as in the event I attended when they were boastng about opening up rides for horses.
I'm still waiting
 
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If you do move up this way join the 'Carmarthenshire Riders' Facebook group, a member on there is the BHS access person and the council do tend to take action when she's involved!
If you're thinking of a property the best bet is to go onto Bing Maps (https://www.bing.com/maps) and put the postcode in, then click on the box top right that says 'road'. Change that to 'Ordanance Survey' and it'll show you the OS map for the area for free :).

Gower, Brechfa, Sennybridge, or somewhere in the Brecon Beacons is your best bet for good off road hacking.
Thank you. I've spotted one with direct access into Brechfa Forest - I love the property, but it's 50k over my budget and I'm not sure it's entirely suitable. I run a business from home and need to factor that into everything.
 

gala

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An update from me too.

We've been here for just over 2 years. Sold our townhouse in Bath and bought a run down smallholding with enough acreage for the horses, some falling down barns, an ancient farmhouse (got checked out by the resident ghost a month after we arrived but peaceful since), amazing gardens and stunning views. OH works away every other week, I've found myself some cleaning and gardening jobs locally. The local village has no shops, 2 pubs, no bus service, it's an equal split between Welsh and English residents..more or less....it's also got some splendid League of Gentlemen types who are SO going into my book when I get round to writing it.

One negative is that it's really hard to find tradesmen . We need a new roof on the house and some rebuilding on the barns so they come, measure up, suck their teeth (never a good sign) scribble a lot of stuff down, say they'll give us a ring with a price in the week and we never hear from them again. A very big positive though is that I've met some lovely horse owners who've been great with help and advice when I've needed it.

I love love love it here, um, mostly. Having whinged mightily about living in the city for years I tend to go through episodes of missing it and have to whizz up the motorway to have a couple of days there, breathing in polluted air, staring in shop windows at stuff I can't afford, and people watching. It's always nice to be back here afterwards....ahhh the peace!
 

cremedemonthe

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Agree about the tradesmen! Had roofers and electricians here do exactly that, measure up and never seen again and the loads who have said yes, I will come round Thursday and measure up never even arrive and I am not sure whether they mean Thursday this week, next week, next month, next year or next millenium. It has been known for a tradesman who did the same to one of my friends and who said"I will be back on Wednesday" turned up 5 months later, when my friend protested at the length of time it took for them to return he said"WELL I DID say I would be back on Wednesday" and yes, it WAS on a Wednesday he returned!
I am sure there is some sort of Bermuda Triangle effect going on in Wales as they just seem to vanish.
Another thing, SO many cows in the same field, all munching away as you drive past and NOT one pile of *****, do they colonic irrigate them before turfing them out?

Only in Wales, Oz
 
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