Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Couple of Nights at Brown's Hotel in Laugharne- an ambition realised

It's quite true what Dylan Thomas said about Laugharne: 'and there is nowhere like it anywhere at all';  having visited three times for the day, I was keen to stay for a longer time. Over the years, I've read several biographies of Dylan Thomas and some of his poetry, and loved the Richard Burton reading of Under Milk Wood, and wanted to imbibe more of the atmosphere of Laugharne.
Brown's Hotel is reputedly where Thomas drank, so I was thrilled to be staying there for what turned out to be the most sparklingly bright and sunny three days for months. You can see the bright blue sky in many of the photos:
and on down the road to the The Town Hall, Laugharne is apparently one of the oldest self governing townships in Britain, the Corporation is presided over by the Portreeve wearing his chain of golden cockle shells.
 And from there I noticed a silversmith advertising that the shop was open, and within half an hour of arriving in Laugharne, I'd bought a fab bangle from Quicksilver Jewellery, from a silversmith whose son has recently moved to Swindon and loves it because he could afford to buy a house, enjoys being able to cycle locally, and has a job near where he lives. It's well worth a visit if you like hand designed silver jewellery:
From there it's a short walk to the estuary with the imposing castle, there's been a castle on the site since 1116.
 I took lots of photographs of it, and think it's worth including them

From there we walked to the converted garage where Thomas wrote, and which has been left as if he's nipped out for a smoke, although of course he wouldn't have gone out to smoke in those days.
Just beyond the garage is the Boat House where he lived with Caitlin and their children from 1949-53
There's a great walk around the headland and coming back through Laugharne churchyard where Dylan and Caitlin are buried, she was interred after her death in 1994, 41 years after he'd been buried there:
Our first visit coincided with Caitlin's burial, we saw the coffin being lowered into the ground.
We walked out along the wall constructed into the estuary to reclaim land at Laugharne and create the marshes on the first day, and saw an amazing sunset as we climbed St John's Hill back to Laugharne
And back to Brown's Hotel.
Since posting this, Susan Carr has allowed me to use this fabulous painting she did of the boat house when she stayed in Laugharne.

She has captured the atmosphere so well.

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