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Echoes of the past – and space to breathe: The Gower to Cardiff

Echoes of the past – and space to breathe: The Gower to Cardiff

Civilisation has brought many challenges to many people. For us, as we left the wilds of the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire coastlines behind us, our challenge as walkers was to seek out the path less trodden, places to pitch our tent. Not always easy as we hit the South Wales coast heading for Cardiff. Sometimes, life can be less exciting than we would like it to be. The day to day can be tedious, but nevertheless needs to be got through to move forward, to reach the next stage. So it was with some aspects of the walk. After the stunning...

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From whisky to gin – the Bruichladdich way

From whisky to gin – the Bruichladdich way

Diversifying is often the way small businesses survive, adapting to meet customer demand. In the case of Bruichladdich, the journey from whisky to gin began with the distillery’s commitment to make do and mend, and ended with the creation of the iconic Botanist gin. Bruichladdich’s gin journey started in 2010 with a search for spare parts to keep the original kit used in the distillery for the production of premium Scottish whisky going. It was part of the philosophy of Bruichladdich to base their whisky production in traditional techniques and equipment that they had inherited – but of course, well...

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The Kindness of Strangers: Pendine to the Gower

The Kindness of Strangers: Pendine to the Gower

Even at the end of our first day out of Cardigan, when I might have jacked it all in – when we were dusty, sweaty and with my feet in tatters, we were struck by the kindness of strangers. The occupants of the cottages at Ceibwr who gave us oranges to share, as well as much needed water at the end of our first day, while we waited for Alex’s mum to come and pick up all the kit we didn’t need; the man in the kiosk in Porthclais who gave us flapjacks to go with our coffee; the lady...

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The End of the Beginning – Freshwater East to Amroth

The End of the Beginning – Freshwater East to Amroth

By the time we reached Freshwater East, it was crazy hot. To an extent we’d got used to the heat (if that is a possibility in West Wales) – certainly we had learned from the start of our journey and were carrying less and being super-vigilant about our water supplies – but it was hot. So hot that our phones disabled themselves just by being outside. It didn’t stop us enjoying the adventure – far from it. Very few people can say that they walked in Wales for the best part of a month without being rained on. But perhaps...

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In the Welsh Wind – on the move!

In the Welsh Wind – on the move!

If you’d asked us 12 months ago where we thought we’d be in March 2019, the answer would have been pretty different to the adventure we’re about to embark on. Our plan centred around selling 3,000 litres of In the Welsh Wind branded gin on a retail basis, building a business around our small family, based in our property in Tresaith. We’re still very much focussed on family – it’s at the heart of everything we do – but the opportunities that have arisen over the last year have reshaped our vision. The Welsh wind has blown us towards a...

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Journeys out of Wales: Make do – and make better

Journeys out of Wales: Make do – and make better

One of the really outstanding things that struck Alex when he spent a week at the Bruichladdich distillery was the commitment to the past, to make do and mend, while at the same time, taking an innovative approach to the whisky produced on Islay. Make do and mend One of the reasons the Bruichladdich distillery, Islay home of the Botanist gin, was sold in 2000 at such a relatively low price was because the equipment was out of date. While Mark Reynier and his team were out to push the boundaries, to be progressive whisky makers moving forward, to breathe...

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