When we got married, my husband and I knew we didn’t want to stop dating and after I heard about Alphabet Dating, I knew that this was for us. I suggest that you get creative. Not every date that you go on needs to cost the earth. Some of my favourite ones that I have done have actually been free. Remember this is a way to step out of your comfort zone, do things that you might not normally do. But most of all enjoy spending time together.
Photo Credit: Maria Farrelly
Alphabet Dating N, O, P, Q, R
My husband loves our little garden. most of the plants that we have in it are edible. He has a total love for all the gardening shows and he can lose a whole weekend weeding, digging and watering our plants.
The beautiful National Botanic Garden of Wales, near Llanarthne in Camarthenshire, is a 568-acre parkland. It is a perfect place for us. When we got engaged we were in Cornwall and we had gone to the Eden Project. Its historic and futuristic buildings are breathtaking, The horticultural displays, flower meadows, the lakes and walks are out of this world and you can just get lost there.Photo Credit: National Botanic Garden
The Garden’s centrepiece is the Great Glasshouse designed by world-famous architects Norman Foster and Partners Inside the amazing tilted glass dome is a Mediterranean landscape dominated by a six-metre deep ravine. Rock terraces and sheer faces are cut by streams and waterfalls. A lake provides a humid habitat at the foot of the chasm. Visitors are able to experience the aftermath of an Australian bush fire, pause in a Spanish olive grove or wander through collections of fuschias from Chile.
There’s something for everyone at the Garden of Wales, from the peaceful surroundings of the Japanese Garden, its stream, tea house and cherry trees to the surround-sound experience of Theatre Botanica with its specially commissioned film celebrating the world of plants. There are lakeside walks and prairie walks, an opportunity to see the development of the unique Double Walled Garden and be some of the first to see the shoots that will become the Woods of the World in years to come. I think you will agree with me that it is a beautiful place to spend the day. Photo Credit: National Botanic Garden
Ogmore-by-Sea is one of the prettiest beaches that I have ever set foot on. It stretches for what seems like forever. It is part of the Glamorgan Coastal Path so it is a great spot for walkers. Starting at Merthyr Mawr, you’re also just a small bridge and short walk away from the stunning ruins of the Norman Ogmore Castle and its 52 stepping-stones across the Ogmore river. Locals believe that the stones were laid for a girl who lived in the castle and used the stones to meet her lover across the river. Continue walking along the river making sure you keep away from the sheep. (They scare me.) One you make it to the beach time to start the fun part. The rocks exposed along the stretch of coast near Ogmore-by-Sea were laid down between 340 and 195 million years ago. The oldest rocks are hard, grey limestones that make up the Carboniferous Limestone.These were laid down in a warm, shallow, subtropical sea and are rich in fossils, especially corals, crinoids and brachiopods. So why not take some time to do a fossil hunt. Southern Down beach also has a wealth of fossils so if you want to extend the walk you can continue on to there. My favourite part of this date is after the long walk you can unpack a yummy picnic, settle down with a glass of bubbly watch the sun set.
Images Courtesy of Maria Farrelly
This tour was not up my street but my husband on the other hand really wanted to go. It has a brilliant history about a group of friends who back in the early 1990’s drank in a small pub and chatted about establishing the first whisky distillery in Wales in over a century. They dreamt of creating a whisky as pure and precious as Welsh gold, represented today by Penderyn’s ‘gold seam’.Photo Credit: Welsh Whisky
The friends chose the historic village of Penderyn on the southern tip of the Brecon Beacons, because of the site’s own supply of fresh natural spring water. They also had a unique copper single-pot still designed by Dr David Faraday, a relative of the great 19th century scientist Michael Faraday.
Penderyn Distillery opened its doors to visitors in June 2008 with the launch of its new purpose designed and built Visitor Centre. The distillery is the only one in Wales and the first to legally distil whisky spirit in the country for more than 100 years. Take a journey through the history of single malt whisky making in Wales, and understand the distilling process at first hand.Photo Credit: Welsh Whisky
Though I myself have never actually been quad biking our lovely creator Maria has. While four months pregnant she decided to go with her work on a team building exercise. She hadn’t yet informed anyone at her job that she was pregnant and being the determined soul that she is, she set out to win! She was doing really well overtaking left, right and centre. Everyone started waving at her and trying to call her over. She thought it was because they were sore losers. That was until she got flagged down by the owner to inform her she was dragging half a tree underneath her quad bike!
Photo Credit: Glasfryn Parc
My husband and I love history. Being South African I am still learning about British history and my husband is a complete history buff. He has a way to help me understand which I thank him for. I didn’t realise that Wales was the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire. In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Caerleon was one of only three permanent fortresses in Roman Britain. The museum lies inside what remains of the fortress. The ruins include the most complete amphitheater in Britain and the only remains of a Roman Legionary barracks on view anywhere in Europe.Photo Credit: Museum Wales
There is also the most beautiful Roman Gardens. The Romans were one of the first people to use gardens for decorative purposes, they were considered outdoor rooms – an extension of the house – just like many of our gardens today. The perfect place to entertain guests, relax and unwind. Today, the museum still use gardening and horticultural techniques which the Romans established 2,000 years ago, from turning soil in the autumn and mixing compost, to hoeing beds and sowing seeds in spring. My husband will love this. We aren’t at the letter R yet so this is in the bank for when we do.
This is also a perfect place to go on a family date as at weekends and school holidays, children can step back in time in a full-sized barrack room, try on replica armour and experience the life of a Roman soldier.
Did I mention that this is free entry.Photo Credit: Museum Wales