The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Facility Reviews by Kammer

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Little Chef (Restaurant, Penrith)

When we visited (August 2004) this place was heaving with tourists, and it took us the best part of an hour to get any food! Not good when you have hungry kids with you.

Not a happy experience.
31st January 2005ce

Little Chef (Restaurant, Leominster)

When we visited (January 2005), the portions were small, the service was appalling and the floor was covered in other people's food.

Also, there's no baby chagrining facility that men can get at, no toilet for the disabled, and the gents toilet obviously hadn't been cleaned for a while. Not recommended!
31st January 2005ce

Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery (Museum, Peterborough)

Very friendly people at the desk, but when we visited (October 2003) the prehistoric section was closed. Something to do with a problem with the display cases. A bit disappointing really.

On a positive note, a chap from the museum sent me a load of information about the standing stone through the post, which is more than a lot of places would have done.
25th May 2004ce

Little Chef (Cafe, Dolgellau)

This Little Chef is conveniently placed for us, and if you can get hold of money off vouchers (ours were printed from Multimap.co.uk) it's not bad value. However, the speed of the service was appalling, and we wasted loads of time waiting for someone to take our order. People who'd arrived after us were getting their food before we'd even spoken to anyone! 26th September 2003ce

Verulamium Museum (Museum, St. Albans)

This museum is almost entirely about the Roman city of Verulamium, and as such is not very rewarding if you're looking for information about the what came before it.

There was significant Celtic activity in the area before the arrival of the Romans, and the likelyhood of some impressive battles between the Celts and the Romans during the Roman invasion, but this is rather glossed over.

The museum includes an impressive display about a local Romano-British burial (in the Celtic tradition), but not a great deal else.
9th September 2003ce

Pizzeria La Gondola (Restaurant, Holyhead)

More of a take-away than a restuarant, but recommended none the less. Very tasty and reasonably priced pizza, plus friendly staff. Lots of veggie options as well. Not exactly an up-market location if you decide to eat in, but if the weather's good you can always eat on the sea front. 4th August 2003ce

Avebury Tourist Information Centre (Tourist Information, Avebury)

What a great building to have a Tourist Information Centre in! Apparently it's still used for services as well, but only a few times a year. When I visited the staff were very friendly, and answered all my questions about the Web Cam (mounted on the chapel wall). Lots of Avebury maps, postcards, and mouse mats for sale. All the stuff you'd expect really. 5th June 2003ce

Red Kite Cafe (Cafe, Aberystwyth)

Our local greasy spoon, the Red Kite Cafe is a Mecca for tourists and truckers alike. As well as all the stuff you'd expect from such a roadside establishment, the Red Kite Cafe also has a pool table and an aviary at the back of it. You really will see Red Kite hovering about here. 4th June 2003ce

Evans Place (Restaurant, Rhayader)

We visited this Fish and Chip restaurant on our way back from Arthur's Stone and we were all very impressed. Certainly the best chips I'd had in ages, and the veggie burger was darned good as well. We sat in to eat, and they were extremely friendly. There was a high chair for William. If you're in the area, I'd thoroughly recommend that you pop in! 4th June 2003ce

Brynarian Caravan Park (Camping Site, Llanon)

I can't really vouch for the caravaning facilities here, but the owner is extremely friendly. I went and asked his permission to go and see a stone on his land, and he took me to see it himself. Unfortunately it looks very much like a stone gatepost. 4th June 2003ce

Caerfai Bay Caravan & Tent Park (Camping Site, St. Davids)

We stayed at this site for over a week, and found it to be pretty good. The staff were relatively friendly, especially as they got to know us. We were camping, and the pitches were a bit more expensive than I'm used to. On balance the facilities, views across the bay, and proximity to St. David's made up for the price of the pitch though. There's also a beautiful beach very close to the camp site, and Caerfai Promontory Fort is clearly visible from the camping fields.

My only reservation is the number of people who ended up on the site by the time the Bank Holiday weekend started. This area is certainly prone to over crowding, so I'm sure it would be a problem at any of the local camp sites. If you're planning to stay during peak time, I'd recommend that you book a pitch well in advance.
2nd June 2003ce

The Cartref (Restaurant, St. Davids)

A friendly little restaurant and bar just off the town square. We found them ready and willing to cope with kids, but there was a good mix of cliental (i.e. not just lots of families). The good was excellent, although the vegetarian options were a bit limited. I'd recommend this place to anyone looking for a 'sit down' eating venue in St David's. 2nd June 2003ce

Talbot Hotel (Hotel, Tregaron)

After an afternoon visiting the Abbey at Strata Florida, and a splattering of local standing stones, we found ourselves marooned in Tregaron with a hungry 3 year old. The Talbot is one of the few places in town serving food on a Sunday evening (or any other time of the week) so we went there on the recommendation of someone we bumped into.

Apparently there's a proper restaurant area, but it's not open on a Sunday night, so we ended up in the bar. The staff were relatively friendly, and the food was good, but I can't say that it's an ideal place to take kids to eat (although I've seen worse). Probably just the place if no kids are involved though.

Tregaron is a famous Welsh language stronghold, but nobody seems to mind dropping into English if need be. Based on our visit to the Talbot I reckon the younger customers use a combination of English and Welsh, but they do most of their swearing in English.
24th March 2003ce

The National Monuments Record of Wales (Library, Aberystwyth)

This is an excellent resource. It's basically the public face of the RCAHMW in the form of a library. Once you've filled out the paperwork, there's a lot of material available on sites in Wales, including a hefty selection of aerial photographs. A word of warning though, don't expect to get in and out quickly. It's best to ring or email ahead and request material before you turn up. 6th February 2003ce

Yr Hen Orsaf (Weatherspoons) (Pub, Aberystwyth)

Yr Hen Orsaf means the old station in Welsh, and as this pub's built in the station building, the name is appropriate. Trains still run in and out on the line just outside the pub, and there's a drinking area outside that's practically on the platform.

As generic pubs go, this one ain't bad. There's a no smoking section, and the food is good. A word of warning though if you're planning on having a meal, the service is extremely slow at peak times. This is because the kitchen is extremely tiny, and they just can't get the food out quick enough. Get there early if you don't want 30+ minute wait between courses.
6th February 2003ce

Scholars (Pub, Aberystwyth)

One of the best pubs in Aberystwyth for a conversation over a pint. Frequented by locals and students alike, you can actually hear yourself think inside, which is better than a lot of pubs in town. Scolars is very popullar, and gets pretty busy at the weekend. Unfortunatly it hasn't escaped becoming a bit of a themed pub (I'm still trying to figure out what the theme is though). Look out for strange pipe making moulds on the walls (that's pipes as in 'plumbing' rather than 'smoking'). 6th February 2003ce

Halfway Inn (Pub, Aberystwyth)

The Halfway Inn is half way between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge. It's on the wrong side of the Rheidol for visiting the Bronze Age sites west of Pumlumon, but well worth the detour if you're looking for a child friendly place to eat or drink. In this respect it's better than most places in the area. The garden is quite pleasant, with chickens for entertainment, but kids are also well catered for in the dining area of the pub. The food is good value, and the limited vegetarian options are very palatable. 14th January 2003ce

George Borrow Hotel (Hotel, Aberystwyth)

This is one of our local drinking spots, although it's not really a pub but a Hotel with a bar. I can only personally vouch for the bar part of the establishment, which is very good. There's all the stuff you'd expect (pool table, darts board, jukebox etc) and they do good pub grub. In the summer you can brave the midges (it's perched on the edge of the Llwernog, a tributary of the Rheidol) and sit in the garden. This is a relatively child friendly spot, so long as you keep half an eye open.

I have it on good authority that the hotel is reasonable as well, but the room I've seen was a bit on the compact side. The George Burrow is the closest hotel (or pub) to the Bronze Age sites to the west of Pumlumon. It's also relatively near Devil's Bridge and about 25 minutes by car from Aberystwyth.
14th January 2003ce

Druid Inn (Pub, Aberystwyth)

One of our local pubs, situated right on the A44 in the village of Goginan relatively close to the Bronze Age sites west of Pumlumon, and not too far from Devils' Bridge. The Druid isn't a bad little place for a drink or a bite to eat. There's no garden, but they're quite kiddy friendly. 13th January 2003ce

Black Lion (Pub, Aberystwyth)

This pub is in the old village of Llanbadarn Fawr (older than Aberystwyth in fact) and right opposite Garreg Fawr. It's also well within driving distance of the many Bronze Age stones and cairns west of Pumlumon Fawr.

The Black Lion is not an amazing pub, but it's a pub with a garden, and that's relatively unusual in these parts. If you've got kids, it's not a bad place to have a pint during the summer.
13th January 2003ce

Tesco Coffee Shop/Cafe (Cafe, Carmarthen)

OK, I realise that this isn't the fanciest place to visit, but we've found that a lot of the cafes in Carmarthen close quite early in the evening.

On Saturday we ended up at Tescos (again) largely through desperation because everywhere else was closing. Alfie needed feeding, so we decided to settle for the bland yet predictable. If all you want is a cup of tea or coffee, and it's after 5pm on a Saturday, this could be your best bet.
13th January 2003ce

Morgans Fish Restaurant (Restaurant, Carmarthen)

Morgans make the finest chips in Carmarthen, or at least they did when I used to live there. We went back for a visit on Saturday (after a hard days megalith hunting) and the memories came flooding back. The vegetarian options are a bit limited (as with most chippies) but the veggie burger I had was very good.

The chap who runs the place (I'm assuming this is Mr Morgan) is very friendly, and as I recall it's very pleasant eating in as well as walking off with you're battered food as we did on Saturday.
13th January 2003ce

Llwyngwril Gallery (Cafe, Llwyngwril)

We visited Llwyngwril Gallery on our way home from visiting sites around Llynnau Cregennen.

It was late on a Sunday afternoon outside the tourist season, we were really tired and thirsty, and Alfie was demanding some milk. We didn't fancy our chances of finding anywhere that was open, let alone somewhere as pleasant as the gallery.

The owner, Debbie, was really friendly. She has set up a little area with toys for children to play in, so William was happy (after a day of stone hunting). We only bought a couple of cups of tea and some juice, but we were made really welcome.

Obviously the gallery has lots of art work for sale in it, as well as providing a good place for a refreshment stop. There was a lot of good material on display, and with William occupied by the toys we took it in turns to wonder around (while the other person looked after Alfie).

The gallery has a Web site, so you can find out more before you visit the area:

http://www.llwyngwril-gallery.co.uk/
2nd December 2002ce
I live in a small Welsh seaside town on the west coast. As well as being well placed for visiting the local sites, it's relatively easy to get to sites in south Wales, north Wales and the borders.

If you'd like to use one of the photos I've posted on this site please contact the TMA Eds who'll pass the message on (ed@themodernantiquarian.com).

Some of my favourite prehistoric sites:
Avebury (England)
Calanais (Scotland)
Castlerigg (England)
Dolgamfa (Wales)
Gavrinis (France)
Kernic (France)
Pentre Ifan (Wales)
La Roche-aux-Fées (France)
Stones of Stennes (Scotland)
Wayland's Smithy (England)

Kammer x

http://cahoots.org.uk/

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