Famous bridge and cottage in Wales

Here’s a place I would love to live in. It’s almost like a fairytale cottage, isn’t it?

 

Pont Fawr Bridge and Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

I first came across photos of it while googling Welsh attractions and fell in love with the little red cottage. (It’s now a tea room/restaurant so no one can live in it, unfortunately.)

Well, it was green when we visited it since it was summertime. I’m assuming that the leaves that have swallowed up the cottage will turn red in autumn, although I don’t know why absolutely nothing but the cottage-eating foliage would turn red. See this photo from a Welsh tourism website:

 

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

Not that I know anything about seasons and nature and schizophrenic foliage, having grown up in the equatorial concrete jungle that is Singapore.

This view of the bridge and cottage is probably one of the most photographed and painted views of Wales, and it seems obvious why. I wouldn’t mind having a painting of it hanging over my future (imagined) fireplace.

 

I love my painting

 

The bridge is called Pont Fawr, meaning “large bridge” in Welsh, although it’s just a tiny bridge, being about 55 m long and wide enough for just one car to pass through. But maybe it was huge when it was built in 1636. People also call it Inigo Jones Bridge because some sources credit British architect Inigo Jones as the designer.

Beyond the bridge stands the pretty little cottage named Tu Hwnt I’r Bont, meaning, surprisingly, “beyond the bridge”.

I’m not sure who names these things but probably not the builders, since the cottage was built in 1481, way before the bridge existed.

 

When we first arrived, it was raining a bit. I was disappointed. I’d looked so much forward to seeing it and had come all the way from Bournemouth to take a photo of it.

Then I thought, “There are no rainy photos of it on the Internet so I will have a special, unique photo!”

So I cheered up a bit and ran across the bridge to the vantage point, where I started snapping while Piers held an umbrella over me.

 

Rainy Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

There’s my rainy photo!

And then, stupidly, the rain stopped before I even got properly started, so I was able to take normal photos after all. Just as well, since the rainy photo looks rather dull. Which is probably why there aren’t any rainy photos of it on the Internet, lol.

Not too difficult to get a rainy day in Wales, anyway, the locals will probably tell you.

All that fuss over nothing; let’s move on.

 

Mandatory touristy photo of Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

Tu Hwnt I’r Bont is roughly pronounced “ti hoont ear bont” (and you have to roll the “r”). I had a lot of trouble reading Welsh names until this English lady at a B&B taught me how to say some of them.

The cottage was first built as a residential dwelling, then later used as a courthouse. Over the centuries, it had to be restored several times until it became a tea room about 50 years ago.

Now, more photos!

 

Back view of the cottage (naked!):

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

 

 

 

Closer look at the front of the cottage (looks a bit curvy; the panoramic feature on my camera does that):

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

 

 

 

Super close up:

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

 

 

 

Inigo Jones Bridge stretches over the River Conwy, which is 27 miles (43 km) long:

River Conwy

 

 

 

 

Side view of the cottage:

Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

 

 

 

View of the bridge and cottage:

Pont Fawr and Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

 

 

 

Further view:

Pont Fawr and Tu Hwnt I'r Bont

 

 

 

 

View of the town Llanrwst (pronounced something like “hlan-roost”) on the other side of the bridge from the cottage:

Llanrwst

 

No photos of inside the tearoom because photography is not allowed inside, so I’m just going to describe it with words.

The decor is very old-fashioned and the ceiling is low. It looks Tudor-style with white sand-textured walls and dark brown wooden beams and pillars all around. It’s a junk and antique collector’s dream with endless knick-knacks from the past decorating every spare inch of wall, crook and cranny. Most of the items are made of copper or iron.

The tearoom was packed nearly full with customers who looked local because they had a relaxed vibe and appeared very much at home having a leisurely meal or cup of tea, totally unlike the gawky, excited tourist writing these words now.

Unfortunately, we were still quite full from breakfast so didn’t feel like eating anything. But we ordered a Welsh rabbit (or rarebit) to share, just because it’s a Welsh thing. It’s basically a toasted cheese sandwich (no animals harmed!) but a lot more cheesy, with cheese sauce generously melted all over the bread.

I didn’t enjoy it, though. The “toast” was soft and the cheese didn’t taste all that fantastic, so I let Piers have all of it.

Boyfriends are really good for that sort of thing.

 

Give it here.

 

But maybe it’s really good and I was just too full to appreciate it.

If you’re planning a visit, be sure to do the anti-rain dance or something beforehand, because it’s lovely to have a walk there along the river bank or have a sit on one of the benches and soak in the tranquility and (hopefully) nice weather.

So, I shall end here with a couple of questions. Would you want to live in a cottage like Tu Hwnt I’r Bont and how often would you have to give it a haircut?

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9 thoughts on “Famous bridge and cottage in Wales

  1. Wow! Nice photos! Everything is so green and the cottage is lovely.

    Would I like to live in it? Sad to say, probably no. I had a lake house in South Carolina and it was so much work just keeping the place up. After a few years, the lake view and the relaxing life wasn’t worth the blood the mosquitos were drawing from me. And the yard upkeep was the worst. We spend most of our weekends during the spring, summer and fall months on the lawn.

    Although visiting would be fantastic. I bet it was very romantic!

  2. Monster,

    Seriously, I don’t think I’ll be able to have a meal or much less sleep in that cottage for the night. I’ve got entomophobia (hope I spelt it right) which a phobia of insects. I can’t just imagine tons of insects living in those leaves or creeper plants or whatever they are called. Sometimes I can’t even walk under trees. Or maybe I’ve got dendrophobia. Actually, I just don’t like to walk under trees because of insects or whatever that can fall off the trees and hence, I’m not good with picnics unless it’s not under any trees.

  3. Faith,

    I feel for you sister. Creepy Crawlers of any kind give the screams! When they fall out of the sky and land anywhere near me, I freak out, which explains the native bug dance I did when the cicada landed on my head a couple of months back lol

  4. @Pepper: Oh dear, you have ruined the fantasy of cottage living for me, with talk of bugs and gardening. :p But just as well. Fewer fantasies means more satisfaction in life since you’re not pining for something unattainable every few minutes lol.

    @Monster, you’re the only person I know who has more phobias than me! Lol!

  5. Sorry for ruining your fantasy of cottage living. I didn’t even get to the goose and duck droppings, the snakes and the interesting things that float by from time to time :P Oh yeah, then there is the English ivy creeping into every crack, hole, vent, and crevasse. :P

    You haven’t lived until you go use the bathroom in the middle of the night and you greeted by a parade of bugs marching across the floor LOL. I seem to remember you and a bug had an midnight encounter in one of your previous posts. So you probably could handle the first few times, but after a while you swear they are staling you.

  6. Oh dear, it’s sounding worse and worse! Back to being a city girl for me, then. :P Nope, definitely don’t want bugs in my bathroom in the middle of the night! O_o

  7. Monster, I seriously think the older I get the more phobias I develop. I just hope that little Baba is not going to develop any of my crazy phobias. Wait, but I’m not scared of roaches! I can kill them!
    Pepper, I totally feel your pain with the cicadas! LOL!!

  8. Not just boyfriends, dads and husbands are also awesome vacuum cleaners:P Very lovely pics, btw. Thanks so much for sharing, and its great to see more of your posts the past couple of weeks. Almost feels like old times. Almost.

  9. @Monster: lol, good for you. I still can’t stand roaches but I’m not as deathly afraid of them now as I used to be. It’s quite possible Baba will develop some of your phobias if he sees you afraid of stuff while he’s young and impressionable! When I was working in the nursery and children kept coming up to me excitedly showing me bugs that they found in the garden, I had to try so hard not to cringe away, and to put on a proud, excited face, haha.

    @RN1209: Yeah, old times are really hard to get back, aren’t they. We’ll just have to make brilliant new times, I guess! :P Thanks for showing up finally, heh!

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