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House Sit in Northern Wales by Rob Shackleford

House Sit in Northern Wales by Rob Shackleford

Our house sit in Dundee, Scotland Why is House Sitting for Travel a good idea?
Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay House Sit Wales
Castle Caernarfon in Wales

Other of our Travelling with Traveller Inceptio Blogs

India by Royal Enfields 1 Britain by House Sits Scottish Food Scottish Culture Southern Scotland Northern Wales
Faces of Scotland House Sit Bath Faces of England House Sitting UK Faces of Wales Visit to London

Welsh House Sit

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay House Sit Wales
House Sitting Smarty in Wales

Tyn y Gongle is located in East Anglesey at the north of Wales, where our third House Sit for this journey took place. There we looked after a placid little tabby cat by the name of Smarty. As can happen to cats under past stress, she reacted to her life in a shelter as a kitten by becoming diabetic. For carers, that meant she needed an injection each morning and evening. Her family suggested she needed little additional care out of the ordinary.

It’s always a challenge as a House Sit team to make sure our services are as required by the Host. Not only do we make sure we leave their home in a state as good or even better than we found it, but that their animals are given the very best care. When faced with the potential challenge of an animal that might not be well, we do our best to make sure they are cared for and loved, as they should be. In the past, we have cared for a 23 year old cat, so we know what it is like to hope a creature makes it through the night. In the case of Smarty, she was returned to her owners in perfect condition and with care should live a long, healthy life.

It’s all part of the House Sitter challenge. For more about being a House Sitter – Click Here

Wales and Anglesey

We were particularly excited to stay in Wales. For Australians, Wales is so foreign to common travel experiences, both physically and culturally, that it is more likely that we will travel to Thailand or Paris than Wales. We know about the Irish and the Scots, and of course many have an English heritage, but Welsh? No, there is not a great deal known of Wales or the Welsh.

Anglesey, an island off the far north of Wales, is where we stayed and, I was excited to note, has a long history. In Roman times Anglesey was long associated with the druids in the land the Romans called Hibernia, which consisted of Ireland and Wales. Regrettably, it was not until we had left our house-sit that we recognised the area is rich in ancient standing stones, though we did find one by mistake. Like many travel experiences, to dip one’s toe into Wales means to miss so much that is worthy of our return. Next time, I know to find more of these ancient places that hint at a  heritage that stretches back more than  6000 years.

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay house sit Anglesey in Wales
A ancient standing stone in Anglesey

We were fortunate to explore Anglesey and the far north of the Wales mainland, with its beautiful countryside and stunning Castles of Conwy and Canaerfon, and the wilds of Snowdonia; a pretty mountainous region in northwestern Wales. While we wended our way along roads that were sometimes barely wide enough for our car, we took note that there are more than 600 castles in Wales, more per square mile than anywhere in the world. We are fortunate to have visited some of the most beautiful. Wales is unique, beautiful, and there is so much to see.

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay House Sit Wales
Snowdonia National Park in Wales

For novice travellers across the length of the United Kingdom, what is most astonishing is the different personality each portion of the United Kingdom seems to have, how Scotland, Wales and England are so different, in the nature of the lands as well as the peoples. Each are totally different from each other, yet utterly beautiful.

Quite by accident we visited the small town of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch– where we had a fish and chip dinner and were able to speak at length with the elderly lady who owns the shop. One of the endearing features of the Welsh is their fierce independence and stubborn adherence to their old language and cultures. Like the Scots, they are not at all English, and like the Scots they have their own tongue. Some of the pronunciation is difficult to fathom for traditional English speakers, with a liquid flow that sounds like someone choking on their own tongue.

Like the Scottish Gaelic, it feels familiar, as if I should understand Welsh, but getting the meaning is like grasping smoke.

There is more to see in Wales and we will visit the South when we stay in Bath.


Rob and Deb live at Burleigh Heads, on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Rob is an author of Traveller Inceptio, published by Austin Macauley Publishers.

Deb is a yoga teacher and administrator par excellence.

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this blog, please email Rob via his email: [email protected] or Instagram @rob_shackleford_

Rob Shackleford and Deborah-Jane Mackay House Sit Wales
Rob and Deb in Wales


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