Three to go wild for in Wales
There may be dragons – and possibly even the occasional bus – but Wales can certainly offer great sport, says Rupert Bates, with three top estates to choose from
Not sure that rural Wales is over-blessed with buses, unless there is a request stop in the Pumlumon mountains or a Carmarthen driver goes rogue in pursuit of a salmon, but three cracking sporting estates are on the market at once in the Principality. Take your pick: the lakes of Bugeilyn Moor; the warrior sea-trout of Golden Grove, which would hold their own in a Cardiff rugby pack; or the Cothi Valley pheasants at Edwinsford.
Baileys & Partners, selling Bugeilyn at Pumlumon, is offering a “try before you buy wilderness immersion weekend”.
You need to be serious about a possible purchase of this upland moorland, rather than just after a free fly-fishing tutorial. You can also do some clay-pigeon shooting; camp under the stars on the 1,040-acre Mid Wales sporting estate, with your wilderness weekend washed down with enough local ale to make you capable of pronouncing Aberystwyth correctly.
Plenty of biodiversity on the estate means an informed walk with a local expert is part of the experience, too, with bog and heath to negotiate. The estate sits at a high point in the Cambrian mountain range, with the Welsh Marches to the east and the Cardigan Bay coastline and the Irish Sea to the west. The sources of both the River Severn and Wye are nearby.
Ed Bailey, a director of Baileys & Partners, says of the sale: “Bugeilyn is a place that is far removed from the humdrum predictability of life, a landscape where you can embrace the exhilaration of the natural world and all its glorious potential. Brochures, videos and virtual reality could never adequately convey its character. This is a living, breathing entity that communicates directly with our instinct for freedom, beauty and open space.” Bailey wants £500,000 – that’s for the whole estate, not the weekend.
Meanwhile, one of our most renowned sportsmen, Sir Edward Dashwood, is selling the sea-trout mecca that is the Golden Grove estate in Carmarthenshire, with plenty of wild and wet shooting to be done, too. There are 649 acres to buy but sporting rights extend across a further 3,366 Towy Valley acres. Knight Frank is asking £5 million.
The third Welsh wonder is the 539-acre Edwinsford Estate in Talley, Carmarthenshire, on the market with Strutt & Parker at £2.2 million. Edwinsford has about five miles of double-bank sea-trout and salmon fishing on the River Cothi, while the plantations and ancient woodland provide terrific terrain for a high pheasant shoot on the steep valley sides. There is also rough-shooting for duck, woodcock and snipe over a further 316 acres of adjoining sporting rights held in perpetuity. I always thought Perpetuity was a small village just outside Aberystwyth. No idea if it has a bus stop.