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Brunant Arms, Caio, LLANWRDA, SA19 8RD [Map]
I spent a very pleasant weekend staying at the National Trust Dolaucothi Basecamp, an old converted coach house. Unfortunately I don't think that this accommodation is available for hire any more although you'll be pleased to hear that the pub does offer its own accommodation. The Dolaucothi Gold Mines are certainly worth visiting. They are unique in that they were the only Roman gold mine in the UK and were active from Roman times right through to the 20th century. Underground tours are available from the end of March through to the end of October although there is a footpath through the site so you can look at the surface workings and machinery all year.
Was a little concerned that my pre-trip pub planning didn't flag up a decent pub within walking distance of our accommodation, that is until I stumbled across the Brunant Arms at Caio. Not particularly easy to find, it's a mile west of the A482 at Pumsaint (some folk spell it Pumpsaint). Caio's a very small settlement, but the pub draws both locals and folk from much further afield, such as ourselves. Expect up to five decent real ales on offer, generally a varied selection, so ask the landlord's advice which would be the most suitable for you if you're not sure and somewhat overwhelmed by the excellent choice. Very impressed by the food too, all home made and freshly cooked, an excellent choice of dishes available. Good sized portions were served and even Keith enjoyed his meal (bangers and mash)!
The pub has it's own car park, and indeed a tethering rail for your horse, as from our experience it seems to be the most popular means of transport in the area. Do mind the potential trip hazards of large piles of manure in the road on the way home if it's dark. Saw a fair few mountain bikes too and the odd car which to be honest looked a little out of place on the tiny meandering lanes.
All in all a very comfortable, friendly pub and for me quite an educational visit too. Got chatting to a local who was a forester, which as much of the area that we'd walked in that day in the local area was managed forest answered a few questions. Historically, dozens would have worked the local forests, but it seems that increased mechanisation and changes in forest management practices (trees are planted more densely and are not routinely thinned any more but felled all at once) have cut costs considerably to allow us to compete with cheaper softwood foreign imports. He was concerned that as they are no longer told to remove side branches lower down the trunk (this obviously costs) the wood produced has a greater number of large knots in it, making it much weaker, although others would argue that knots improve the aesthetic appearance of wood. Anyhow, the bell's just gone, and my lecture is over...