Country diary: a Welsh noir film set, with the weather to match


Aberystwyth, Ceredigion: This cluster of farm cottages is the filming location for a dark drama, with the wet landscape amply providing the palette of stark tones and dour contrast the genre demands

The growing bank of cloud to the west edged closer, further dimming the afternoon light and bringing the threat of rain. Returning from a long walk, I paused by the crossroads to decide the final part of my route. On a whim, I took a shortcut past the old house I used to rent, many years ago. One of a small cluster of farm cottages, it had been empty for some years – a relic of the time when workers lived closer to the land. Sitting low in a frost hollow near the river, it remains the coldest house I’ve ever lived in.

As I approached it, I noticed that – against all reason – a telephone box had been installed on the bank between the house and the old ford. Rural phone boxes have long been a threatened species, but turning the corner I saw the explanation: this one was fake.

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