Stacks Image 181533
Stacks Image 181536
Stacks Image 182036

PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH 2010-2014

Porthgain to Abereiddy & return [4.6 miles]

The Maps

35_OL_E157_L

The Route

The Walk
For our final morning, we just couldn't leave the coast path without one final walk, and so we drove the short distance from our b&b to Porthgain and headed south to Abereiddy.
Up the steps out of Porthgain
Porthgain harbour
We walked along the south side of Porthgain harbour originally built in 1851, alongside the massive brick built hoppers on our left and part of the old brickworks which had its heyday from 1889-1912. At the far end of the harbour we gained the coast path via a series of steps near the old pilot house
The cairn like white painted navigation marker
Porth Ffynnon
Looking back to Porth-gain from Penclegyr
We continued on the Coast Path along a section of very dramatic, high cliffs. En route near Penclegyr we explored ruined buildings connected with rock mining which began in 1889 at the coastal cliff quarry set out on two levels with the remains of the incline, the railway cutting and the winding house. The demand for road stone became more common for metalled roads because they resisted wear from the iron-bound tyres on agricultural vehicles. Porthgain stone was marketed as granite, but it is actually dolerite, a finer grained igneous rock.
Final view of the four walkers


Panorama of the stone quarry west of Porthgain
use + or - key to zoom

The coast path continues over open grassland passing Traeth Llyfyn a sandy beach to Abereiddy (Aber Eiddy) and the Blue Lagoon - the remains of the slate quarry - which dominates Aberiddi Bay.

Panorama of the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy
use + or - key to zoom

The Walk
We left Dale and took the road up the hill and after 350 yards turned right onto a footpath. In the distance the signal tower/beacon light at Watwick Point came into view.
Castlebeach Bay
Castle Beach
Looking back towards Dale Point and Dale Fort
Continuing over two cattle grids/stiles and round the cliff top above Watwick Bay, a beautifully secluded sandy bay which looks out towards West Angle Bay on the opposite side of Milford Haven.
Watwick Bay
We continued towards the coastguard tower plus three signal/beacon towers at West Blockhouse Point where we stopped for a coffee on a convenient stone bench.
St Ann's Head
Looking ahead to Mill Bay
We arrived at Mill Bay, where Henry Tudor landed on 7th August 1485 on his way to defeat Richard lll at the Battle of Bosworth and to become King Henry Vll. His fleet of 55 ships docked at Dale. We took the time to explore the bay and went down to the waterline and discovered the wreck of HMS Barking a 'B class' boom defence vessel built in 1941 which sank in Mill Bay on 14th March 1964 during a force 6 after being towed into Milford to be scrapped.
The wreck of HMS Barking
Mill Bay
We left Mill Bay and passed a memorial stone recording the historic events of 1485. Then across the fields towards the old original lighthouse built in 1796 at St Ann's Head, now renovated to form holiday accommodation only yards from the clifftop. We walked out along the path close to the old foghorn house and inspected the deep cut called Cobbler's Hole.
The active lighthouse
Cobbler's Hole
The old original lighthouse above the Cobbler's Hole
Then pushed on a bit further following the Coast Path through the entrance in the boundary wall and turning left through the gate. The steep-sided inlet to the left is called The Vomit, named after the plumes of sea-spray that rush upwards from the inlet during westerly gales.
The Vomit
We were now walking up the west coast of the peninsula. The vegetation here is different from that on the sheltered east side with no woods on this part of the coast. The walking was much gentler with only small undulations. The island of Skokholm was now visible about 5 kilometres off the coast and as we continued, the island of Skomer became distinguishable as well as, closer to the shore, Gatholm Island near Marloes Sands.

Panorama of Frenchman's Bay
use + or - key to zoom

Long Point, Iron Point and the distant Great Castle Head
We rounded the point at Great Castle Head and arrived at Westdale Bay where we left the coast path; cutting across the neck of the penninsula and returned to our car.
Westdale Bay
Dale Castle
Across the fields to Dale
Our final night at our b&b - the view from the garden


Read More...

St David's Head short circular walk [2.6 miles]

The Maps

35_OL_E157_L

The Route

The Walk
As the weather forecast today was for HEAVY rain, we decided to turn it into a bit of an exploration day. We set off for Whitesands Bay; parked the car and thought a quick trip out to St David's Head was in order. Amazingly, the sun shone and it was really warm and we thought to ourselves - just maybe we'd get away with it.
Above the bay at Porth Lleuog
Craig y Creigwyr
St David's Head
Plenty of common spotted orchids on St David's Head
We passed the bay at Porth Lleuog and eventually decided to explore the beach at Porthmelgan.

Panorama of Porthmelgan beach
use + or - key to zoom

It was then that we became aware of the increasing clouds overhead and took the (wise as it turned out) precaution of putting on waterproofs and continued along the path and out to the tip of St David's Head where we stopped for coffee. It started to rain!

We decided that now was the time to return to the car and so we set off, with the sea on our right and the rain hammering down giving us a thorough soaking for our sins. We arrived back at Whitesands Bay with our right trouser legs very wet and the lefthand side of our left trouser legs almost dry.

Read More...

Newport to Moylgrove [9.58 miles]

The Maps

35_OL_E145_L

The Route

The Walk
Two good friends, Sue & Stu joined us for a short break on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (their first time) and gave us the opportunity to fill in a missing link between Newport and Moylgrove.
Ready to go - Pacerpoles set!

Panorama of Newport Sands
use + or - key to zoom

We had driven from Bucknell arriving at Moylgrove to deposit a car in heavy rain (for most of the journey it has to be said). However, about 5 miles from Moylgrove the rain eased and then stopped and the sun came out. By the time we arrived in Newport to start the walk it was getting warm. A great way to start the holiday.
Newport Sands - the tide is well out today
We set off from the harbour car park at Parrog (about 1 kilometre from Newport) in fine style and soon crossed the estuary heading out along the coast path itself, passing the restored limekiln near Ffynnon Bryncyn. We crossed over the golf course admiring Newport Sands on our left.
Looking back at Newport Sands from Morfa Head
We rounded the first headland Pen-y-bâl on Morfa Head and started to head north east along the cliff tops.
Pen Cafnau
Looking back at Dinas Head

and in the background, Strumble Head

It would be fair to say the the cliff path here does go up and down quite a bit. At one point we met a couple going in the opposite direction who exclaimed that they had been on their hands and knees at one point and that the paths were VERY STEEP and that we still had 7 miles to go.
Stu braces himself for the climb
Godir y gwyddau
Tryn y Bra & the bay of Godit Rhyg
Looking ahead to Traeth Cell-Howell
Stepping stones across Ffynnon Coeg

Steady there Stu

A bit closer to Traeth Cell-Howell
Cell-Howell - a gentle descent
The natural arch at Bwn Bach
Looking back, the natural arch at Bwn Bach can be seen. Also in the distance the Strumble Head lighthouse winks in the far hazy distance.
Careg Yspar
The islet is Careg Yspar just offshore and here the coast path bypasses a deep inlet before turning inland to the Witches' Cauldron.
Pwll y Wrach – the Witches' Cauldron
The Witches' Cauldron, PwllyWrach is a blowhole caused by the collapse of a cave roof - a narrow passage connecting it to the sea. We passed by and made our final ascent of the day to the cliffs at Celbwr Bay (The cliffs here are famous for their amazing strata produced in the Caledonian period 450 million years ago.) before dropping down to the road that connected inland to the car park. A tad more than the advertised 7½ miles.
Ceibwr Bay

Read More...

St Brides to Nolton Haven via Broad Haven [9.66 miles]

The Maps

36_OL_E158_L

The Route

The Walk
There's a short story about today's walk. We set off to do this walk on Monday 16th September from Nolton Haven, but after about a mile I got a real stomach pain and had to drop out. Geri accompanied me back to the car and we let Mike and Beryl continue alone. We were determined to do the walk and so I set out alone doing it in the opposite direction today - alas Geri's foot was still sore from yesterday.

I caught the Puffin Shuttle from St Davids and after about an hour I was ready to to go from St Bride's Haven.
St Bride's Haven
The coast path here is quite benign and easy walking as you pass alongside the red sandstone cliffs. It was slightly overcast with a breeze in my face which kept me cool and I was able to keep up quite a steady pace. It was very peaceful with not a soul in sight.
Looking back to St Bride's Haven<br>and St Bride's Castle
Warey Haven red sandstone cliff
Warey Haven
Tanker anchored in St Bride's Bay
Stack Rocks about ½ mile offshore
I passed Stack Rocks out in the bay and the natural arch there got larger as I headed north. As I neared Mill Haven I came across a rock sculpture which subsequently turned out to be one of five "Eyes of the Sea" - this one was called "Walking Eye".
One of the five "Eyes of the Sea" rock sculptures
Lime Kiln at Mill Haven
Mill Haven
Climbing up and out of Mill Haven I took the opportunity to 'snap' the Common Toadflax. This little flower had been an ever-present feature of the coast path these last few days and it was worth a mention. The creeks further on, Dutch Gin and Brandy Bay were clearly areas of interest to HM Revenue and Customs in earlier times. Today, Brandy Bay had 2 inhabitants, a grey seal pup and mother.
Common Toadflax
Brandy Bay with seal and pup
Brandy Bay
Howney Stone
A little further on is the strangely named Howney Stone - home to a number of gulls and cormorants.
Borough Head looking towards Stack Rocks
After passing Borough Head, the path cuts downwards through woodland with trees covering the cliffs all the way, down to the shoreline. Soon the picturesque and popular holiday village of Little Haven is reached.
Dropping down to Little Haven
L-R Broad Haven & Little Haven
Foreground - Little Haven - beyond - Broad Haven
Little Haven
Broad Haven

St Bride's Bay from Broad Haven
use + or - key to zoom

Speckled Wood Butterfly
Madoc's Haven
Whole mess of Stonechats
As I progressed along the cliffs towards Nolton Haven I came round a corner and spotted a fence with a load of Stonechats perched there as bold as brass. I crept up wanting to take a close up photo - sadly only one remained to take a bow.
Dim Stonechats
Except for just one
I was now on the homeward stretch and arrived at Nolton Haven having completed the nearly 10 mile walk in just under 4 hours. It was then a matter of waiting for the Puffin Shuttle to pick me up and return me to St Davids.
First view of Nolton Haven
Nolton Haven

Read More...