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PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH 2010-2014

Porthgain to Abereiddy & return [4.6 miles]

The Maps

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
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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
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Panorama of Abereiddy Bay
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Upon our arrival we had a coffee and enjoyed the spectacle of children being supervised in coasteering before we made our return journey to Porthgain and eventually home to Bucknell.

To summarise what we saw over the last 4 days. Plenty of stonechats and whitethroats, a few wheatears and several choughs. Loads of jackdaws pretending to be choughs and of course skylarks in abundance as well as gulls of all shapes and sizes. We saw a newt on a stile on Monday (well spotted Sue) and of course lots of common spotted orchids, particularly on St David's Head.


Treath Llyfn


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The Dale penninsula circular walk [7½ miles]

The Maps

The Route

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 defense 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


The active lighthouse

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.


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
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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


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

The Maps

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
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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.


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Newport to Moylgrove [9.58 miles]

The Maps

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!

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.


Panorama of Newport Sands
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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 and the bay of Godit Rhyg


Looking ahead to Traeth Cell-Howell


Stepping stones across Ffynnon Coeg


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 7.5 miles.


Ceibwr Bay


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