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Fishguard to Newport (Parrog) [8¾ miles]

The Maps

The Route

The Walk

Final day of this particular visit saw us setting off from the fort above Lower Town, Fishguard. After a quick explore of the fort we set off heading towards Newport where we started our first visit to the coast path with Sue and Stu last year.

The weather today was just great - sunny and warm.

The fort above Lower Town

Not far along the coast and looking back Sue spotted the arch at Needle Rock - actually this is a stack with a punctured base.

Needle Rock

We passed bays and headlands - all equally charming; Aber Grugog and Penrhyn-Mawr headland; Aber Hywel and Erw-goch point and eventually Carreg Pen-las guarding the entrance to Aber Bach where we stopped for coffee

Aber Grugog & Penrhyn-Mawr headland

Aber Grugog &
looking back at Penrhyn Ychen

Erw-goch point with
Dinas Head in the background

Aber Hywel & Erw-goch point

Looking back to Perhyn Mawr & Penrhyn Ychen
with Goodwick in the far distance

Carreg Pen-las guarding the entrance to Aber Bach

Coffee time at Aber Bach

Our next bay was the curved horseshoe shaped Pwll Gwylog - near perfection, and a little further ahead we had our first good view of the peninsular of Dinas Head.

Aber Bach
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Craig Hesgwm at Aber Bach

Pwll Gwylog
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Pwll Cwn with the sands of
Pwllgwaelod at Dinas Head beyond

Whilst descending the quite steep slope, Geri unfortunately turned her ankle and went down with a real thump. She got up after a short while and was able to get to the bottom of the descent where we adjourned to the Old Sailors at Pwllgwaelod for ice creams all round- thank you Stu.

We now had a bit of a problem. Geri felt that walking was OK provided she could keep her foot straight and so we walked across the neck of the peninsula; through to Cwm-yr-Eglwys along a nicely made up tarmac path which caused little problem. We then had a climb up out of the village along a road before re-joining the coast path where we eventually stopped for our lunch at Aber Fforest.

After luch Geri decided that it would be better if she took the short path to the road and waited for us to collect her as her ankle was giving her a spot of bother. Reluctantly we left her and set off for Newport

Aber Fforest

The next series of bays were remarkable for their flat rocky beaches. These were, what we later discovered to be 'sea quarries'.

Quarrying had been undertaken on a fairly intensive scale since at least 1594 when it was recorded 'seaside quarries both of slate and hewings stones' existed in this area. However, the presence of local stone roofing tiles from excavations in Newport indicates that quarries, perhaps these coastal ones, had been in use from at least the 13th century. Work carried on in the quarries until the late 19th century.

Aber Ysgol & the shale slab beach
a previously mined 'sea quarry'

Newport Sands in the far distance with
Treath Samuel beach in the foreground

Another 'sea quarry'

A Speckled Wood Butterflyposed for us on the path

Traeth Samue & Newport Sands

Traeth Samuel & Cat Rock

We rounded Carreg Germain and made the descent to the car park at Parrog taking the lower harbour route along the beach to the slipway and back to the car.

Our final task of the day was to drive back along the A487 to find Geri, who had her own mini-adventure before she managed to find a shady bench at the main road.


Strumble Head to Fishguard [8.58 miles]

The Maps

The Route

The Walk

We arrived at a mist shrouded Strumble Head - the lighthouse was only visible thanks to the bright flash that occasionally pierced the gloom. As we set off heading east we could see that the mist would soon lift.

Our first stop on the way was to remark how common these Common Spotted Orchids were. Growing almost like weeds and in varying shades of purple - Geri was quite taken.

Common Spotted Orchids

The coast path now took another dramatic change, becoming softer and easier to walk on compared to the rugged conditions underfoot of yesterday.

Carreg Gybi headland

Looking back to Carreg Gybi headland

After passing Porthcychan bay we approached Carreg Goffa. An open expanse on the Carregwastad Point with the memorial stone erected to mark the French 'invasion' of February 1797. It seemed like a good spot to stop for coffee.

Carreg Goffa - 4 happy walkers

The memorial stone

On the 22nd February 1797 a force of 1400 Frenchmen, led by an Irish-American septuagenarian, Colonel William Tate, landed at Carregwastad Point. Tate's original orders had been to land near Bristol and destroy it, then to cross over into Wales and march north onto Chester and Liverpool. Wind conditions made it impossible for the four French warships to land anywhere near Bristol, so Tate moved to plan B, and set a course for Cardigan Bay in southwest Wales. He eventually made his headquarters at the nearby Tre-Howel farm, and his men looted the area.

This was probably a bad move as the French soldiers got drunk on looted wine and they eventually surrendered on Goodwick Sands whilst Colonel Tate signed the surrender document on a table which is now in the Royal Oak pub in Fishguard.

Leaving Carreg Goffa the path took a gentle descent through a delightfully peaceful woodland at Cwm Felin on the western flank of Aber Felin.

Woodland at Cwm Felin

Aber Felin

Looking back to Carreg Goffa

We saw the Rosslare to Fishguard ferry approaching in the distance which diverted our attention momentarily from the handful of seals swimming at Aber Felin.

The Rosslare ferry approaches
Carreg Goffa in the foreground

A slim arch at Y Penrhyn

Getting closer now

Wassat then?.....

....Fulmars nesting

zzzzzz zzzzzzz

A little further on we came to Pen Anglas, a headland guarding Goodwick/Fishguard. There was some debate about the significance of the pointy thing and the shed on the headland. Later research showed it not to be a memorial stone and toilet block, but a navigation marker and a building housing a foghorn.

The navigation marker at Pen Anglas
& building housing the fog horn further inland

We were soon to arrive at Goodwick and so we stopped for our lunch break with a view of the 2000 yard long breakwater/quay the foundations of which came from the 2 million tons of chalk blasted out of the cliffs to make way for the harbour and terminal buildings for the early 1900's trans-Atlantic service.

This was all new walking for Geri and I as, on our previous visit, we started right on the coast path at Goodwick and missed out Fishguard all together. We needed to keep a sharp eye out for the signs leading us down to the harbour which took a zigzag descent, then over a pedestrian bridge spanning the access road to the ferry boarding area.

The zigzag descent to sea level at Goodwick

The ferry from the pedestrian bridge

We then walked along the seafront at Goodwick where we parted company with Geri and climbed up over the headland along an easy path to Fishguard Lower Town. The coast path gave us good views of both Goodwich and the harbour of Fishguard. Right at the end we climbed the hill out of Lower Town to the fort to end our walkon the Marine Walk.

Mosaic celebrating the
repulse of the French Invasion in 1797

Looking back into Goodwick Bay

Fishguard Lower Town

We're on the Marine Walk

Sue n Stu on the final leg of the walk

End of day 2 at Plain Dealings


Aber Mawr to Strumble Head [6½ miles]

The Maps

The Route

The Walk

Year 2 for Sue and Stu on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. We decided to complete a bit more of the northern section and so today we drove down from Bucknell and started at Aber Mawr (where we left off last year).

We hoped that a shortish walk today would drive the cobwebs away and set us up for 2 more walks. As we had been travelling for nearly 4 hours before setting off, we decided to get to Aber Bach and stop for our lunch. Then we started to get into our swing and it was up onto the cliffs heading towards Strumble Head.

After about a mile we came to the inaccessible Pwllcrochan Bay. Shortly afterwards a hovering Kestrel caught our eye

Pwllcrochan Bay

Looking for prey!

We cut across Trwyn Llwyd headland and paused to take a look back. Then continued on our way to Penbwchdy Head which is quite elevated giving a great view inland. The terrain here is quite rugged and rocky and care was needed to ensure we didn't damage anything.

Trwyn Llwyd headland

Penbwchdy Head
Geri inspects a recently created enclosure

Panorama from Penbwchdy Head
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As we approached Pwll Deri bay, Strumble Head lighthouse came into view clearly for the first time. We spent a fair bit of time over the next hour or two trying to get a photograph with the light showing. We must have tried at least a dozen times between us!

Pwll Deri bay & Strumble Head lighthouse
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Pwll Deri bay has the Youth Hostel building set up on the cliffs with a magnificent view to the south and we took the opportunity to have our afternoon break by the monument to Dewi Emrys.

Monument to Dewi Emrys

Now for the final stretch to Strumble Head; rounding Ynys Ddu headland and skirting Porth Maenmelyn bay.

Ynys Ddu headland

Porth Maenmelyn bay
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Strumble Head lighthouse


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