By now we have covered the South Wales, Gower, and the Carmarthenshire sections of the Wales Coastal Path. We are now starting on the Mother of all paths – Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Opened in 1970, this path is really well managed and on the whole does what it says on the signs – hugs the coast.
We completed the short walk from Saundersfoot to Amroth earlier in the year.
Our walk started in Freshwater West noted for sunsets and film sets. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood were both filmed here.
As we were travelling through we came across a memorial service commemorating the tragic loss of lives from WW2, when on Easter Sunday, 26th April 1943, two landing crafts were making their way from Belfast to Falmouth. A vicious storm resulted in 72 Royal Marines drowning, and a further 6 from the Royal Navy volunteers from HMS Rosemary who on a small vessel, were trying to set out a line to save the shipwrecked men.
We checked out the Pembrokeshire Beach Food co. Cafe Mor and the seaweed drying hut. Then moved onto Castle Martin MOD firing range.
The signage is slightly confusing, but we followed the directions in our guide book.
There was no firing on the day we designated for our walk – so we cut across miles of MOD land, crossing over tank roads, until we eventually found the sign for Green Bridge of Wales And Elegug (guillemot) stacks. We also chatted to Edward Dunn – landscape artist from Llanglydwen.
We detoured to see Flimston chapel, before eventually reaching the coast.
It is a pity that a large section of the coast is inaccessible due to the wide area covered by the range, and the constant warning signs a bit of a downer.
Each stage of St Govan’s head is achingly beautiful. Young rock climbers are taking advantage of the sheer drops, but most surprising was a chap on a mobility vehicle parked on the edge of a cliff. Turned out he was waiting for a friend, but he pointed us in the direction of the Devil’s Cauldron, a collapsed cave.
We still had enough energy to walk down to St Goven’s Chapel, it is suggested that there was a hermitage here in the sixth century, but this Chapel dates mainly from thirteenth century.
At this stage I am walking in my socks, new boots are pinching badly.
Broad Haven and eventually Barafundle Bay beaches are a welcome relief, although the steps up from Barafundle Beach are a bit punishing – in your socks….
The shadows were lengthening as we made our way down to Stackpole Quay – once used to bring coal in and send limestone out by sea.
There is a National Trust car park and tea rooms here.
We returned to Freshwater West to watch the sunset!
Note: you can detour to Bosherston Pools from Broad haven if you have the time.