In Scotland they bag a Munro, Lucy and I have been bagging Coastal paths in Wales. Today we completed the compelling, rugged, captivating Pembrokeshire Coast Path, all 186 miles, from Amroth to St Dogmaels. Which makes it 413 miles in total from Chepstow to St Dogmaels.
Our pincer movement along the path means that our final walk starts in Abercastle, but not before an early morning stroll around St Davids, following yet another comfortable night stay at The Old Cross Hotel.
There is only limited parking at the small jetty in Abercastle, with an honesty box located just before you access the path.
A swift detour to Carreg Samson, a 5000 year old Neolithic Dolmen, it is only a quarter of a mile away from the path, not using up much energy.
At Trefin we see the remains of a corn mill, putting me in mind of a favourite Welsh poem by Crwys-
Nid ye’r Felin heno’n malu
Yn Nhrefin yn min y mor
The mill is not grinding tonight
In Trefin at the edge of the sea.
The poem talks about the death of the miller and eventual dereliction of the Mill.
We cross a small footbridge passing the old mill at Aber Draw. The water, the power source, still forcefully spills down the slope to the sea.
Up a tarmac path and road then through a gate, all clearly signposted, the path goes close to the cliff edge at times.
We reach a white beacon, before descending into Porthgain,
A small harbour which used to ship slate quarried in both Porthgain and Abereiddy. The slate gave way to a brick industry. It is now a protected area with small art galleries, The Shed fish restaurant and The Sloop pub where we stopped for a drink.
We tripled our water intake on this walk – it was so hot! We still ended up with sausage fingers and toes! Make sure you take on plenty of water if planning this walk as it gets fairly remote once you are past Abeireiddy.
Steep steps take you out of Porthgain, Lucy earwigs on a group of fair walking conservatives hovering at the top of the steps are animatedly discussing the future of Theresa May!
We pass above Traeth Llyfn and swiftly pass The Blue Lagoon, where the Red Bull diving champion have been held, reaching the beach at .
This Coast is buzzing with people coasteering, canoeing, diving, young and old walkers, fathers carrying toddlers on their backs, all making the most of this wonderful natural landscape.
The path dips at Porth y rhaw, we then steadfastly made up and across Penberry Hill. Steep and rocky in parts we shoo grazing horses away so we can make our way through a gap between rocks. Heading towards St David’s Head the moorland opens out ahead, rough ground here, the heather is just about coming through – it will be a purple haze around here in a few weeks.
Once passed Penllechwen headland the path becomes less prominent – you could take your pick of routes across the common. If in doubt stick to the right! At one stage opted for the middle and had to work our way back to the path as we came down into the sandy, sheltered beach at Porthmelgan. A broad very visible path leads us down to Whitesands Bay!
Hurrah – conquering the Pembrokeshire Coast Path we headed for home feeling very satisfied.