130. West Angle Bay – Castlemartin Range

130. West Angle Bay – Castlemartin Range

Distance: 12 miles

Max Altitude: 66 m

Min Altitude: 7 m

Height Gain: 294 m

Height Loss: 254 m

I started from the beach at west Angle. I had to retrace the two miles back to my stopping point from yesterday evening. I bought an ice cream at the Wavecrest Cafe to keep me company.

I arrived back at where I’d stopped, just short of Sheep Island (yes, this its name and I did see a solitary sheep on the rock). A wild pony with a mane of dreadlocks followed me across the field to the gate. I fed him some grass and petted his nose. I felt bad leaving him behind.

It was overcast with traces of blue sky poking out from beneath the greyness.

Here was more evidence of a fort, originally from the Iron Age which was turned into a lookout around the time of Word War One.

The terrain got more challenging – loose earth, mud, and even worse – big climbs. I had to tackle this one on all fours for balance! Suddenly I was pretty happy with my decision to turn back yesterday.

After much moaning and complaining to myself, I finally arrived at the edge of Freshwater West, one of Wales’ finest surfing beaches, and also the scene of a couple of blockbuster movies. In 2009 ‘Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows’. Later that year another film was shot here when the beach was transformed into the scene of a battle for the Scott Ridley film ‘Robin Hood’ starring Kate Blanchette and Russell Crowe.

I looked at the line of the Wales Coast Path. It continued above the beach. All I could see were ascents and descents. Keen to avoid any more unnecessary abuse on my feet with more ups and downs, I decided to climb down to the beach across the rocks.

All of a sudden I appeared to be on Mars.

I left the red planet and continued across the beach and up towards the road. From here the Wales Coast Path is diverted away from the coast inland in order to avoid the Ministry of Defence’s Castlemartin Training Area.

The waymarks changed too.

I don’t remember seeing these road signs in the Highway Code…

The ranges are usually closed to the general public for obvious reasons and you have to ring a special phone line to check which bits are accessible on the day. Fortunately for me, this section was open.

Flimston Chapel is situated right in the middle of the range. You can get a key for it if you want. But I kept walking.

I made it to Flimston Bay, which was looking stunning as the evening came to a close.

The most incredible sight lay ahead, that of the Green Bridge of Wales, an 80-feet high natural arch jutting out from the cliffs. It was breathtaking.

I had the privilege of witnessing yet another of the most stunning of Pembrokeshire sunsets again. I was being spoilt.

I watched the sun go down on the tanks. You can find beauty in the most unlikely places.

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