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Category: Cerdded Cymru – Walking Wales

142. Cydweli (Kidwelly)

142. Cydweli (Kidwelly)


Distance: 1.3 miles

Max Altitude: 17 m

Min Altitude: 4 m

Height Gain: 15 m

Height Loss: 16 m

This was quite clearly one of my shortest walks so far. I left Cydweli following food at the Tea For Two cafe (which is very nice and run by lovely people, incidentally). Before I had even set out, my feet were giving me hell. I had promised myself that I would stop moaning about my feet on this blog, but by the same token, I can’t lie either. I literally hobbled out of the town, wincing. Yesterday had clearly had an impact on the trotters.

The Wales Coast Path hung a right onto a track next to Pembrey Airport towards Pembrey Forest; beyond that there would be a long walk along Cefn Sidan sands. I stood a while at the turn off point and pondered whether I was in a good enough condition to make it the whole way. It was a remote stretch and I would likely be alone for a few hours with no promise of a mobile signal. With my sensible hat on (I do have one in my wardrobe, you know), I decided to not continue.

I was disappointed in myself. I just wanted to walk. Sometimes though, mind over matter just isn’t enough when you’re carrying a chronic and worsening injury. Every day I am told by various people to finish my walk at a later date, or to quit, or to go home altogether for a rest, and every day I resist and carry on.

I suppose it’s hard to grasp why. It baffles even me sometimes. However, this trek is a very personal thing to me, and profoundly so. Also, I’m very stubborn (something inherited from my dad and a trait that I’m convinced is buried deep in my DNA).




And beyond that, this trek aims to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer. Those of us who have witnessed this killer disease know of its horrific cruelty. If I were to quit this trek now because of my feet (no matter what their pitiful state is), or even to postpone it, I would feel as though I were doing a disservice to the cause.

So I will carry on, regardless. Tomorrow though. Today I am having a rest.

141. Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) – Cydweli (Kidwelly)

141. Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) – Cydweli (Kidwelly)


Distance: 16.8 miles

Max Altitude: 135 m

Min Altitude: 5 m

Height Gain: 351 m

Height Loss: 363 m

I left Carmarthen somewhat reluctantly. It had been too much of a flying visit for my liking. However, I needed to get going. I had started to have an idea of a finish date in my mind. Despite not wanting to put pressure on myself, I was beginning to work towards it subconsciously.

I aimed towards the Afon Tywi and crossed the impressive King Morgan footbridge.

Finally I was crossing the river having been on its shoulder for miles.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day for it either. I had a crisp blue sky above me. The Tywi was like a pond.


I followed roadsides and farm tracks set way off from the estuary. I let my mind wander and listened to music to ease the repetition. I caught a glimpse of the Afon Tywi at one point.


Shortly after the above photo was taken I came to a Wales Coast Path way mark which was pointing precisely half way between two different tiny country roads. Which one should I take, the left or the right? Naturally, I chose the wrong one and ended up walking up and down a couple of random roads for a couple of kilometres. But I eventually found my way back to the path.

I arrived in Glan-y-Fferi (Ferryside) and stopped for snacks. I crossed the railway line down to the shore.

Opposite me was Llansteffan, my starting point yesterday. There was once a ferry running between here and Llansteffan. Incredibly, it was used by Gerallt Gymro (Giraldus Cambrensis / Gerald of Wales) way back in 1188. Now there is no such service nowadays of course, and you have to drive or bribe someone with a boat.

From Ferryside I followed a tiny country road which hugged the coast tightly.

These burgeoning pumpkins were set out on the side of the road to entice people into a farm shop and cafe. I wanted to go in so badly but on the other hand I needed to push on in order to get to Cydweli. Look at them though. Just beautiful.

To my right was extensive marshland as I snaked away from the Tywi estuary and further up the Gwendraeth Fach estuary. So many estuaries, so little time (and energy).

Finally, I was on the outskirts of Cydweli.

I followed signs to the castle. This is one that I had never seen before today, to my shame. I was intrigued by the bizarre scarecrow standing in the field in front of it.


This was built by the invading Normans as a defence against the Welsh. However, it fell to the Welsh several times during the twelfth century. When Owain Glyndŵr tried to take it with help from French and Breton forces, he didn’t do very well.

Centuries later, it was invaded successfully by ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ and used as a filming location, proving that the pen is ultimately mightier than the sword maybe.

My day was at an end. By tomorrow, my estuary walking days would be at an end and I’d finally be back on the true coast once more.

140. Llansteffan – Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

140. Llansteffan – Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)


Distance: 10.62 miles

Max Altitude: 108 m

Min Altitude: 7 m

Height Gain: 240 m

Height Loss: 229 m

Today was going to be a good day. I would be arriving in to Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen), the largest town I’d visited since Bangor. I would get to enjoy some browsing around shops and meeting up with my friend, Joann. So I set off bright and early.

I had already been warned that today wasn’t exactly the most inspiring of walks by both Terry and Joann. The Wales Coast Path follows small country lanes and farm tracks set well away from the estuary’s edge. With that in mind, here was my basic day’s view –

Although there was this red phone box in Llangain.

From Johnstown I followed the pavement into Carmarthen itself. This is a town very familiar to me from my childhood. The name Caerfyrddin means ‘Merlin’s Castle’ in English, for those of you who don’t know. With reference to Arthurian legend, make of that what you will.

I browsed around the town, including the relatively new market hall. 

I browsed the shops but didn’t buy anything. I went into Cotswold Outdoors and looked around. With fewer than 200 miles left of my journey, there didn’t seem much point getting anything new. Though I did spot these on a shelf. Are they really the secret to an energy-laden trek? Better than a Welsh cake? I doubt it.

Where the old market once stood is now a shopping precinct but this sculpture has been placed here as a reminder of where it once stood.

I met Joann and her mum Lyndy and we went for food together. It was such a tonic to sit and have food with good friends. I think I must have talked their ears off though. After tea, I said a sorry goodbye to the two and we couldn’t resist taking this selfie.

Home was now tantalisingly close and reaching Carmarthen was another psychological milestone for me. Onwards.

139. Talacharn (Laugharne) – Llansteffan

139. Talacharn (Laugharne) – Llansteffan

Distance: 14.29 miles

Max Altitude: 106 m

Min Altitude: 1 m

Height Gain: 360 m

Height Loss: 359 m

My wishes came true because I woke to a blue sky with clouded sunshine in Laugharne. Today would be a good day. I did a quick stat check and realised that I had reached the 1001th mile of my hike yesterday coupled with a total climb of 83,000ft. Today would be an even better day.

I set off from the castle.

A castle was established here in 1116. After being burnt down it was rebuilt by the Normans, and captured by Llywelyn Fawr in 1215. During the English Civil War the castle was captured by Royalists in 1644. During this time it was destroyed by cannon and left to go to rack and ruin.

Just a couple of hundred metres down the coast stands the famous Dylan Thomas Boathouse.

It would be hard to not be inspired by the view from the Boathouse.

Just before the path reaches the Boathouse, it passes by Thomas’ writing shed.

It has been left pretty much as it was.

I have visited the Boathouse a few times before now. Maybe I should have gone in again. It’s another to add to the return list.

I continued to be wowed by the view and the enormous sky.

After this point the path deviated away from the coast. It was to remain pretty much – except for a couple of instances – that way for the next few days.

I met a couple of women on the track who were lost and asked me for directions. I told them where they were and where they needed to be. They pointed east and asked me where they’d get to if they just continued that way. “This is the Wales Coast Path and you’ll end up in Chepstow”, I said.

The clouds were rolling in by the time I got to Sanclêr (St Clears) and crossed the Afon Taf.

And within minutes I was crossing another river, this time the Afon Dewi Fawr.

The Wales Coast Path deviated way inland yet again, across farmland and down tiny country roads until I got to Llansteffan. It may have been dull but I was grateful for the simple terrain – less chance of rolling my ankle on an even surface for one thing.

Opposite me was Glan-y-Fferi (Ferryside) and where I’d be walking past in a couple of days.

138. Pentywyn (Pendine) – Talacharn (Laugharne)

138. Pentywyn (Pendine) – Talacharn (Laugharne)

Distance: 8.13 miles

Max Altitude: 51 m

Min Altitude: 5 m

Height Gain: 130 m

Height Loss: 130 m

I was keen to put in some decent miles today in spite of my feet.

Pentywyn (Pendine) boasts ‘seven miles of golden sands’. You see it everywhere on signage and whatnot. It was on those sands that Malcolm Campbell set the world land speed record in his car, Blue Bird. Since then it’s been used for all sorts of speed-related records and escapades.

During the Second World War, the Ministry of Defence got hold of Pendine Sands for use as a firing range, and they still own those seven miles of golden sands to this day. For this reason, the Wales Coast Path detours far inland to avoid the range. What a crying shame.

What followed thereafter was a dull and uninspiring trudge along the side of the road, mainly, and in rain showers. The weather wasn’t as bad as yesterday, which was something.

I walked for ages until I could turn off the road in order to walk along farmland. Some familiar sights were there to greet me.

In fact, this lot started to follow me. Maybe they realised that I needed some moral support.

As did this pair.

I started looking around for different things to photograph. A barbed wire gate was the best I could come up with.

But then, after climbing a series of steps, I was given the most awesome view and vantage point.

I hadn’t realised it at the time but I had stumbled onto ‘Dylan’s Birthday Walk’. In 1944, the poet had written ‘Poem in October’ about a walk he took on his birthday, to the shoulder of Sir John’s hill (which was where I was standing). The poem is simply about his love of Laugharne and getting older. The poem was set on the 27th of October, 1944, his 30th birthday. Not the exact date that I was walking, but close enough and the right month besides anything else! I smiled at the almost coincidence.

Each bench I encountered featured a different verse from the poem.

Here is the poem in question, in case you’re wondering –

‘Poem in October’ by Dylan Thomas

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
Priested shore
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
On the hill’s shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
With apples
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.

And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart’s truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year’s turning.

I walked along reading the benches and the little bits and bobs of Dylan Thomas along the way. With that I was opposite Castell Talacharn (Laugharne Castle).

And of course, the world famous, Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse, photographed below in the centre of frame close to the water. His writing shed is a little to the left of the Boathouse.

My walk finished in the shadow of the castle.

 I would wait for tomorrow until I actually walked past Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse, and I would hope for better weather too.

137. Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Tenby) – Pentywyn (Pendine)

137. Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Tenby) – Pentywyn (Pendine)

Distance: 11.74 miles

Max Altitude: 103 m

Min Altitude: 5 m

Height Gain: 323 m

Height Loss: 343 m


I was back on the trail today after a day off yesterday. I had to go on the hunt for a new phone after the demise of the old one. Thrilled with my new addition, I was looking forward to a day of walking and phone photography.

It’s fair to say that over these past few weeks I’ve been spoilt with regards to the weather. Somehow the sun has shone on me almost every day whilst I’ve been in Pembrokeshire. Yes I’ve had a few light showers here and there but I can’t remember the last time I had torrential rain (that’s why I’m writing these blogs…so I don’t have to remember).

That all changed today and not by half either. Torrential would be an understatement. Biblical, more like. Had I not had yesterday off I would probably have retreated indoors when I saw the rain. However, I didn’t want to miss out on yet another day’s walking. So I donned my waterproofs and headed out of Tenby.

I’d love to tell you that it was fresh and bracing and that I loved every second. That would be a massive lie though. I’m not a rain person, never have been, never will be. The truth is that I trudged in misery for miles on end, my new phone firmly in my waterproof pocket. I got to Saundersfoot, somewhere that I’d been looking forward to. The rain poured harder. I continued without a single photo of the village or of anything else for that matter.

On and on I slogged, finally arriving in Amroth. I had reached the end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

It felt bittersweet.

There was hope of a blue sky in the distance but it felt like Pembrokeshire was spitting me out into Carmarthenshire. I knew that I would miss this section. Despite the struggles and difficulties it had become a part of me. I could foresee spending a lot more time here in the future.

I carried on walking, with the blue sky taunting me in the distance.

By the time I got to Pentywyn (Pendine), the showers were only light but the sea was full of chop. High spring tides were imminent, and coupled with the rain, local residents were out and about preparing for flooding.

There was only one thing for it. I headed into the Springwell Inn pub to dry out. It wasn’t just me who’d had that idea. When I walked through the door there was a topless man at the bar. “Sorry”, he said to me when he caught my eye, “I got stuck in the rain and I’m trying to dry my clothes off”. His coat and sweater were hanging up above the stove.

I sat in the window looking at the dirty storm outside. Another chapter of my journey was over. Pembrokeshire was done and I was feeling nostalgic already.

135. Maenorbŷr (Manorbier) – Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Tenby)

135. Maenorbŷr (Manorbier) – Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Tenby)

Distance: 9.07 miles

Max Altitude: 75 m

Min Altitude: 9 m

Height Gain: 163 m

Height Loss: 158 m



After passing out last night from exhaustion, I’d had solid night’s sleep. Boy had I needed it. Truthfully, by now, I feel like I need days worth of sleep in order to recover properly. It won’t be long before that’s possible though.

I was lucky to have yet another day of sunshine and a blue sky. Just what I needed to accompany me on my walk. I started underneath Manorbier Castle once more.


I headed towards the beach on the Wales Coast Path. It was so peaceful. Once again, I almost had the entire place to myself.


I took a final look back at the village before rounding the headland.

I really should have taken more notice of this sign. At this point in my hike, I wasn’t to know how useful this information would be.

The Wales Coast Path took me past Carreg Coitan (King’s Quoit) burial chamber. This is a neolithic tomb which is literally perched on the path overlooking the bay.

Surely this must be one of the most spectacular locations in Britain for such a burial chamber?

I headed onwards. The path on this section is precarious. There are steep and severe drops every few metres. Certainly not for the faint hearted!

However, it was yet another perfect day for walking.

Ah the Wales Coast Path….(!)

I could see Air Defence Range Manorbier in the distance but thought nothing of it. Suddenly though, I heard a buzzing. There was nothing in the sea or in the air…. or was there? I shielded my eyes and looked up at the sky, scanning for aircraft. Nothing. Then it twigged. I was hearing a drone. I couldn’t see it but I could certainly hear it buzzing over the water. After about five minutes, the buzzing stopped. Daydreaming, I continued walking. Then…..BOOM! A huge explosion rattled me out of my musings and took my breath away. See, I really should have paid attention to that earlier sign.


I carried on, still fairly alarmed. The footing was loose and I lost my balance falling into a gorse bush. Gah!

I continued hiking, while trying to pick dozens of tiny needles from my hand, arm, leg and backside. What a sight I would have looked if anybody had seen me.

The path cut inland to avoid the range. My book promised a cafe up ahead at the Youth Hostel Association so I made a beeline for that. I was gasping for a nice cup of tea. Just my luck though, it was closed.


I doubled back on myself in order to get a good look at the bits I’d missed whilst on my quest for tea. I knew that there were some amazing sights on this stretch and it would have been a crime to miss them.

Sure enough, near Skrinkle Haven, was the phenomenon known as the Church Doors, named because because two high arched caves in the cliffs resemble the doorways of a church. I had to descend a set of very steep steps in order to get down to this bit. But this sight was worth every single one. I sat a while and just stared. How magnificent.

I sighed as I left this magical spot, and kept looking back until the doors were out of sight. Back at the youth hostel again further down the path, I heard the familiar buzzing sound again. Another drone. In no time, there was another explosion (which I was ready for this time). And then the most extraordinary sight. Flying right across my line of vision was the Banshee drone (yes, I’ve looked it up). It travelled a couple of hundred metres maybe before a large red parachute popped out of it and down it floated to earth. It’s not every day you see that sort of thing.

Honestly, between one thing and another, the Wales Coast Path has more variety that most other trails on earth. I’d be keen to see one with more, frankly.

Lydstep was my next port of call. And a wonderful view of Ynys Bŷr (Caldey Island). A small group of Cistercian monks inhabit the island, and to my shame, I have never visited despite the hundreds of times I’ve been to Pembrokeshire. I must remedy that before long.

It was getting cold and my phone was playing up. I had dropped it on the floor last night and it wasn’t right. I kept rebooting all day long but to little effect.

I got to Dinbych-y-Pysgod (Tenby) early evening. South Beach was looking as stunning as ever.

To my horror I saw my first Christmas tree of the season in the window of the Belgrave Hotel. Come on guys, it’s not even Halloween yet!

However, there were much more pleasant sights on the Esplanade.

Most notably, Ynys Catrin (St Catherine’s Island) came into view. At low tide you can walk over to it from Castle Beach, not that I ever have. It’s always fascinated me though. There’s a little cafe on Castle Beach that overlooks it and I’ve sat there countless times with a cup of tea staring at it. I had been intending to visit the island and the fort that’s built on it on this walk. It’s another Palmerston fort, and I’ve now walked past several since Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock.

The fort on the island was open to the public. However, I learnt a few weeks ago that it was shutting due to ongoing planning problems with the Tenby Town Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Park. For shame, is all I can say. Icons like this should be protected and encouraged not left to go to rack and ruin. I feel very bad for the people who tried to get this project off the ground in the face of such myopic opposition. I hope for a positive outcome for St Catherine’s Fort but I’m not holding my breath. Rant over.

Anyway, I should tell you that Tenby really is one of my favourite places. There are gems around every corner.

And the devil is always in the detail in Tenby.

Here’s the oldest building in the town, the Tudor Merchant’s House. The house was built in the late 15th century. It’s owned and run by the National Trust.

I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of people have taken this exact photograph…. It’s practically mandatory when you’re in Tenby.

I’d say that this is a one of a kind though.

After a plate of chips (it had to be done) I re-examined my poorly phone. I’d have to do something about it if it wasn’t sorted by the morning.


134. Broadhaven – Maenorbŷr (Manorbier)

134. Broadhaven – Maenorbŷr (Manorbier)

Distance: 9.19 miles

Max Altitude: 85 m

Min Altitude: 8 m

Height Gain: 408 m

Height Loss: 425 m

Two days ago I attempted to do today’s walk but ended up giving in after a few metres due to my enormous and painful ankle. I was disappointed in myself. There was to be consolation, however.

Terry and his friend John had driven down to see me and to have a walk. Terry had forgotten that Castlemartin would be closed for firing though, meaning no walking on that section. So instead, we shot the breeze and just enjoyed the downtime in Tenby. What a tonic to talk to someone who has undertaken a similar  challenge and experienced the same things.

The next day was another day off. I considered going to A&E for my ankle but instead spent the day with my foot elevated and on ice. I also had the pleasure of meeting Frans (my host at St Ann’s Head) for a cup of tea. The most wonderful things about this challenge has been the people that I have been fortunate enough to meet along the way. So many still keep in touch with me via text and social media. And meeting up is a extra treat. I feel very lucky.

Back to the trail then…

I started from Broadhaven on the National Trust’s Stockpole Estate. There were barely any people about and I had the entire beach to myself.

Even the rock pools looked perfect.

It was a wonderful October’s day, which felt more like summer than summer. The only clue that it wasn’t was the nip in the air.

I soon reached Barafundle, one of Pembrokeshire’s best kept non-secrets. There’s no parking for at least half a mile meaning that people who come here have made the special effort to arrive on foot. It’s often completely deserted and consistently gets voted one of the world’s best beaches. You can see why.

I sat on the beach and ate a snack. There were a few people milling about but not too many. I made the climb up the beach stairs.

Barafundle = incredible.

Walking around the headland I got to Stackpole, where I had a cup of tea in the cafe and charged my phone. This is the tiny harbour there. It seemed that there was a slice of perfection around every turn.

After tea I continued. The layers in the cliffs were unbelievable.

I spotted this red tractor.

My next port of call was Freshwater East.

I had to negotiate my way through dunes so I was very grateful for the Wales Coast Path waymarks.

I think I should probably have stopped for some proper food at Freshwater East but I decided to push on in order to get to Manorbier faster.

It wasn’t long before I started to flag. Fatigue started setting in. There seemed to be re-entrant after re-entrant, each one sapping my energy more than the last.

By the time I rounded the headland to get to Manorbier, I had started laughing like a hyena, but not from amusement. The stunning vistas were scant consolation.

Relieved, I finished my walk underneath Manorbier Castle. It was built in the 12th century by a Norman knight. This is also where Gerallt Gymro, or Geraldus Cambrensis, or Gerald of Wales was born. He declared it the most pleasant place in Wales. This is firmly on my return list.

I was relieved to have gotten through the day. It had been hard and I was shattered. I would sleep well if nothing else.

131. Castlemartin Range – Broadhaven

131. Castlemartin Range – Broadhaven

Distance: 5.8 miles

Max Altitude: 58 m

Min Altitude: 31 m

Height Gain: 84 m

Height Loss: 93 m

Today’s walk started once again from the Castlemartin Firing Ranges. The Wales Coast Path was open for business and possible to be walked. I was glad because I had heard that this particular stretch is beautiful and not to be missed. I was also happy to avoid a lengthy detour inland.

My first stop was the Elegug Stacks (or Stack Rocks), which are two pillars of rock rising from the water. Yet another stunning feature on the Pembrokeshire coast. The two stacks are important nesting sites for guillemots and kittiwakes, in fact ‘elegug’ is the Welsh word for ‘guillemot’.

The path lay incredibly close to the edge of the cliff, hence many signs like this –

I keep using the word breathtaking, but for good reason, I think.

There were several seals on the beach below, including a pup. I hadn’t seen seals for quite some time so I was delighted to be reacquainted.

Sometimes it’s easy, on this stretch, to forget that you’re actually walking across a firing range.

I spotted a band of climbers making good use of the cliffs at Huntsman’s Leap. The name comes from local legend in which a hunter on horseback is said to have jumped from one side of the gap to the other whilst being chased. When he looked back and saw the gap that he had jumped, he died of shock.

Arriving at St Govan’s Head I made my way down the steps to St Govan’s Chapel. Apparently, the number of steps differs on the way down to the number on the way up. Hmm (no I didn’t count).

This tiny chapel is built into the side of the limestone cliff.

The story goes that Sant Gofan or St Govan as an Irish monk who travelled to Wales, but was chased by pirates. He hid in the cliffs here.

This building dates from the 13th century but it’s possible that some bits go back to the sixth century.

After the climb back up the stairs (again, I didn’t count the number of steps, sorry!), I continued past various structures on the range.

The scenery continued to be incredible.

I was very much enjoying the walk. It was easy underfoot and the surroundings were inspiring.

I honestly could have stayed all day long. It’s such a shame that this stretch of coastline isn’t open all the time.

I wasn’t the only one appreciating the scenery.

I was arriving into Broadhaven on the National Trust’s Stockpile estate. My day was almost at an end.

I had enjoyed the walk immensely. However, my feet had different ideas, in particular my right one. When I removed my socks I discovered that my ankle had grown a small pillow. Oh dear.

Will I be able to walk tomorrow?

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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