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?