Posted in Wales

31st Aug – 11th Sept, Pembrokeshire, Wales

1st – 11th September, Wander into Wales

Not having holidays in Wales for some 40 years or so, it was time to try it out again. Pembrokeshire is a long way from home so we stopped in Cardiff for a night at a very convenient site within an easy walk of the centre. Walking alongside the River Taff and over the bridge into the city centre took only 15 minutes, and as Chris is a ‘beer man’ we stopped off at Tiny Rebel and enjoyed a refreshing drink before continuing to explore the city. The old and modern buildings blend together and the shopping arcades branch off each with a unique look and individual shops.

The streets in the evening looked colourful and inviting, our evening meal was excellent at Ty Madeira Restaurant and very authentic with Madeiran staff, also accurate paintings on the walls of scenes we recognise so well from our numerous trips to the island since the year 2000.

Continuing our journey we finally arrived at Freshwater East on the southern coast further west than Tenby. The site is very well situated with a beautiful long beach nearby, the pitches have lots space with views of the hills beyond and access to the coast path walks in either direction. We chose to go north and after a steep climb arrived on a plateau looking down over rocks to small coves, meandering along pathways between bracken and blackberries in the direction of Stackpole Quay. After a short pause and refreshments at the National Trust cafe, we continued to Barafundle Bay beach coming down from the hills and through a stone archway to cross the beach and onwards past a huge pointed rock column with great views over the sea and over the clifftops.

Turning inland through the sand dunes towards the Bosherston Lakes, we sat by a bridge for a picnic lunch before continuing along lightly wooded pathways alongside the lakes. The lily flowers were less prolific than they might have been earlier in the year, but the lovely white petals with yellow centres looked like cooked eggs dotted in the leaves floating on the water.

From Bosherston we travelled most of the way back using the Coastal Cruiser 387/388 to Pembroke on a small and perfectly suited bus for the narrow lanes. The long and winding rural route was accompanied by a fine commentary at intervals along the way from Gordon, our driver. We were informed about many points of interest from the MOD area, churches, flat roofed architecture, birds of prey and more besides as we travelled via Freshwater West, up to Angle and back through Newton, before arriving over an hour later just below Pembroke Castle. During our 4 days staying in Freshwater East, we used Gordon’s bus every day at some point, he made our journeys so interesting and we learned a lot about the area. It was nice to be met by a happy driver and he made our stay in this part of Wales so much more accessible that we branched out further, knowing we could return easily and be dropped off outside the campsite.

Gordon took us to Pembroke castle on a bit of a dull day, the tour by one of the castle guides was both entertaining and informative, there were great views from the walls where you could see the river away below. On the open space inside the walls a huge map of Wales had been made on the ground showing the positions of all the castles and this illustrated very well how defended the county had been.

The coastal walks and scenery are so beautiful , along winding pathways between bracken, open grassy hilltops, steep paths up and down with views over the edge into pretty bays. We walked from the campsite to Manorbier Castle, in use that day for a wedding, and on into the village for refreshments and caught Gordon’s bus back.

Also on the bus route was a village called Lamphey where there was a ruined Bishop’s Palace and the remnants of a church, great halls, living quarters and surrounding walls. Large storage buildings called ‘butts’ used almost like a cellar, the ‘payments’ of ale, grain, vegetables and other produce were collected from the people of the villages and farms for the use of the land. These then supplied the clergy and entertained any visiting dignitaries. It was a really beautiful place to visit and completely free.

Along the lane leading out of the village we walked to a garden opened for charity and spent a pleasant time wandering among the flowers, fruit and vegetables. Our treat for the day was to buy scones, jam and cream to take away and eat later back at the campsite.

Leaving south Pembrokeshire and travelling north, we stopped off at Broad Haven, a wide bay and expanse of sand with rock pools at either side. A happy hour was spent pottering among the pools, looking at small crabs, blennies, mussels and hermit crabs scurrying around. Walking over the black rocks there was the much to see with thrust faults in evidence, it was easy to see the lines of activity and directions of movement, quite fascinating to walk over and observe. All in all a great stop off on the way to St David’s.

An easy walk from the new campsite lead us along quiet back lanes and tracks to Britain’s smallest city, St Davids, the most westerly point of Wales before Ireland. Visiting the wonderful cathedral was a highlight for us with the amazing features and craftsmanship within. Ornate arches lined the Nave leading to the main altar with tall organ pipes behind and a high wooden ceiling. There were numerous intricate tiled floors, decorated ceilings and stained glass windows.

An equally stunning modern work of art in the form of a semi circular embroidery, displaying incredible talent and was completed in 2014.

The city itself is small with some interesting buildings, individual shops, cafes and tea rooms and the modern chain stores tastefully ‘hidden’ within old buildings having understated signage. Delicious ice creams with interesting flavours were consumed before making our way back via the ruin of the Bishops Palace situated below the cathedral.

The Peak of Carn Llidl overlooks the campsite standing at 594 feet with its rocky outline stretching out in a line and offered a walk right over the ridge. Kitted out with walking boots and coats we walked carefully and nearly ascended the highest point before being unable to find the way up to the top, nevertheless, satisfied with our achievements and having enjoyed the wonderful views, we made our way down again.

Safely back on flat short grass at the bottom of our climb, I managed to quite badly sprain my ankle on a small stone which made the walk back slow and painful. Iced, elevated and rested for 24 hours, we took the bus to Porthgain and managed a mainly level clifftop coastal walk to Abereiddy where we saw a seal pup on a rocky bay and black choughs flew overhead.

The Blue Lagoon near the end of our walk was beautiful in colour even on a dullish day and we watched people jumping into it’s depths with guidance from instructors. Quite mad or brave, however you wish to phrase it.

Our last place to visit was Silva and we arrived on a bus to find a small town at the head of an estuary. Very pretty and we enjoyed a picnic lunch before walking out over the headland along grassy pathways before my ankle decided enough was enough. A slow walk back to the top of the village and bus back to the campsite before packing up ready for our drive home.

A southerly route took us via Crofty on the Gower to see good motorhoming friends Gilly and Alan, spending the afternoon chatting at the home and having a lovely pub meal out together later. Too much time spent chatting meant I forgot to take photos, so here is a sunset from the campsite.

Author:

We retired at last and 2017 is the start of our next chapter. We now have a home on wheels in which to travel around Europe, follow the sun and whatever else takes our fancy.

3 thoughts on “31st Aug – 11th Sept, Pembrokeshire, Wales

  1. WOW Lucy these pics are fantastic! I love those shopping arcades,. Loved all the various castles. And the cliffs and beaches are spectacular!

    Like

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