Home Coast to Coast Pennine Way West Highland Way Southern Upland Way Cambrian Way

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Information Introduction Postscript
Days 6-9 10-13 14-19

Day 1. St.Dogmaels to Alt Y Goed - 3.5 miles

St.DogmaelsAfter a long journey, leaving home at 7.00am, we arrive at St. Dogmaels at 5.00pm. We are stiff and tired from the train ride but the sky is blue and we are in good spirits. We sit on a bench for 5 minutes and admire the scenery. Teifi estuary

The route begins on tarmac and immediately begins to climb. A view of the whole estuary opens out. The country lane rises to over 425 feet and is very steep at times. It seems a lot further than 3.5 miles to Alt-Y-Goed and we are very pleased to see the camping field.

The site is equipped with just a tap and we are the only campers. We pitch and cook dinner. Two hens and a cockerel run the full length of the field towards us and the cockerel proceeds to have his wicked way with the hens in front of the tent. These are followed, later, by three labrador puppies, probably allured by the smell of balti curry (I feel I should apologise to the chickens for the contents). Two of the puppies are well behaved but the third, who seems a bit retarded to me, almost has his nose in the cooking pot!

By now it is getting quite dark and we are pleased to settle down, leaving the puppies on guard outside.

Day 2. Alt Y Goed to Pen Pistyll -11 miles

We leave at 7am and negotiate the first of over 400 stiles along the path. They are numbered. The first is 479. We will be counting down. Every stile has a noticed attached - “Cliffs Kill!”.

Cardigan Island with Cardigan Bay in the distanceOur goal today is Newport. It is overcast but there are clear views. It is quite windy but this we expect on a coastal path. We round Cemaes Head. The folds in the cliffs at Pen-Yr-Afr are quite spectacular and a disused coastguard station can be seen in the distancePen Yr Afr

It is hard work. The path is well defined but steeply up and down. Strenuous but not difficult. cliffs around Traeth Y Rhedyn

We stop for a cup of tea around Pwllygranant. I have a leading store's “finest” chocolate doughnuts in my sack and have been looking forward to them all morning. They are awful - they taste like they are covered in cooking chocolate. I feed them to a slug who seems to quite enjoy them.

anticlinal folding

The scenery is magnificent as we approach Ceibwr Bay. The high cliffs are wild and beautiful. The weather improves and the sun manages to break through. We can see our destination in the far distance. We climb up and down, up and down, but it never seems to get any nearer!

Ceibwr Bay We reach Ceibwr Bay which is the perfect spot for lunch. We cross the stream, which flows out to sea, by a plank footbridge, sit on the rocks by the deserted beach and contentedly munch our sandwiches.

rock formationFulmers are said to nest on the rocks around here. We do see a few sea birds but too far away for positive identification. We stop for a while where the path to Treriffith meets the coastal path and are joined by some wild ponies. wild ponies This takes us completely by surprise as we have heard no mention of them whilst researching the path. There are about a dozen, obviously led by the stallion in front. The ponies further along the path keep looking back and seem to want to leave but are waiting for the stallion's permission to go. On with the packs again and we continue along the path which undulates incessantly. In the guide book it says “remembered for changes in the vertical”. The cliffs here are over 500ft above sea level. Atlantic grey seals breed on the isolated beaches below but we are too high up to be able to spot any. high cliffslooking back

We have reached Morfa Head and are, by now, very tired. It has been a very strenuous day. We can see Newport sands ahead of us. So near in the horizontal plane yet it seems so far as we still have several more "ups and downs" before we get there. We have seen only one person on the path today. Newport We come across the small bay of Pen Pistyll about a mile from Newport Bridge. It has the added advantage of running water in the form of a small waterfall over the cliffs. We are so tired it is too good to pass by. I am not so sure it will be possible to put up the tent but Charlie is very resourceful. He anchors the tent to the cliff and secures the guys with the flat dinner plate stones that fill the bay after having first arranged them to make a fairly flat surface. I am also not sure about the high tide line which doesn't look that far away to me. Pen Pistyll I cook dinner while Charl is putting up the tent and we eat as we watch the sun go down. sunset sundown The sun disappears below the horizon and we turn in for the night to the sound of the waves. I am still a little concerned about the high tide line but Charl assures me it is ok. The sea sounds so much nearer in the dark! I start to drift off but hear movement in the tent. Charl is watching the tide come in with the torch. I smile to myself as a few minutes ago he was so confident but safe in this knowledge, I fall asleep.

Day 3. Pen Pistyll to Parrog - 1-5 miles

water supply We awake, still on dry land. The dinner plates were surprisingly comfortable. We are both feeling very lethargic after yesterday’s exertions. Our level of fitness is not what it should be due to foot and mouth and the fact that most paths in Britain have been closed throughout the Spring and Summer. We have not, therefore, carried out our usual fitness training. We leave at 10am and decide just to cover the next 1.5 miles to Parrog, the old harbour and sands serving Newport which was yesterday’s destination. We watch a flock of dunlin on the rocks during breakfast, pack up, say goodbye to the seagull which has accompanied us for most of the morning and head for the campsite at Parrog. We camp and walk into Newport for supplies.

Day 4. Parrog to Aber Grugog - 8.5 miles

We leave Parrog at 8.30am and eat a banana breakfast on a bench at the end of the harbour. We climb up on to the cliffs once more. Today it is very gusty. There are many quiet and unspoilt bays along the way, all only accessible by foot. Aberfforest has a private road to the beach and many small boats are moored there. aberfforest Cwm-Yr-Eglwys It is still very windy which makes it hard going with full rucksacks. We do not take the Dinas Island circuit but take the inland path. It is a relief to be sheltered from the wind for a short while and we sit on a bench to have lunch and listen to woodland birds as opposed to gulls.Fishguard Bay

Back on the cliffs, once more, and our destination for the day in the form of a caravan site on the cliffs can just be seen in the distance. Aber Bach We reach Aber Bach, an unspoilt bay with no road access. It is too good to walk by so we stop for a tea break and have the bay all to ourselves. Once back on the cliff top, the campsite begins to look a little nearer. The sunny intervals are more frequent now. Only a few more “ups and downs”. Dinas Island

We arrive at Aber Grugog and the campsite at 3.00pm. We manage to do our washing and dry it in the wind on the cliff top. We have seen some considerable wildlife today. We watched cormorants fishing, a young hen harrier accompanied by the pair and a colony of guilimots.

Day 5. Aber Grugog to Porthsychan - 11 miles

heather outcrop We leave Aber Grugog at around 8.30am. We begin with a change of terrain - heather and rocky outcrops and the sun is all ready breaking through billowy clouds. toward FishguardAt Castle Point there are the ruins of an 18C castle and three canon. It is very blustery on the point and difficult to hold the camera still. 18C canon We approach Fishguard harbour. The view is magical with the sun glistening on the water. We go down into Fishguard, which feels as if it belongs to a bygone age, and climb up the other side to Saddle Point. The view back to the harbour from here is just as good. toward Fishguard Harbour Fishguard Harbour from Saddle Point Castle Point from Saddle Point From Saddle Point we go down, once more, into Goodwick. Goodwick, being more commercialised and busy, is totally different from Fishguard. We stop here, watch the ferry come in and enjoy a huge piece of cake and a cup of tea in the café.

The road out of Goodwick is extremely steep. As we are concentrating on dragging ourselves and our packs up the hill, we completely miss the path off and end up touring the Pembrokeshire farming community. Eventually, we re-discover the path.

Carregwastad MemorialWe reach Carregwastad Point where the memorial commemorates the last invasion of Britain, by the French in 1797. Also in this area, we see several choughs with their distinctive red beaks and legs.

Seal in Porthsychan Bay

The day continues with the usual ups and downs and many coves and bays. Whilst looking for the path off to the campsite at Tresinwen we come across a small bay. It has all the facilities we need, a flat grassy bank to pitch the tent and a fresh water inlet - perfect. It is around 4.00pm. We sit on the bank in the sunshine and watch a seal in the bay. We see a bird of prey but it disappears too quickly to identify.

I cook dinner and we eat in the tent. We can hear the seal calling outside - wish I had a tin of sardines! I peer outside. It is just a small black dot in the sea! We are nearly out of gas. I hope we have enough to keep us in tea until we reach Trefin tomorrow.