April 2017 Boys Week

As my wife was attending our niece’s wedding in Majorca, Andy thought he would visit and keep me company with a possible chance of some outdoor activity.

Whilst he was travelling down from Chester I took out two dogs from Many Tears Animal rescue for a walk on Llansteffan Beach.



The plan for the rest of the week was alternate days cycling and walking.


I chose a ride, “Cliffs and Castles”, from Jack Thurstons book “Lost Lanes of Wales”. We started and finished in Pembroke.




The routes in the above book are graded, easy, moderate and challenging. This ride was described as moderate and this will be my benchmark as there were two small stretches of bike pushing and clearly at my age challenging will go unridden!

Part of the ride was along the coast at Castlemartin where the coast is frequently closed for tank amd live firing practice. Use this link.


Elegug Stacks


Holiday home for guillemots


A boots on day and we headed for Carmarthen Fans. Thankfully we had been there before as we saw very little!


The lanes leading down to Llyn Y Fan Fach is full of potholes and  and attempt at sleeping policemen. However since my last visit there is a new parking area.

We realised that there would be little or no views as  we left the car park but the weather forecast did indicate the mist would lift. Unfortunately this happened as we returned to the car!


New parking area


Afon Sawdde

The walk to the lake was in clear weather but it soon clamped in and our coffee break we assumed was next to the lake. Ever optimistic we struck up for the top and had a scenic lacking lunch at the cairn. In view of the weather we did not go on to the next top but descended by the path in the bwlch which led under the hill.



The mist was now clearing at the lower levels as we headed for the leat and across the top of the small waterfall to rejoin our outgoing path.



Back on the bikes. Today we parked by the Lougher Bridge the dividing line between those who support the Scarlets or the Ospreys!


In the heart of Osprey land!

Our destination was the beach front at Aberavon. The route is mainly traffic free and like the Cheshire area where Andy lives it is flat.


The first part of the ride down to Swansea Bay I have ridden several times but the section to Aberavon was new. We were following NCN 4 most of the way and apart from the area near the marina it is well signposted.


Swansea Marina

The Bay area and the promenade at Aberavon was busy with walkers, runners and cyclists on this fine but chilly day.


The new sign for the Brexit tangle!


The old pumping station at the disused Swansea south and north dock.

The legs were starting to ache a little after this 40 mile cycle and we had another walking day on Thursday! Our luck was in though as a close friend had invited us to tea and the pasta meal followed by bread and butter pudding was a great restorative.


Hooray Andy goes back tonight!

We were meeting up with Mr and Mrs “Navigator” today for a walk on Mynydd Myddfai.


The weather was clear and sunny and this walk gave fine views first of the Carmarthen Fans then central Brecon Beacons and finally to hills further east.





Carmarthen Fans and some old guy.


Corn Ddu and Pen y Fan


Frightened tree

Andy and I walked part of this route earlier in the year but the “Navigator” extended to the walk to the area where the Roman camps used to be.








With Mr and Mrs Navigator keen to show off their tan lines from a break in gran Canaria a walk was arranged on the Pembrokeshire coast. The forecast was heavy rain until about 1130 and sun thereafter and so we motored slowly and had our morning coffee break in the car above Abermawr beach.


It was still raining as we set off but this had not deterred three Park Rangers busy digging out a new path near the beach.

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Abercastle 003


Our route struck inland through a woodland which in a few weeks will be covered in wild garlic, and then onto lanes leading down to Abercastle and the coast.

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Abercastle beach

Abercastle 007

he knew Trump was coming!

The sun was now shining and we had a grand walk back to the car at Abermawr.

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Abercastle 009

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The famous Pembrokeshire wall climbing sheep

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We came across this little shrew busily chewing on an obviously tasty leaf and took very little notice of us as we busied ourselves taking his/her photo.

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Dinas Island Pembs.

With the “Navigator” back from enduring high temperatures in Cyprus, today’s walk although with blue skies, there was a dramatic shift in the mercury.

Our destination was a walk taking in Dinas Island on the coast and a walk inland to obtain good views of the coast.



The car was parked at Pwllgwaelod and we walked clockwise around the headland. One could be forgiven for assuming global warming had gone mad as the highest point was Pen Y Fan. My last time up to Pen Y Fan I distinctly remember it was in the heart of the Brecon Beacons with no coastal view!


Pwllgwaelod beach



The other Pen y Fan



Cwm yr Eglwys





What is left of the church following a storm

From Cwm yr Eglwys we headed south crossing the main Fishguard road and onto Bwlch Mawr to the viewpoint for a lunch stop and fine views of the coast.



Here’s the link about the fund






Westerly winds!

After food our route was west to the coast and back to the car.




The 31 October and here we are walking in shirtsleeves. Today’s venue was a circular walk based on Newgale,  Pembrokeshire.


I was surprised to see a reasonable surf breaking with a couple of surfer dudes out enjoying themselves. With the tide ebbing we walked onto the beach  to Pwll March and then cut up along a rather overgrown path to Pen Y Cwm.


North Newgale Beach




We turned up a road past some houses and continued along a path which the further we went the wetter it became until we hit a minor road.


Where did I leave that tractor?





Here we turned south until the village of Roch was reached and where we had lunch in the village play area.


Suitably rested we continued on tarmac in a south westerly direction until we came to the coast at Nolton Haven and then north following the coast path back to Newgale.


Nolton Haven



A chimney which is all that remains of a coal mine


Whilst in Roch I received a very curt text from my wife who was clearly not best pleased that I had treated myself to a slice of home made Christmas cake which she was keeping for a good friend. A similar incident took place a few years ago. I can report that the cake was delicious.


Stackpole Quay

The “Navigator” had decreed that today we would head for the coast with a little inland to start with and so we parked up in the National Trust car park at Stackpole Quay.




The day started out a bit damp but brightened up as the day progressed. From the quay we headed towards Barafundle Bay and then inland to cross the estate and onto Bosherton Lily Ponds.




Looking down to Stacpole Quay


Stackpole Head


Looking toward Barafundle Beach




One of the ponds/lakes


Eight Arch Bridge

We stopped for lunch on a piece of high ground overlooking the ponds and the lilies which were still in bloom.




Two of many orchids

From here the path led down to the beach at Broadhaven South with views of Bishop Rock in the bay.


Broadhaven  South



Church Rock

The walk now was along the coast path with views of Stackpole Head and then down and across Barafundle Bay and back to the car.



Looking down into a huge collapsed cave



We saw choughs, a kestrel and a gannet. The latter was diving for food just off Church Rock.


Freshwater West and Angle Circular

Andy and Fran were down in Paradise (aka Tenby) for the Easter Break and with Thursday looking particular fine weather wise, Andy and I drove to Freshwater west on the Pembrokeshire Coast for a circular walk.

Click on any links for further information.

Route (the start is not shown but it is the car park at the north end of the beach)


Freshwater West Tide in

In my kayaking days we spent many a day kayak surfing off the beach and it was here that I discovered that a capsize in a rip tide sent one out to sea and not back to shore!

The weather was indeed excellent with shirt sleeves being the order of the day. I take the clarity of the sea around this coast for granted but Andy a Sheffield lad thought the sea was grey whilst growing up on the east coast and realised on a scout trip this was not so everywhere.


The above photos are not the most welcoming.




We spotted a number of choughs flying around the cliffs but no seals today.

Lunch was had next to a dismantled gun emplacement overlooking Rat Island before carrying on to West Angle Bay. We had a choice now to shorten the walk by walking along the road through Angle or carrying on around the coast – the latter won.



East Blockhouse – looking for the Armada


Thorn island


Possibly importing gas

As we turned the corner near Thorn island the Milford Waterway appeared with a number of ships moored up probably carrying oil or LPG gas. A new visitor centre had opened recently at Chapel Bay where renovation of a defence installation was now open to the public.


Carrying on around the coast we passed a pub which was doing a good trade with patrons enjoying a drink on the outside seats – we declined and walked on through Angle and back to our car via a footpath cutting across a newly ploughed field. This would be a mudfest after rain.


Angle Church


Quiet moorings


Freshwater West – tide out

The day ended back in Tenby where we met up with our wives and a big plate of fish and chips.




Tenby and Penally

Mad dogs and Welshmen go out in the mid day rain!

Only two walkers today. Mrs Navigator is on a spending spree in London, Chris has man flu and Paul had suggested I check the weather forecast, he had!


And so it was just The Navigator  and I  who parked up in Tenby, at least the parking was free. Suitably togged up we set off to walk through Tenby now quiet compared to the busy summer period. Near South beach we walked alongside the golf club and turned off to walk through Kiln Park Holiday Park.

In one of the many old kilns we stopped for a coffee.


From here we headed inland to follow footpaths into Penally.


Ruin cottage overlooking Penally

A welcome bus shelter was found where we had lunch before deciding this was madness and we headed back to Tenby. However just to be perverse our inward journey was along a wet and windswept South beach with a good surf running.



It’s nice in the summer


A possible shelter

Apart from one brave dog walker, whose collie was clearly in its element we had the beach to ourselves.


Colourful homes overlooking South Beach

A rather steamy car ride  soon had us back into Carmarthenshire. I can’t, wouldn’t dare speak for The Navigator but I enjoy these wilder days as long as I know a warm home is waiting at the end of the day.

The shortage of photos is due to the awful weather.

Gwaun Valley Pembrokeshire

Following a spell of grim weather our little group were feeling the effect of cabin fever and despite a poor forecast for Monday a walk was on. The destination being the Gwaun Valley.

Mrs Navigator took the sensible option and stayed home whilst The Navigator, Paul, Chris, Daisy the Dog and I hoped for the best.

It did not start well for me as my usual organisational skills were found wanting when I found that my boots had been forgotten. I had to make do with the old, tread-less trainers I was wearing, I was going to get wet feet that was guaranteed.

Our route

The walk started on a good woodland track and IF there had been some sunshine it would have shown off its autumn colours. We stopped for a coffee above the Afon Gwaun before heading away from the river heading east and then south to Tregynon and more woodlands.






Waterfall near Tregynon

Waterfall near Tregynon

Near Llanerch we joined a minor road passing Pwll y Broga and then near Banc y Rhyd cutting down to again follow a woodland path to Llanerch and the minor road back to the car.



An outdoor kitchen for a local primary school

An outdoor kitchen for a local primary school

We passed the famous Gwaun Valley pub, the Dyffryn Arms but known far and wide as Bessies where beer is still served from a jug.



Despite the drizzle, overcast day and my very wet feet it was good to be out.

Abercastle Pembrokeshire

Today’s walk (5/10/15) was a coastal walk on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path based at Abercastle.






We walked inland to start and soon came across the cromlech Careg Sampson. From here we headed south west to the village of Trefin where we stopped for a coffee break.

Careg Sampson

Careg Sampson

The route headed west taking in Ynys Barri – The Navigator thought of my childhood where visits were made to Barry Island the seaside resort not that far from Cardiff.


We were now back on the coast path and headed back to Abercastle via Porthgain.

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St Brides Pembrokeshire

With the Navigator back from another foreign trip our Monday walks are back on.

The decision for this Monday was, in his words “an old fashioned coastal walk”.

A circular walk from St Brides, first inland and then back along the coast taking in Marloes Sands, Martins Haven, Musslewick and back to the car, almost 11 miles.


Mrs Navigator was not with us as she was nursing a bad back, so it was Paul, myself and him. Leaving Carmarthen it was pouring down but we had to believe the forecast which told us that Pembrokeshire would be bathed in sunshine – it was.

We parked the car in St Brides and headed inland towards Marloes Village where we had our first coffee break.

St Brides Church

St Brides Church

Ready for planting

Ready for planting

Thatched cottage Marloes

Thatched cottage Marloes

There is a clocktower here to the memory of Baron Kensington

Clocktower Marloes

Clocktower Marloes

From here we continued south passing through the old second world war airfield to the coast at the eastern end of Marloes Sands from which the tide was slowly retreating. A steep  descent to us to the beach where there numerous dog walkers, most other popular beaches in Pembrokeshire  have dog restrictions until the end of September. We now had blue skies and with a good surf running it was idyllic, Pembrokeshire at its best. Nowhere better for a lunch stop.



Marlois Sands

Marloes Sands

new OS markers in case of navigation error

new OS markers in case of navigation error

Marlois beach

Marloes beach

breaking surf

breaking surf

Rock formation

Rock formation

More rocks at Marlois beach

More rocks at Marloes beach

Looking back to marlois sands

Looking back to Marloes sands

From Marloes Sands we climbed back up to the coastal path looking out at the islands of Gateholm and Skokholm.


Gateholm and Skokholm

The path leads on to Deer island and around to Martins Haven and the view of yet another island, Skomer. At Martin`s Haven we met Iolo Williams the Welsh TV naturalist just back from a diving break.

Deer Park

Deer Park



He may well have been filming the seals and their pups of which there were many in the inaccessible  coves.

Seals and pups

Seals and pups

New seal pup

New seal pup

The sea views were just fantastic in the clear air, Pembrokeshire never fails to impress.



Martins Haven

Martins Haven

The other wildlife spotted were choughs and gannets.

A cracking day.