The harbour at Angle, Pembrokeshire on The Wales Coast Path,  photographed by Charles Hawes

Wales Coast Path: Angle to Pembroke

June 30, 2013 · 8 comments

Date Walked:  29th April 2013

Approximate Distance: 11.5 miles

Map required: OL36- South Pembrokeshire

Suggested walking guide book: Pembrokeshire Coast Path by Jim Manthorpe

This section of the path is within Pembrokeshire. Their Coast path Officer is Dave MacLachlan. His email is DaveMac@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

The Pembrokeshire Coast is also a National Park who are responsible for planning decisions.

My third night in my new little Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 tent went without incident which might have had something to do with the amount of alcohol I had consumed the night before, but as with all camping I woke early and was up and packed by 7.45am. Looking at the map I could see that today’s walk was unchallenging.  The dramatic cliffs being substituted by gentle undulations of the low lying coast of Milford Haven.

Harbour at Angle, Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire on The Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

Lovely early morning light lifts the spirits and strengthens the legs

I wasn’t unhappy about that as yesterday had been exhausting and I have to admit to being a bit hung over after last night’s festivities at the old Point House.

The path starts from the harbour at Angle on a very pleasant metalled road and then takes a grassy track that closely followed the edge of Angle bay for about two miles.

Lane by the side of Angle Bay near Angle on the Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

I was slightly concerned about this being a private drive but it is also a right of way

This was mostly sheep country but I also passed a few fields of the famous Pembrokeshire potatoes.

Ploughed fields with potatoes on Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire, on The Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

I’d have loved to have seen the machine make these neat furrows

Ahead was the ever more present oil refinery and on the far side of the Haven tankers were moored or passing by.

View of the oil refinery on Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire from the Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

It really did feel quite exciting knowing that I would pass very close by the refinery

On the far side of the bay the hedgerow of sloe and gorse was stunning but my attention kept being drawn to the tall stacks of the refinery on the horizon. It’s a massive site, most of it out of sight at this point.

Hedge of gorse and sloe on the Wales Coast Path at Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Pretty!

On the eastmost side of Angle Bay the path is diverted up a road past Fort Popton- a place with no charm or  redeeming features that I could see.

Panoramic view of Fort Popton and Milford Haven from The Wales Coast Path, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Fort Popton is not open to the public but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to visit anyway.

For half a mile the view out is to the jetties and the tankers until I passed under the jetty itself.

Gas pipes on jetty on Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire from The Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

Do I smell gas?

This was a good spot to have the supper that I had not eaten that had been prepared for me by the kind owner of The Old Smithy at Merrion. I don’t think that I had had a pork pie for breakfast before but I enjoyed it and followed it by half my cheese and pickle sandwich.

I passed close by the back of the refinery…..

Oil refinery on Angle Bay, Pembrokshire, seen from The Wales Coast Path and photographed by Charles Hawes

You want oil based products? This comes as part of the deal.

……and then joined a short section of a minor road that led past  one of the  churches at Pwllcrochan.

Church at Pwllcrochan on the Wales Coast Path, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Nice juxtaposition of architectures eh?

I must take issue with Manthorpe’s guide about this stretch. He encourages the reader to skip the 30 miles from Angle to Sandy Haven and take the bus. Readers of my blog will know that I am not against having a rant about the despoliation of the coast by the many ugly caravan parks that planners have thought fit to allow. But industry has to go somewhere and the oil and liquid gas we need to import has to be landed, stored and processed.  Personally I find the sight of ships, refineries and power stations more inspiring than most other buildings I had passed on the path to date. I do not begrudge their company for a couple of days.

Pembroke Power Station, Pembrokeshire photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

How could anyone not be impressed by power stations!

Leaving the lane behind the path then skirts the boundary of the NPower Pembroke gas power station which was opened in September 2012 and is said to be the largest in Europe.  A pleasant little stretch through a wood was followed by skirting the muddy banks of the edge the estuary of the River Pembroke.

View to the confluence of the River Pembroke with Milford Haven, Pembrokshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Here’s a nice view of the mouth of the River Pembroke, rather than the muddy view.

Here the path takes a metalled road and climbs up for half a mile towards Hundleton before taking the tarmac drive down to a farm called Brownslate.

View over Milford Haven from the Wales Coast Path near Hundleton, photographed by Charles Hawes

Fab view over Milford Haven on a sunny day. What’s not to like?

After Brownslate, the path returns to a pleasant enough stretch through woods and fields and passes a modern hamlet called Bentclass before joining the road out of Hundleton that leads through Monkton into Pembroke.

Monkton struck me as a bit of a dump and I was clearly not alone in this as I watched a white van unload a load of rubbish on the side of the pavement and drive swiftly on. But the Church of St Nicholas and St John was nice enough.

The Church of St Nicholas and St John, Monkton, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

This was the nice view of the Church.

The approach to Pembroke was hardly auspicious either.

Approaching Pembroke Castle from Monkton on The Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

A bit unkind of me to use this view but it was my first view of the castle and it wasn’t nice.

But in the main street a friendly local told me which buses I need to catch to take me back to my car, which I had left 4 days ago at Saundersfoot. I had time for a sit and buy a drink and an ice cream and  to quietly congratulate myself on having achieved a 4 day walk to have done so whilst camping.

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin June 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm

‘The sight of ships, refineries and power stations…inspiring’, I couldn’t agree more on this point, the hardy hiker will take it all in her/his stride, industry has its place and can be a stirring sight, as for me, I’d love to go and check out those atomic icebreakers in old Murmansk but that’s for another day.

You’re walking the entire coast, right?

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Charles July 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

We seem to agree on much! Yes, probably doing the whole path- but it might take a year or two! Going back this month to do 5 more days and am taking the tent (and a list of B&Bs).

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Pam Mallpress July 3, 2013 at 10:55 am

Well done again, Charles! Think you are very brave to do the camping bit so drinking is the best solution I should think to ensure a good night’s sleep! For me it will have to be B and B’s…have already sampled some of your recommendations (and avoided others). Wonder what the total number of power stations will be?

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Paul Steer July 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Love those furrows, probably done by GPS guided tractor. I have just done Solva to St Davids , I could see the refinery in the distance. Stayed at Porthclais camp sight with David for 2 days walking. That is coming up for you soon, a great section, and some good pubs in Solva and St Davids.

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Paul Steer July 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Site and St. David’s My spelling is getting worse.

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Charles July 7, 2013 at 6:05 am

Shocking. Spelling and grammar. Will have to scrutinise your comments more carefully.

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rob grover July 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Growing anticipation as the 30th June approached
A great set of pictures: my favourite also the furrows, but how did you not mention the quality of the soil or depth of focus?
Your caption for the Church of St Nicholas and St John showed great restraint, but would be ideal for a caption competition.
I agree about the monumental quality of the industrial buldings, especially when they are shiney, new and symmetrical even down to the row of steam emissions.
We have just walked the Gowerton to Llanelli stretch- not the most interesting, and perhaps the least so far. They are still building New England style houses right up to the coast. In a way this is worse than the caravan sites, which at least seem reversible, but houses on precious and limited coastline are a different matter. Ho hum

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Charles July 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

Hi Rob
Thanks for the comments. I do try to get the best out of the pics. I’m moving over to a Canon G15 from here on as my wife has appropriated my G12 for her web and blog pics. Yes, you could have fun with that pic at the church. I think I like rusty old industrial buildings, too. Those houses on the coast near Llanelli are weird aren’t they? I wonder who are buying them?

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