Post image for Wales Coast path: Fishguard to Newport – and beyond!

Wales Coast path: Fishguard to Newport – and beyond!

October 20, 2013 · 21 comments

Date walked  3rd September 2013

Distance: 17 miles

Map required:  OL 35 -North Pembrokeshire

Suggested walking guide-book: Pembrokeshire Coast Path by Jim Manthorpe

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path Officer is Dave MacLachlan. His email is DaveMac@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

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

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Neil and I had stayed the night in Fishguard at The Manor Town House  Guest House. It was a very comfortable place and the owners are very friendly. But my room was above the main street and was quite noisy. I imagine the building is listed and so they might not be allowed to fit double glazing.   We were very happy with our cooked breakfast  but both decided to pass on the seaweed option (known as laverbread but it has nothing to do with bread). After settling up, Neil realised half way down the hill to the harbour that he had forgotton to leave his key and when he caught up I realised that I had left my camera! We clearly wanted to return.

The path follows the road down to Lower Fishguard’s  attractive harbour and climbs the hill the other side before leaving the road and passing Castle Point.  Near the ferry terminal was a 5 masted sailing cruiser that we estimated to be as long if not longer than the car ferry.

Sailing cruiser in Fishguard harbour with Castle Point in foreground, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I found a report in the local paper on line that suggested that the sailing cruiser is a very luxurious affair populated by Americans.

After passing the old fort we were once again passing spectacular cliffs and little coves. In a spirit of great derring-do, Neil decided he wanted to scale this lumpy bit (possibly known as Penrhyn Erw-goch).

Penrhyn- Erw-goch, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Me, I thought I’d save my energies.

Here he is near the top.

Penrhyn- Erw-goch, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

(if he were at the top I wouldn’t have been able to see him)

The curved beach and setting of Pwll Gwylog, a half a mile further on was near perfection.

Pwll Gwylog, Pembrokeshire, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I don’t know why this curved beach was so pleasing but it was.

A little further ahead we had our first  good view of  the peninsular of Dinas Island……

View of Dinas Island, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Was it ever an Island?

……but before we reached it we stopped for a (non-alcoholic) drink (I had an ice-cream, of course) at the Old Sailors at Pwllgwaelod which was right by the beach.

View of Pwllgwaelod, photographed from the wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

That’s a long way down!

It was a steady climb up to Dinas Head and as we climbed so the views opened up to the blue sea below.

The Irish Sea off Dinas Head, photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Ok, so the sea may not have been quite as blue as this but you’ll grant me some artistic licence I’m sure

The view from the Trig Point at the top was a real “wow” with fabulous views to Newport Bay to the east of us and Fishguard Bay  to the west, but the view that I liked the best was straight out to the sea.

The Irish Sea off Dinas Head, Pembrokeshire photographed from The wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

One of the nice things about walking with a companion is that they can take pictures of you, so here is one of me at the top.

Charles Hawes at the trig point at Dinas Island, photographed from The Pembrokeshire Coast path by Neil Smurthwaite

Nice pic! (taken under careful instruction)

As we rounded the corner of the peninsular the views continued to impress.

Fishguard Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Rosebay Willow Herb and Fishguard Bay

Far below us, a group of canoeists were exploring the coast.

canoeists in Fishguard Bay photographed from The wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Mind you they are no substitutes for dolphins- we didn’t see one all day

On the corner of the “island” is the charming little settlement of Cwm- yr-Eglwys, the remains of its churchyard situated improbably close to the beach.

Cwm-yr-Eglwys, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

This is all that remains of the church after being ravaged by storms – well if you will build a chuch in such an exposed position.

Neil was tiring now and hatched a cunning plan of getting a taxi to pick him up from there to take him back to his car at Pwll Deri. I was feeling a bit intimidated by the need for me to get to Cardigan in time for an afternoon bus the next day so I thought that I might walk beyond Newport (where we had a Bed and Breakast booked). Neil offered to come and pick me up near the path so I thought this a great plan.

Newport was about three miles further on and in this section I passed several more beautiful and near-deserted inlets .

beach between Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Newport, Pembrokeshire, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Umm. I can’t be sure what this one is called (but see Alun’s comment below)

 

beach between Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Newport, Pembrokeshire, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Or this one.

And also a really unusual cliff  that I think must have been quarried…

Sheer cliff face between Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Newport on The wales Coast path in Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Does this look natural to you?

…….and some offshore formations that I would have loved someone to have explained how and why they came about.

Rock platform off the Pembrokeshire Coast near Newport, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Very odd.

I was till feeling reasonably energetic as I approached the spit of sand that marked the end of Newport Sands and the beginning of Newport’s settlement.

The end of Newport Sands, Newport Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

What a great spit!

I hadn’t really taken in, though, that there was no crossing point to the bay. An easy and level mile took me to the bridge where the river Nyfer enters the bay and where a large flock of Canada Geese were mooching around.

Canada Geese by the bridge across the River Nyfer in Pembrokeshire, photographed from The wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Why here? Maybe there is something very special about the water.

It was less than a mile to get to the car park at the point where Newport Sands joins the mainland and was an equally easy stroll. I passed a flock of crows in a field that demanded a picture.

massed crows on the hillsideabove Newport Bay, Pembrokeshire, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

I’d come about 14 miles by this time and  would have been happy to have stopped but I hadn’t made much inroad into my next days walk so I carried on.  In his book Manthorpe describes the stretch from Newport to the end of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path at St Dogmaels the toughest of all of its 186 miles.  Judging by the next few miles, I was inclined to agree with him.

There were some very steep descents to near to the sea followed by some very long and steep climbs.

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path near Foel Fach, photographed by Charles Hawes

It wasn’t that bad really.

The views from the tops of these hills on such a fine evening were wonderful but I was flagging and found myself wishing that over the next brow it might flatten out somewhat. But it never did.

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path near Foel Fach, photographed by Charles Hawes

This one was bad though

When I passed a sign across the path warning that over the next 8 miles there was no “escape route” I was not surprised (I had worked out where I intended to make an illicit crossing of  the fields for my rendezvous with Neil) but I did feel a little intimidated.  The early evening light shimmering on the sea  and the sheer beauty of the bracken-covered cliffs were a distraction from my increasing tiredness.

Early evening view over Newport Bay, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

Newport Bay moving towards sundown

I came across a spider’s web straddling the path which almost certainly meant that no one had walked this section for several hours, perhaps all day, which somewhat emphasised my comparative isolation.

Spiders web across trhe Wales Coast path, photorgraphed by Charles hawes

I was quite pleased with this. Making the flash fire was the trick.

I’d said to Neil that I would meet him around 6.30pm but it looked as if I was going to be late.  I kept checking my GPS and the point where I intended to head inland seemed to be approaching very slowly.

Wales Coast Path between Newport and Moylgrove, photographed by Charles Hawes

I’d lost my phone signal so couldn’t warn him and then the phone rang and it was Anne ringing for a chat! So I tried to make a quick call to Neil but lost the signal almost as soon as it had connected. So I made the decision to leave the path where I was and head for the minor road that should have been less than half a mile away.  Thankfully I picked up a signal again and was able to describe to Neil where I was.  As we talked I could see his car driving along the road. I’d done what I intended to do but I felt quite exhausted and never gladder to get into a car.

We stayed that night at the excellent restaurant with rooms called Cnapan where I had a well-earned bath before we strolled down the street for a decent pub meal at The Golden Lion where Neil was very distracted by one of the waitresses.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Wareham October 20, 2013 at 9:17 am

“I don’t know why this curved beach was so pleasing but it was.” It’s because you are addicted to symmetry!

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Charles October 20, 2013 at 10:23 am

Yes, I do love symmetry though it’s hardly an addiction. I might be addicted to chocolate, though.

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Adam Hodge October 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

Seeing your pics of Newport/Parrog brings back great memories of summer holidays when I was a very little boy and later in my early 20’s. Newport Sands are an exciting place to holiday and the River Nevern a fun place to take a little boat..the fallen trees lying in water made me , my brother and sister think they were crocs ! Walking Dinas Head was one of ‘the’walks of the holiday !

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Charles October 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hi Adam! Nice of you to drop by. It’s always nice to find that the blog connects people to good memories. I have similar childhood memories from the coast of Shoreham-by-Sea.

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Paul Steer October 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

A symmetry addict, yes I can Identify with that addiction/affliction. Again stunning photographs of my most favorite part of the Pembrokeshire coast. I believe the first bay you question the name of is Ciebwr it has some amazing geology, with dramatic twists and folds in the strata of the headland. As I write this I look at a painting I made of it a few years back, one which unusually for me I am pleased with, but has been sold, so I will have to say goodbye to it soon which almost makes me want to cry ! (think I’m loosing it, whatever ‘it’ is.)

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Charles October 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

Yes, this was particularly fabulous, even without dolphins, which I am thinking are as rare as dragons. How come you have just sold a painting that you did some years ago? If you do lose “it” another “it” will emerge!

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Paul Steer October 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

The painting was reserved as part of a dyptich, the buyer could not afford both at the same time, so wanted to keep the one described for Christmas. I exhibited them for the first time since making them at the National Botanic Gardens exhibition, not expecting to sell landscapes, I ended up selling three which was more than a surprise.

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Neil October 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

This was a fabulous walk ( well, the delightful bit up to Dinas Head. The next bit looks arduous and worth avoiding…! ) . The views were fabulous, as were the waitresses ( more than one cause for distraction.. ) . And a smile in your piccie I note… My instruction, I believe 🙂 xx

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Charles October 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Haha! Well you provided great backup support. I’ll have to book you again.

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Charles October 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Do you mock me?

“Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling; entertainest accept thy smiles become thee well; therefore in my presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.”

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Neil October 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Oh, ok. As you insist 🙂

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Ian Thorpe October 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Another stunning set of photos, Charles. Such variety, and the spider’s web is a gem.

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Charles October 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thanks Ian! Sadly I couldn’t leap over the spiders web but as Blake said (i think) “the cut worm forgives the plough”

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Martin October 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Oh my, what lovely countryside, I really must get up to Wales next year…

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Sally March 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Just planning a walk of my own around Pembrokeshire and thinking of blogging while I do it. Great content. Beautiful photos. Feeling encouraged. Thanks, Sally

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Charles March 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Hi Sally,

You’ll have a fabulous time! Do blog and please send me a link so I can chip in.

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Sea Glass Jewelry April 18, 2014 at 1:24 am

Really impressive photographs. I love Wales and it’s years since I have been to this part of if. Reminds me of some lovely happy holidays spent there. Thank you for sharing those wonderful photographs as don’t know what happened to mine.

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Charles April 18, 2014 at 8:19 am

Thanks very much. The blog feels like a wonderful illustrated diary for me. Hope you enjoy some more of the posts.

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ALUN EVANS June 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Just to let you know the first bay with the small river/stream is known as Aberforest, the second bay north of this I know of but don’t know it’s name.It certainly is not Ceibwr as this is north of the Witch’s Cauldron a well known feature along the coast, and one you would not miss, and further on than the walk you undertook.In my childhood to my teens I spent many years walking and boating around this area, and seeing you many pictures invoked many happy memories..Thank you

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Charles June 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for this. I have added a note in the caption. I think it must be The Witches Cauldron that I missed the next day when my friend Neil gave me a lift too far.

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Neil June 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Ha !! Just following orders, me.

But I have made a note that we need to return to take a short walk to take a gander. 🙂

Reply

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