Post image for Wales Coast Path: Pwll Deri Youth Hostel to Fishguard

Wales Coast Path: Pwll Deri Youth Hostel to Fishguard

October 13, 2013 · 12 comments

Date walked  2nd  September 2013

Distance: 11.1 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

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


The last time I had stayed in a Youth Hostel was at the beginning of the Coast to Coast path a few years ago where Neil (who had joined me last night) and I had stayed at the Black Sail hostel – the most isolated of places, in a stunning location it provided us with a three course candle-lit dinner with wine.  Although Pwll Deri does have a great location sitting on top of the cliffs, its quite modern interior lacked atmosphere and it was self catering. We had paid £85 for a family room and although this gave us proper bedding we still had to make our own beds. Neil, having his car, drove us the pub at Mathri (good beer, indifferent food).

Neil had brought us everything we would need for breakfast and lunch the next day and an impressive bar which I visited when we got back from the pub,so the next morning I felt a little worse for wear.

Charles Hawes at Pwll Deri Youth Hostel on The Wales Coast Path in Pembrokeshire

Nice spot, though.

No matter, it was a nice day and as we were about to leave our bags in an outbuilding for the very friendly Luggage Transfers Ltd people to pick up, when their car arrived thus settling our minds in an instant about whether it would work according to plan. After yesterdays exertions I was  glad to only be carrying my Deuter Speedlite 20 pack and that we only had about 10 miles to do.

We’d only gone a few hundred yards when we noticed a most unusual split in the cliff face that looked unnatural. It took a scramble down to reach it, but when we did it was clear that this was man-made and appeared to have been intended to descend to the cove. Our courage was only sufficient for us to reach a degraded narrow shelf (and even there I was reluctant to part company with the chasms’ walls).

Cleft in the cliff face at Pwll Deri, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Hanging on for dear life.

Beneath us, on the secluded beach were a couple of seals and the white, still, body of a pup.

Here’s the view going back up. Quite why someone had made such an effort to get down to this cove remains a mystery.

Cleft in The cliff face near Pwll Deri near the Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

Any ideas?

The path skirts around a headland carpeted in gorse and heather and then drops down though a damp valley where a colony of reeds provided more debate.

The Wales Coast in Pembrokeshire near Carn Melyn, photographed by Charles Hawes

I think this must have been taken near Carn Melyn

From the 300 or so miles that I had seen so far of the Welsh coast it was really unusual to find this kind of moisture loving vegetation so close to the edge of the cliff. I thought this  might once have been a pond and again I was not sure if man had had a hand in it.

Reed bed near Carn Melyn, Pembrokeshire, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawews

Any suggestions?

Man had certainly made this small hole in this and several other rocks we passed nearby. The neatly drilled holes were just a couple of inches deep but we did not even come up with a theory as to why they had been done in what appeared to be a random fashion. Geological samples?

Drilled rock near Carn Melyn, Pembrokeshire, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

There were 3 or 4 of these holes that we saw near the path.,

We were still speculating when we had our first view of the lighthouse on Strumble Head, flashing even in the bright morning.

View to Strumble Head Lighthouse, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Interesting fact: Neil had thought about becoming a lighthouse keeper once.

The path took us quite close by and we played and failed the game of trying to get a picture of it at the moment it revealed its beam of light. Neil suggested that I photoshop one in.

Strumble Head Lighthouse, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

I’m sure I could have got a flash if I had worked out how to get the camera to do continuous exposures.

The next couple of miles felt like a continuation of yesterday scenery as we edged around steep cliffs and crossed several coves.

Cliffs and coves near Pen Caer photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Looking back, of course!

As the sky brightened so the blue-green hue of the sea below us intensified.

View to the sea from near Pen Caer, photographed from The Wales Coast path by Charles Hawes

If you look very carefully you might see a sailing boat.

At Carreg Wastad Point we made the small obligatory detour to see the monument erected to commemorate  what is said to be the last invasion of Britain when in 1797 the 1400 occupants of four French ships took over the coast around Strumble Head for two days before being seen off by the locals.

Monument at Carreg Wastad Point to commemorate the last invasion of Britain, photographed by Charles Hawes

Neil here offering a sense of scale.

For the next couple of miles every cove seemed to be occupied by seals. They don’t do a lot, seals, but it was nevertheless quite captivating to just see them lolling about on beach or rock.

Seal on a rock near Carreg Wastad Point, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Seal Lolling On Rock



Seal on a rock near Carreg Wastad Point, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Now children, how many seals can you count in this picture?

The only trouble was that they were a long way away as my pictures reveal; I wished for once that I had packed my binoculars, though at the same time asking myself  just what this snooping on wildlife is all about? I mean I would get a much better view of them if I just watched a documentary. But somehow when you are looking at something wild yourself its as if they are yours for that moment. Or at least special to you.

So here’s one more seal pic and then I’ll stop.


Seals  near Carreg Wastad Point, Pembrokeshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

 Somewhere between Aber Felin and Pen Anglas we passed this sign which would normally have encouraged me to explore were it not for the fact that it doesn’t say how far away it is and also that despite only having walked about 8 miles, I was really feeling quite tired and was looking forward to an afternoon snooze in the comfort of a bed and Neil felt likewise,  so we pressed on.


And besides, there is no mention of cake. Or ice-cream.


So we pressed on, Neil boldly leading the way, safe in the knowledge that because I had had the double bed last night he would have the best room tonight.

The Wales Coast Path near Crincoed Point photographed by Charles Hawes

As we rounded Crincoed Point, a ferry was making its way out of Fishguard harbour heading for Rosslare.

Ferry leaving Fishguard harbour, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It should be called Goodwick harbour because that’s where it is.

The path joins a minor road and then zig-zagged down am asphalt path before reaching Goodwick where we stopped at a  large shop/cafe and had two disappointing milk shakes that did not have nearly enough ice-cream in them. Neil provided me with the recipe for the best milk shakes (which is actually pure ice-cream whizzed up with sugar).  Goodwick failed to impress except for the size of its breakwater.

View to the breakwater at Fishguard harbour, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Breakwaters tastefully set off by path-side vegetation.

After walking by the A40 for half a mile, the final part of the day took us around the edge of Fishguard along the asphalt -surfaced  Marine walk which gave us a fine finale of  Lower Fishguard’s genuine harbour.

View to Lower Fishguard from The Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

A very pleasing sight at the end of the day.

We were staying at the rather upmarket Manor Town House Guest House which is on Main Street.  We were greeted by the very friendly owners and offered tea presently. Neil’s room at the back was positively palatial with a bath and a  superb sea-view. Mine at the front was more modest in size but both had such a nice feel to them and the beds were so comfy that we both forwent the tea in favour of a bath and a lie-down. Bliss.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Wareham October 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

Good to see our Neil there. Means pics of you too! Xx


Charles October 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

Yes, good to see Neil, but even better to see me!


Neil October 13, 2013 at 11:48 am

A lovely days walk, lovely company, and a blog entry suitably enhanced by at least 2 smiles 🙂


Charles October 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

Yes, indeed. Your half day walk the next day was even better! Though smile count may drop.


John October 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

It would seem people in that area liked access to their beaches. I wonder if more effort was involved in creating the set of steps at Porth Maenmelyn (

I can see what I presume is a sailing boat but am intrigued by what is the white dot more or less level with the promontory to the right in the same photo?

And please can we have the recipe, not just a list of ingredients?


Charles October 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hmm. I think it is more likely to have some economic related explanation than people just liking to have a long climb down for a sunbath on the beach. Blimey that guy has a lot of pics on his site. And those are certainly impressive steps! Well Mr Beady Eyes, it’s a buoy. Recipe? Ingredients? This isn’t The Bake Off Blog.


Jon Combe August 2, 2014 at 8:23 am

Smuggling, probably. Some beaches in the South West are acessed through tunnels in the cliffs cut by smugglers.


Charles August 2, 2014 at 10:52 am

Thanks Jon.


David April 10, 2015 at 4:03 am

Great blog n pics. Thanks. My first ever ! walk was from Fishgaurd ( couldn’t find way to path! But found that unconventional ‘cafe’ then stumbled upon path and Pwll Deri. Then next day on to Trefin ( a village I now use as a base for my spring and autumn walks) the old school lodge Fantastic spot ,Ship inn pub and the Mill food. I stop in Wales to walk n visit Mum enroute Toronto to Thailand n back I plan to walk from Pwll Deri up to Goodwick could you estimate time needed to complete this walk to catch (2:30 pm train). Happy trails DLH


Charles April 10, 2015 at 11:47 am

Thanks very much David. Nice of you to visit. I wish that I had called in at the cafe. Trefin sounds great. I am not sure about timings for that section and am not able to investigate for a while but will try and remember to come back to you about it.


Richard Arculus May 30, 2017 at 7:46 am

The circular holes are the “spoor” of paleomagnetists….an oriented hole (relative to magnetic north, and inclination of the hole) is drilled into the rock, and the rock core removed for study. When magmas (in the case of the Strumble Head outcrops) cool through their Curie points, the magnetic minerals crystallising in them adopt the magnetic orientation of the Earth’s field at that moment in time. Paleomagnetists measure this inherited field after correcting for subsequent tilting of the outcrop. This technique was fundamental in establishing the notion that continental drift had plausibility, and eventually led to the prevailing paradigm concerning the motion of “plates” of the Earth’s surface as in plate tectonics. These days, paleomagnetists endeavour to “tidy up” their spoor by drilling close to the ground and/or refilling the holes with a ground rock/mortar mix. The drill hole is unquestionably more unsightly than a surface broken by a hammer blow. But many of the outcrops are theoretically protected from any of this as sites of special scientific interest.


Charles May 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Richard, what an interesting comment. That’s fab, thanks.


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