Moylgrove to St Dogmaels

29th May 2016

Our second walk of the bank holiday weekend was a bit more ambitious and involved a lot more planning. The first plan from Sharon which left us with 2 cars in various places and us in a third place was quickly discarded and a better plan agreed. More ambitious because this walk included the highest point on the Pembrokeshire section of the coastal path and the book described the full walk as “a brute”, thankfully with the kids joining us we decided to do half of it today.

So my car was packed with the picnic and beach equipment and left in St Dogmaels (the end of our walk and the incentive to complete the walk was lunch!!) and we then drove to Moylgrove in Sharon’s car, spotting a mad-hatters tea party themed village on the way. Up front I want to say that I can not do the beauty of this walk justice in the pictures I have capacity for on here, so please go to the Facebook page Walkiescleo afterwards to see all the amazing pictures.

Loaded with water, sun cream and sun hats (as it was going to be a scorcher today) we set off from Ceibwr Bay and the site of Careg Wylan.

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We started with a small drop to cross a bridge in the cove…

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And then the steepest climb of the day was in front of us – this didn’t get us to the top, but most of the day was then about small ups and downs from this base height apart from one bit climb just before the Cemaes head peak.

Most of the walk was grassland with a thin footpath which was baked hard, and we passed a massive group of tourists coming the other way with guides.

We had to stop a few times for drinks breaks and to reapply sun-cream as we reached 2 hours into the walk at around 12 and still had a way to go. Water supplies ran out just before Cemaes Head but Cleo had a plan.

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Then came the big climb to over 500 feet in height, and Cleo decided to have a sit down on the slope for a breather.

A few more shots now of the fabulous views on what, for me, has to be the best day of walking so far for the pleasure of the surroundings – but if we had followed the planned route of the book we would have done 8 miles more before even getting to the start!!

With all the drinking water gone we were starting to dehydrate but as luck would have it we came across a farm campsite called Allt Y Coed which offered bottles of cold water for £1 each, so £5 in the honesty box and we were up and running again, well not running so much as walking!!

The next part of the walk was downhill and along lanes with Poppit sands in front of us.

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And then along the estuary to St Dogmaels which was our end point, and also the end point of the entire Pembrokeshire section of the coastal path – so we have done the first mile at Amroth and the last few miles here, but not the 170 or so miles inbetween!!

And then the reward – a picnic lunch on the beach, and for the adults and Mr Stickman a lie on the sand, but for the kids a run around in the sea.

 

Strava put the distance at 9.1 miles but more impressive was over 2000 feet of elevation. That makes 153.1 miles walked in total and 716.9 miles to go.

Dinas Island Loop and Parrog

28th May 2016

With the caravan sited in Cardigan Bay, and with 3 of the kids in tow, we decided to pick off a few of the shorter paths during half term which would help us make the days more manageable when we return later in the year.

So on a lovely hot sunny Saturday we drove to Pwll-gwaelog (which is just past Newport – the Pembrokeshire one). There is a small free car park next to the Sailor’s Arms pub and we parked there to make our ascent. Although the walk has some height to it, the whole circle is only 3.5 miles but it will save 2.6 miles from a future long walk as we can cut across the middle.

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Pwll-gwaelog is a part sandy bay with tall hills on both sides

After leaving the lovely cove you are immediately faced by a steep uphill along a narrow road followed by a steep uphill up a path.

Quite quickly you reach a decent height of 300 feet or so and the views are back towards Fishguard harbour, out to sea and at the steep drop below!!

Most of the people were walking the other way, but we decided that clockwise would get the best views as we dropped down into Cwm-Yr-Eglwys  later, so we said our hellos and kept walking, it was quite a busy path.

Then after 1.2 miles we reached Dinas head and the peak of our walk at 441 feet.

We had a sit for a few minutes while we took in the views and had a drink, then set off on the downward section, although initially every downward section was met by more upwards walking, and we past through some woodlands and alongside some cliffs with sea birds.

The descent then got steeper and we could see the estuary by Newport as we came down into Cwm-Yr-Eglwys.

Cwm-Yr-Eglwys is a really cute small village with a tiny beach and dominated by a ruined church and graveyard.

It was at this point that Sharon realised that she no longer had Cleo’s lead, and decided that she had probably left it 1.4 miles back at the very peak of Dinas Head when we stopped for a drink. With not many shops around and the lead being rather essential we decided that we would continue with the circular loop back to the car, have a coffee and cake and then set about retrieving the lead. First we had to pass through the campsite where Sharon gave Cleo a helping hand, and then it was a straight flat 0.9 miles back to the car making 3.5 in total.

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I should then put all the same pictures on again as we walked 1.2 miles back to the peak, collected the lead and then walked 1.2 miles back again to the car…but the strava graphics show it best.

It is worth just mentioning our further adventure on the way back.  Sharon had heard about the Pilgrims stepping stones at Newport and although we pass through Newport on a future leg of the walk she decided we would stop in Parrog and walk a mile to the stones. As the tide was out we could then leap from one to the next right across the river….you get the picture.

So it was a short walk along the river bank to reach the bridge which had replaced the stones as the means of getting across the river. We walked over the bridge and asked some locals where the famous stepping stones were and they looked blankly at us.. and then we saw them (just!!).

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Not quite what Sharon had imaged and it turns out the ones she was picturing in her mind are actually near Brdgend!!

So in terms of the total walk today, all in it was 9.9 miles but only 2.6 miles of it was coastal path (first time around) taking us to 144 miles completes and 726 to go.

Andrew and Sharon