Thanks to our taxi driver, who has obviously dealt with coast walkers before, we agree on a plan to drive our car to St. Martin’s Haven and meet him there. He would then drive us back to Dale, where we finished yesterday and we would walk back the 12 miles or so to our car.
Climbing up out of the morning stillness of the village, the tarmac lane leads us upwards past a small house with some strange wood carvings stacked up outside – this one recalls some of the nightmare images of Francis Bacon’s work.
Up through the coolness of the woods we climb, it is already hot, shouldn’t grumble, it’s a beautiful day.
Just before Dale Fort Field Centre, the path veers off to the right and when we emerge from the woods we can see what look like more beacons ahead. We are approaching West Blockhouse Point.
From here we follow the cliff path, past a group of pretty white ponies who are totally disinterested in us and on to St. Ann’s Head. (I have a new iPhone and the setting must have been on video by mistake)
The road here goes past the squat little lighthouse and the row of lighthouse cottages, which I believe are summer lets. They all look empty, which is unsurprising as Wales is still on lockdown and there are very few tourists around.
A short while after St.Anne’s Head I begin to flag and we stop for refreshment – a 2 day old banana has never tasted so good. We continue, past Frenchman’s Bay, then Welshman’s Bay – what no Englishman’s Bay? And to the point, where if we wanted, (but we don’t) we could give up the walk and take the road across the neck of the peninsula back to Dale. I would now like to point out that HERE there should be a photo of Dale Castle, standing back from the coast and surrounded by green fields. This photo should be on Damian’s camera. But I cannot find it – so there you go…..
Here’s a picture of its beautiful little bay instead.
The path now follows the cliffs, past signs of a disused airfield off to the right, until we turn the corner at Hooper’s Point and look down on the long stretch of golden sand that is Marloes Sands. Should we swim? I am so hot and sweaty that a dip sounds heavenly but I have no costume with me and do we have the time? After a bit of deliberating we take the plunge (as it were) and walk down the steep narrow path to the beach.
We find a suitable pile of rocks to call home, rip off our clothes down to our underwear and walk determinedly into the freezing cold water. My screeching attracts the attention of a couple with their two kids frolicking nearby – they look quite shocked. The father laughs and shouts out that after 20 minutes the water will feel almost warm – five minutes is enough for me but it is wonderful!
Energised, we pound along for the rest of the walk until we reach Martins Haven and our car. On the beach below a knot of people are gathered who tell us that, due to Covid restrictions, the boat that normally takes visitors across to Skomer Island to see the puffins is still sailing, but you can’t get off the boat onto the island. We make a mental note to come back next year in June and do the trip.
Distance: 11 miles