This article was published in issue 50 of the Lower Wye Rambler and was written by Stevie with a few minor edits by me.
“What an amazing week’s walking” was one of many similar comments made by members of the Lower Wye Ramblers who had spent the last week in May 2011 walking 64 miles starting the long distance Pembrokeshire Coastal path. Some of the members had already completed The Wye Valley Walk, Offa’s Dyke Path, Hadrian’s Wall, The Usk Valley Walk and The Cotswold Way.
The intention is to spend two weekends a year continuing around the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path until reaching Cardigan.
Amroth to Saudersfoot: 3.4 miles (5.4km) +157m -128m (21 May 2011)
The week stated at Amroth with a gentle 3.4 mile stroll on Saturday afternoon finishing at our hotel in Saundersfoot. And what a hotel it turned out to be! A small family run enterprise, the Malin Hotel was comfortable and had wonderful facilities – a small indoor swimming pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi, three lounges, a fridge in every room perfect for storing sandwich provisions and the odd bottle or three of wine to have with our meals (much appreciated by all of us in this unlicensed hotel). The meals were truly superb and our large group (31) was very grateful to the owners and staff of the hotel who provided them as a special addition to their normal bed and breakfast package.
Our walks continued Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with mixed weather and strong winds.
Saudersfoot to Lydstep: 8.1 miles (13.0km) +307m -315m (22 May 2011)
On Sunday we walked from our hotel in Saundersfoot to Lydstep passing though the historic town on Tenby with its fine beaches.
Lydstep to Stackpole Quay: 9.4 miles (15.2km) +327m -320m (23 May 2011)
Monday started where we left off and continued via Monorbier Bay and Freshwater East to Stackpole Quay where tea and cake at the NT café was very welcome.
Meriton to Angle: 11.7 miles (18.8km) +180m -211m (24 May 2011)
Due to the closure of the Castlemartin Ranges on weekdays, our walk on Tuesday started at Meriton from where we walked alongside the perimeter fence of the MOD range, giving us glimpses of tanks manoeuvring and soldiers diligently training. We continued through Freshwater West where hardy surfers were enjoying the wind and waves. The fine coastal scenery continued round the Angle peninsular to the village of Angle, with interesting views of the industrial areas of Pembroke and Milford Haven.
The publican of the Compass at Angle was kind enough to open early so we could all have a very welcome drink at the end of our day’s walk.
Wednesday was a free day to do as each wished, although most of us seemed to walk as far on that day, whilst sightseeing around this interesting area.
Angle to Monkton: 10.5 miles (16.9km) +175m -167m (26 May 2011)
On Thursday we walked around Angle Bay, past the Chevron Oil refinery (which soon after our return home was devastated by an explosion) and finished the day at Monkton Priory on the outskirts of Pembroke.
Monkton to Milford Haven: 12.2 miles (19.7km) +371m -370m (27 May 2011)
We continued the route on Friday through more urban and industrial areas but were rewarded with fine views as we crossed the Cleddau Bridge. Later on, the metal crate-like bridges over the vast pipelines leading into the refineries were fascinating, if not a bit scary for those with a touch of vertigo! We finished the day in the centre of Milford Haven, where some were able to visit a pub for a drink whilst others enjoyed ice creams.
Meriton to Stackpole Quay: 8.6 miles (13.8km) +187m -217m (28 May 2011)
After checking out of our hotel on Saturday, we walked from Meriton back to Stackpole Quay, across the MOD ranges of Castlemartin, a particularly pretty and interesting section of coastline including the Green Arch of Wales, the guillemot covered Elegug Stack rocks and St Govan’s Chapel set down in the cliff face. We finished our week with an enjoyable tea sitting in the sunshine at the National Trust café, before we all drifted off home.
Total for the week: 63.9 miles
Total around Wales: 199.6 miles