Dog Walks in South Pembrokeshire

It rained three out of the four days I was in Pembrokeshire, which is pretty standard. (I managed to get some savage sunburn on the only dry day!) This scuppered my walking plans somewhat so instead of heading up to Marloes Sands like I planned, Poppy and I headed for tried and tested Bosherston Lily Ponds. I knew they would be a bit more sheltered and with the tide out, we could enjoy Broadhaven South beach.

Bosherston Lily Ponds Bosherston LakesBosherston never disappoints. There’s always something to see and this time, there was a pair of swans with a nest full of cygnets. Despite the incessant drizzle, Poppy and I headed for Broadhaven South, where I had planned to do a spot of geocaching, but Poppy and the rain had other ideas so geocaching was abandoned in favor of hitting the beach. It was completely empty and the tide was right out, which meant I could let Poppy off the lead. She loved it! She spent the whole time running about, running back to me for treats and generally wearing herself out. If you ever get to go to this part of the world, make sure Broadhaven South is on your list of beaches to visit. It’s pretty much perfect.

Broadhaven South Broadhaven south beachWe had time before lunch with my mum and as my geocaching plans had failed, I decided to head to West Angle bay, as Poppy had never been there. Plus, as the awesome drizzle hadn’t blown away, I figured that it would be pretty quiet. And I was right!

West Angle bay Angle pembrokeshire geocaching at angle bayWest Angle bay is quite a small beach, but there are lots of rock pools to explore when the tide is out. Plus, you can get pretty good phone signal, meaning you can find out where the geocaches are hidden and I managed to find one (my first one!), pictured above. Am so proud of this! Parking here is free and there’s a lovely cafe and toilets too. There’s a decent circular walk via the coast path, but as the weather wasn’t great, I decided to leave that for another day.

spicy bean and vegetable stew Fleur the dog at South Beach Tenby South Beach TenbyAfter a quick coffee, Poppy and I headed for lunch with my mum and I’d spotted that the local tea room at the garden centre had a few vegan options. I had the spicy bean and vegetable stew on a jacket potato, which was awesome. Very filling and tasty. (It came with a side salad that had coleslaw slap bang in the middle of it, so I just ignored that!) We then headed off for a dog walk. During the summer, most of the beaches in Tenby are a no go for dogs, so we parked up at Penally train station and headed along the beach, which blends into South Beach, which is the only dog friendly beach in Tenby. You’ll know when you get to the end of it, as there are signs. Lots and lots of signs! There’s a few cafes here, where you can stop for a coffee, as well as toilets (tho they require 20p. Annoying if you’re desperate and have to rummage for change!) By this time, the drizzle had stopped and we headed back to the car. Another awesome day for my FitBit step count! Another day Poppy was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow!

Sleeping Poppydog

Walking from St Davids to Abereiddy… Kind of.

One of the things I wanted to achieve this summer from the #summerassignment, was to walk further than I’d ever walked before and considering the fact that there’s no end of coastal paths in Pembrokeshire, I thought that would be an excellent challenge. I decided on walking from St David’s to Porthgain, though by the time we set off from St David’s I thought walking to Porthgain might be a bit of a stretch so decided Poppy and I would walk to Abereiddy. Though this didn’t come to pass either!

St Davids Cathedral Bishops Palace St Davids St Davids walkI parked at Oriel y Parc (though there are car parks closer to the cathedral) and bought a map from the shop. In order to get to the coastal path, I needed to head towards St Justinian’s, but also wanted to have a look at the Bishop’s Palace, as I’d never really seen it. We headed towards the cathedral and had a quick look at the palace (I didn’t realise it was in ruins!) and then headed out on the road towards St Justinian’s. After about ten minutes, there’s a pathway through some fields that eventually leads down towards Whitesands Bay. (We may have gone the wrong way, once or twice at this time!). One of the fields we went through had sheep in it, so if you’re going this way with your dog, make sure they’re on the lead. There are also a few stiles, so Poppy enjoyed a few awkward lifts over them!

Whitesands Bay St Davids Head Pembrokeshire coastal pathWalking Pembrokeshire coastal pathWhitesands Bay is absolutely gorgeous, though has dog restrictions during the summer, so we couldn’t enjoy it this time. (About a mile on the coast path is a smaller dog friendly bay, which is worth a visit, especially on a hot day). Poppy and I had been walking for about an hour by this point so we stopped for a snack and a drink. They have a drinking water tap there, by the toilets, which was very welcome, and outside seating in the shade, which was perfect for Poppy to rest her warm paws. The toilets cost 20p to use (cheek!) so make sure you have change for that, and there is a cafe that serves hot food, though as I had Poppy with me, I didn’t have anything there. We then headed up to the coast path, up on St David’s Head and round towards Abereiddy.

Walking with Poppydog Walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path Pembrokeshire coast Resting Poppydog Coastal flower Sunny PembrokeshireThe views were amazing. Despite having grown up in Pembrokeshire, I never explored the county quite like this. There were bees and butterflies all around and birds constantly flying about. Because I was on my own with Poppy, I couldn’t take any close up pictures, as I was terrified that Poppy would try to track something and pull us both hurtling into the sea! All the pictures were taken on my phone and despite carrying the binoculars, it wasn’t really easy to get them out of my bag so I can’t tell you what the birds were! I had planned for us to walk to Abereiddy, as there’s a dog friendly beach there and I wanted to see the Blue Lagoon. Poppy, however, had other ideas! When we’d set out from St David’s it was cool and overcast. However, by about 11.30/12 o’clock, the sun was out and it was getting really hot. At one point, Poppy saw a bit of shade and lay down it. That was when I knew we weren’t going to Abereiddy! We stopped, rested, had something to eat and lots of water before heading back. By my calculations, we were only half way, which is a real shame, but we’d walked six miles so thought we’d better get back.

Coastal walk Pembrokeshire pony St Davids cathedral in the sun Poppydog paddling in the fordBy the time we arrived back in St Davids, after a pit stop and water bottle refill at Whitesands, Poppy and I headed straight for the ford by the Bishops Palace. Perfect for cooling off hot paws! This was the first time Poppy and I had done a walk like this on our own. I’d never mapped out a walk for us before either and there were times when it was quite scary walking along the coast path on our own, as there can be some sharp drops down to the sea. Having said that, it was loads of fun! There were a few other walkers about, which was nice, especially when they pointed out seals in the sea. I was completely surprised by the terrain, as it kept changing and I hadn’t expected that. Despite not reaching the destination I wanted, I┬ástill walked further than I ever had. Poppy was really well behaved and took everything in her stride. I can’t wait to go back and maybe tackle the coast path from the other direction!

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Summer Holidays in Pembrokeshire

One of the best things about living away from your family is that you always have somewhere to go for a free holiday. Last week, Poppy and I headed off on a girls-only adventure down to Pembrokeshire. It was very much needed, after a hectic end to the school term and in advance of lots of necessary prep work for the new term ahead.

Freshwater West beach Poppydog rock climbingWe headed down to Pembrokeshire last Tuesday, leaving behind a sunny Oxfordshire, heading into cloudy Wales and making our way straight to my favourite beach, Freshwater West. The tide was out, which meant for lots of exploring the rock pools, which is one of Poppy’s favourite things. She’s not that keen on swimming or paddling in the sea but loves to explore the rocks. Freshwater West has always been my favourite beach. As kids, it was always one we would go to, as it’s really long and wasn’t as popular with tourists as lots of other beaches so was nice and quiet during the summer holidays. Perfect!

Crabs on freshwater west Freshwater west Poppydog climbing on rocksI had planned on doing a spot of geocaching while we were, but sadly, a lack of signal put paid to that. So Poppy and I had a long walk along the beach, with spot of rock climbing and rock pooling fun thrown in to the mix. There was only a little bit of drizzle, which didn’t deter us, or the hoards of surfers, enjoying the waves.

sand art at freshwater west Poppydog on the beachI’m not sure who enjoys walking on the beach more, Poppy or me. I love being by the coast, it is my most favourite place. There’s something about being covered in salt that does wonders for my relaxation. This was the start of lots of walks, lots of coast exploration and lots of bad hair caused by the coastal breeze!

The Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild Days 25 – 30

While we speed headlong throughout July and careering into the summer holidays (yay!), it’s time for the final installment of my attempt at #30dayswild. While my attempt might have been a little lackluster, I have really enjoyed seeing the different experiences of others on social media. The pictures people took brightened my day and helped to inspire my own attempts at getting into nature. Some people seemed to be able to find aspects of nature so easily and take immense pictures! These are my final few shots from June, plus a few from the first few days of July, including some great ones from a lovely walk we had at Chimney Meadows.

Bournemouth Beach Saving a baby starling Tree fungusBee getting pollen Butterfly Diving goose Meadow Poppydog swimming Stag Beetle Starlings in the garden Sunshine and blue skyTaking part in #30dayswild was a good reminder for me to make sure that I make time for nature. I feel so much better when I’m in a field or by the coast, away from everything, spotting anything from devil coach horse beetles to common blue butterflies to deers jumping across the field. It’s so important to make time for nature and get out there in the fresh air, even if it’s just to see Poppydog paddling in a stream!