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!
I 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 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.
The 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.
By 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 still 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!