St Bride’s Bay – part 2
Saturday 18th June – Beyond Little Haven (Musselwick view point) to Harold stone and back again
Total Steps: 13,998 – 6726 steps on the trail 7269 off the trail
Total: 6.4 miles 3.1 on the trail, 3.3 miles off
Running Total: 44.4 miles – 26.9 miles on the trail, 17.5 miles off
I paid significant attention to the weather forecast, and wrapped up more than I had done previously, walking in my waterproofs (and gloves) as the ambient temperature was 12 degrees and there was still a stiff breeze. It is now beginning to take a while to get to where the walks need to begin, so I drove on mostly windy lanes from New Gale to the parking space beyond Little Haven – there was room for about 4 cars at the Musselwick view point (and mine was the 3rd vehicle). I set up a touching point on the bench present to admire the view, and then set off on the outward leg of the walk (this time doing the off route section first (except where the coast path was on the road!).
It was interesting to walk down through Little Haven, and I found a couple of dragons in passing. It has been a while since I have been passing through places. I availed myself of the facilities in the village, and was soon walking up and over the ridge on the road to Broad Haven. I had come to Broad Haven on one of the Welsh half term holiday weeks with my family when I was a child, and this is the last of the 4 destinations we had visited that I have passed through on the trail. Can’t say I remember it. I have ofcourse been to Broad Haven many times with Jane more recently, and I walked past our favourite café. There were a few people about, and surfing lessons going on, as well as a few hardy swimmers.
I followed a path I have used before through Haroldston Woods, and it was nice to be more sheltered out of the wind and in the trees. The path gently climbed to an exit near the cut through I used yesterday from the coast path. To make sure I went the right way I did follow carefully via the Ordinance survey map app!
I made my way across the link path, and thought I saw a large rock. It was beginning to drizzle at this point. The rock got up and it soon became apparent it was a very bonnie big black bull. I was soon on the cliff path, and I reconnected with yesterday’s touching point and headed down the easy path back into Broad Haven – I stopped for a drizzly coffee break on a welcoming bench. I made my way back through Broad Haven – this time stopping in Ocean café, and I succumbed to another coffee (in the dry) and an excellent piece of barabrith.
Then I retraced my steps on the road up and over into Little Haven – and then the path took to the cliffs, via a viewing point. The path then got quite a lot more energetic, with some steep steps, and a sequence of ups and downs as it worked back out to where I had parked the car. In view of the weather forecast I decided to stop at this point, and indeed it did rain heavily about an hour later!
In case you have been wondering why I went wrong the other day – near the end of today’s trail I saw signs which accounts for the mistake I made. The top one is the coast path sign (with black writing) and the second one for the coast park!
Sunday 19th June – St Bride’s cross to beyond Little Haven (Musselwick view point) and back again
Total Steps: 23,589 – 13,410 steps on the trail 10,179 off the trail
Total: 10.8 miles 6.1 on the trail, 4.7 miles off
Running Total: 55.2 miles – 33 miles on the trail, 22.2 miles off
It took nearly 40 minutes to get to my starting point at St Bride’s, quite inspiring really to think I have walked as far as I have. I used the facilities, and checked there wasn’t a pay machine before wrapping up back in water proofs again, as the temperature was again about 12 and there was a very gusty wind. I had spent quite a lot of time working on the walk for today, and had opted to walk in this direction, which turned out to often be in the very strong wind! I established a touching point, and set off!
The first section was through the bay and then up on to low sandstone cliffs. The wind was keen, and it was on occasions a bit edgy but it was a pretty walk, and I was soon at the mid-walk exit point I had identified. It was a bit disconcerting to see how the path was on cliff edges overhanging! People were sparce throughout the walk today!
I decided to carry on and the coast path got more challenging, moving up and away from Sandstone. I alarmed some calves (fortunately on the other side of a fence), as I was working up to a greater height. Again it was all abit edgy, it got a lot more challenging around 3 small coves, apparently popular with smugglers. I can’t imagine access was easy but it was not overlooked.
After these the path skirted round the cliffs undulating abit – with vegetation down to the sea, it was reasonably easy going wind aside. I met an interesting couple at this point and we had a long chat about the merits of this path. By this stage I was also looking for a vaguely sheltered point to have a coffee stop. This eventually happened at Ticklas point, where there was a rock I sheltered behind.
The next part seemed to take longer than I expected, one more open section to Borough Head and then about a mile in woods – the undulating continued. This presence of the wood made it more sheltered from the wind, which was a relief but it was a bit strange. Eventually I made it back to the touching point bench – to find a family using it. I touched the rail near it and then diverted back to the road. My step count showed I had walked further than I intended!
I decided to have lunch at the church after about ¾ of a mile of the back route. It was not clear if the church was functioning – a broken notice board and locked. I was grateful for a bench memorial, with an excellent view. I contemplated the unknown sailor on a memorial in front of me, and an interesting trunk carving on another stone.
The lanes back was a bit of a struggle, but I managed. It included a brief spell on a green lane which was impassable for vehicles. I was right to have made sure it was mostly down hill (which had accounted for my walk direction!) and I made it back to the car feeling rather weary though I had walked over 10 miles! Lots of good views of the coast, and St Bride’s castle helped with motivation!