AS I mentioned previously, I wasted too much time when walking from St Davids to Strumble Head and ended up skipping a couple of sections of coast path and going by road. I hadn’t particularly wanted to skip them and several Pembrokeshire locals suggested politely that it might have been a mistake so, prior to continuing on from Goodwick, I went back and re-walked the Trefin to Strumble Head section via the coast path.
It was a glorious day with blue skies and burning sunshine. And when I say ‘burning’ I mean it advisedly: I managed to get mildly sunburned even while applying SPF 30 sunscreen on an hourly basis. You would think skin as pale as mine would be reflective due to the albedo alone, but no…
A bus deposited me in Trefin and I made my way back down the hill to the cove of Aber Draw, where I found the old watermill, or rather what was left of it.
From the mill, the path led up onto the headland of Trwyn Llwyd (‘grey nose’) and another ruin, which may have once been a cottage associated with the old quarry. Or it may not.
The path onwards skipped alarmingly close to the edge for a moment but then recovered its sense of decorum, making up for its little tantrum by presenting me with some of the awesome coastline that I’d been promised.
I knew that somewhere approaching Abercastle was the Neolithic burial chamber of Carreg Samson. Once a stone-walled tomb, covered over with earth, the earth has long since eroded away leaving only the precariously balanced stones. It looks pretty impressive, I believe. But I don’t know because I never actually saw it.
Soon enough I found myself in Abercastle, having passed Carreg Samson by for the second time.
Slightly annoyed with myself, I hurried onwards, noting as I did so the riot of flowers had in no way abated since my last walk. Indeed, now foxgloves were in bloom, adding their deep pink-purple to the blue of the bluebells and the yellow of the gorse.
The next section of coast, from Abercastle to Aber Mawr, was not one that I’d missed out last time so I charged along it at speed until I reached the stony beach at Aber Mawr.
The Coast Path
Aber Mawr & Aber Bach
This time I didn’t leave the coast and head inland, but instead continued onwards to the smaller, but no less stony, beach of Aber Bach where local legend says a fisherman once captured a mermaid, getting himself cursed for his efforts.
A considerable amount of crinkly coast followed, all of which was glorious. But none of it conformed to the description of one of the locals I’d spoken to, who had talked of ‘vertiginous views’ over ‘sheer drops’. This wasn’t a bad thing either, since my head for heights is unreliable, shading to useless.
Soon enough though the path began to climb up towards a rocky tor that I initially thought was Garn Fawr but later realised formed a ridge — unnamed on my map — that ran from the headland of Penbwchdy along the coast to where Garn Fawr actually was.
The path initially climbed to about 100 m where a circular stone shelter stood at the western end of the ridge.
The path onwards scrambled up the rocky tor, gaining another 20 or 30 m. This tested my head for heights a bit as it was extremely uneven with a steep but rugged, rocky slope on one side and a Deathly Cliff of Deadly Death on the other.
The ridge undulated a bit as it approached Garn Fawr, the 213 m top of which still towered overhead. And then suddenly the path was on a level road, bypassing Garn Fawr altogether as it edged around the bay of Pwll Deri and the Youth Hostel perched there.
Thereafter, though the path undulated considerably, it descended on average towards Strumble Point. Ahead I could see the lighthouse and the islets of Ynys Meicel and Carreg Onnen.
I reached Strumble head with an hour to spare before the last bus to Goodwick.
I spent that hour sat on a bench watching a pod of bottlenose dolphins encircling schools of fish. It was a pretty good hour to round off a pretty good walk.
All in all, I’m glad I did this bit again.