Exploring the south Pembrokeshire coast

1 September 2013

I think I've broken the dogs. Both are flat out, refusing to move. I just had to lift Disa onto her feet to make her come out for a final toilet break. As soon as we got back, she made a beeline for the crate and is already snoring. Busy has decided to sleep on my left foot. Cute, but now my foot has also gone to sleep and it would be a bit mean to move her...

After a huge cooked breakfast (the B&B were more than happy to supply an extra sausage for the girls) we headed to Manorbier. In case you're wondering, it's pronounced Man-or-beer ... now, there's a choice! The village is known for its pretty cove, overlooked by a castle. I fancied getting my feet on some of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path so headed away from the groups of tourists around the car park and straight for the path. I opted to follow the coast west, towards the unusually-named Swanlake Bay. Despite the soft, golden sand and sheltered, sunny bay, there were only two other people there. And one dog. I took the girls down to the water, but neither likes getting their paws wet and they were more interested in looking for seaweed and dead crabs. Yum. It may only be about a three mile walk there and back, but the path is far from flat and even. Including time spent exploring the beaches and picking blackberries, it took us the best part of two hours.

After a quick ice-cream break, it was back in the car for the short drive to Bosherston. Here, the National Trust own hundreds of acres of land, from the stunningly beautiful lily ponds in the west, across the Stackpole Estate, to the popular Barafundle Beach in the east. Parking at the lily ponds, we walked along the path that follows the southern shore. The water was almost completely covered in lilies, many of which were still in flower. A really peaceful sight. From the southeast end of the lake, we continued along the path to the coast. The cliffs here are limestone, often with huge caves carved out by the sea. It's a popular spot for climbers, and I spotted a couple making the most of the light winds and mild weather. Also making the most of the weather were a couple of adders. It's great to see them, but I was glad I had both dogs on leads at the time and spotted the snakes before the dogs did! We walked along the edge of the cliffs all the way round to Barafundle Bay - a remote spot, only accessible by foot, and bordered by dunes and pine trees. A bit too busy for me at 4pm on a sunny Sunday, but I bet it's glorious outside of the peak season. We carried on a little further around the coast to Stackpole Quay before cutting across the Stackpole Estate back to the north side of the lily ponds and the car. Following the edge of the cliffs rather than the proper path added quite a bit to the route, and we'd been walking for around another three hours or more.

Back to the B&B we had about an hour to recover before sunset. Yesterday evening I'd discovered a great view of Tenby at dusk and wanted to capture it on camera. It may have been one half-hour walk too many for the girls, but it was worth it!

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