There are so many beautiful beaches in Pembrokeshire that choosing a favourite should be near impossible. And yet, so far, I have one.
I was quite happy to do this… to tell you all about the clear crystal water, the gentle slope into safe swimming, the almost Mediterranean feel of the bay, and so on…but as I sat down to write I felt anxious.
If I am completely honest, I suddenly got worried that everyone reading this would try to flock to this little gem and the limited parking spaces would be taken up, condemning me to look elsewhere for an inferior swimming spot.
So……this is how it is, Cwm Yr Eglwys can only be reached through a tear in the space time continuum. I am sorry, but that’s how it is. I found it myself using my super power of turning order into chaos…..sort of stumbled on it when trying to tidy up.
Having said that, it really is a treasure. A delightful little cove, part sand and part pebble where the beach becomes entirely consumed by the high tide. Even when the beach is gone, the swimming is always good from the slipway. Silvery shoals of fish darting over stones and shells that just beg to be collected beneath water usually gloriously clear is where my heart feels lightest.
When the tide is low, the many rock pools are alive with scuttling crabs, bubbling anemones and tiny darting fishes. A paradise for any child with a net and a bucket. Please, please, gently put them back after a short examination. It’s so important to be kind and respectful isn’t it, and with all that tear in the fabric of the universe going on, you can never be really certain who might be watching!!.
While this is never a crowded beach, it is a place where parents know their kids are likely not to be dragged out to sea by overwhelming currents and the beach is mainly open with the entrance and exit being the slip way in the centre.
It’s also a dog friendly beach. I no longer have dogs but I really enjoy seeing their waggy happiness at being such a lovely place. Mostly they are delightful and owners are usually responsible about cleaning up after them (the beach seems very clean) The dogs are often excited and barky though, which, as I say, I enjoy. Watching a young collie trying to retrieve a pebble in a foot of water is exquisite, or a Jack Russells attempt to dig its way to the antipodes….well what a delight.
Jellyfish can be an issue on any beach particularly in spring but I say, wear sea shoes and make the kids do the same. My experience is that even when storms have brought a lot into the bay, placing your hand accidently over one as you swim by is far more unpleasant than a slight sting.
Having said that, obviously you might not know you are allergic to such things until after the event, so if it’s more than a slight sting, peeing on it will not work and if menthol, like vapour rub doesn’t help, the pharmacies in Newport or Fishguard might be your next port of call…
Now I must add, just in case you manage to get past the space /time continuum thing, that there are possible down sides. This is the only beach where I have ever been savagely bitten by sand flies, due to the sea weed, which is often to be found drying on the beach after high tide. Once again, I advise Vapour rub, a trick I picked up in Thailand for mosquito bites. It works for me.
If you are wimpy about sea weed ( oh get over yourself , it’s the sea) having to negotiate the first few feet of water with it swishing around your ankles might be off putting, but if that’s you, well maybe the pool at the Leisure Centre Fishguard might be more to your taste.
Parking can also be an issue as there are a number of holiday homes here and a number of folks who like to Kayak and who keep their boats here in the boatyard. You fit walker types can park yourselves at Pwll Gwaelod, just up the way and walk. It really isn’t far.
Unlike some other beaches I could mention, there is only a small donation parking charge in the little car park that won’t break the bank. An interesting churchyard and the ruins of a church destroyed in the wild storms of 1859 make a delightful place from where to survey the loveliness of it all, possibly with an ice cream from the little kiosk in the boatyard. Give the honey and ginger a try…delicious!
So that’s my favourite beach. If you manage to find it, say hello…..to everyone. You are one of a select few who made it past the dark matter…
Now keep it a secret!