Coast Path day 8

Porthgain harbour

Trefin to Abereiddi.
From the beach walk a little way up the lane and rejoin the coast path on the right and as you reach the cliff top you will see volcanic boulders places on the promontory by farmers – it is sadly not an ancient stone circle! Ensure any dogs are on a lead (as they should be anyway on the path) as there are usually cattle grazing along this section.

above Porthgain

The path meanders in and out of fields and backwards and forwards nearer and away from the edge – there is a waterfall at Pwll Crochan. This section is not challenging, but can be boggy and it is best to be aware of the narrow track and drop in some parts.

At Porthgain there are plenty of places to take a break and enjoy a drink and some food in one of Pembrokeshire’s most popular eateries – the famous Sloop Inn or the Shed restaurant , just to mention two. This interesting and picturesque harbour is a haven for tourists and walkers – it can get almost busy on hot summer days and you may need to book a table. It is a good place to explore as here are the strongest remnants of the county’s Industrial Revolution. Roadstone, slate and bricks were worked and exported from Porthgain from 1837 until 1931. The little white pilot’s house on the far side marks the steps up to the path again.

This is my family’s (and many other people’s) favourite section as the path leads through the remains of the quarrymen’s houess, the tram cutting and weighbridge, tips and tracks. I would recommend taking time to follow the various paths so you do not miss the views, wildflowers, birds and butterflies – the tramway makes a grass tunnel and then you come upon the vast , spectacular quarry of Penclegyr. There you can see evidence of the cable-worked incline and winding house, called jerusalem road in its heyday.
The coast path continues along fabulous scenery and the track is quite wide but rutted so it is easy to trip if you are mesmerised by the views. The cliffs are quite high and birds will fly close to you – views inland across the farmland are good too. Another place to stop and take some time is the beach of Traeth Llyfn – beautiful sand framed by dark share cliffs and only accessible by very steep iron steps. There is only a little parking in a nearby farm so it is never busy here and a really good family beach – be aware that you can quickly get cut off on the southern bits as the tide comes in and you will need some energy left to get back up the steps – quite a challenge with dogs, children and beach paraphenalia if you are taking a beach holiday rather than walking, but well worth it.

The stunning views can sometimes be enhanced by summer mists interspersed with the warm sunshine and you can see the stone tower on the volcanic rock of Carn Llwyd above Abereiddi well before you reach it. As you do reach Abereiddi the path is wide and wanders over the steeply sloping grassy clifftop, but be very careful with dogs and children as the drop is sheer – the world Cliff Diving Championships have been held here for good reason.

Below the tower, you will find one of Pembrokeshire’s most iconic attractions – the Blue Lagoon.This flooded slate quarry is now used for coasteering, kayaking and swimming. The quarry was open from 1830 until 1904, but the slate was poor and the small community was decimated by illness. The tramway to Ynys Barry farm and the cottages remain so this is great place for history lovers. The car park is free, but has been seriously affected by winter storms in recent years and the wall was completely destroyed so erosion is very evident above the black sandy beach. There is a toilet and, in summer, a local ice-cream van with organic ice-cream of wonderful taste, teas and snacks.

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Suzanne Ashworth

Suzanne Ashworth

Suzanne is now enjoying realising her long-held ambition to work as a Community Photojournalist and to celebrate her passion for the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire. Usually accompanied by her Pembrokeshire border collie, Cwtch.

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