WALES COAST PATH FESTIVAL WALK
To celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Wales Coast Path, Ramblers Cymru have organised a series of walks throughout May. Ramblers groups in each county, bordering the coast, will lead a coastal walk. Pembrokeshire Ramblers walk on Sunday 12th May was from Saundersfoot Harbour to Waterwynch Bay and back. The walk was open to all provided they were capable of, in some places strenuous ascents and had suitable walking attire.
After registration, at 10.15 the 38 walkers set off for the short section across the beach to the Glen. On connecting with Coast Path the group split in two with the smaller group heading inland through Rhode woods, the remaining walkers continued along the cliff top to small beach below Swallow Tree Caravan Park. From here the route became more challenging, but the stunning views of the Gower Peninsula and Worms Head to the east made the effort worthwhile.
On reaching the four-way path junction near Trevayne Farm those who wished to took the steep steps down to Monkstone Beach for a short coffee break. After this it was back up the 196 steps to join the walkers who had opted to avoid the excursion and take their break at the top. Then it was west along the cliff top, with excellent views of Tenby and Caldy Island bathed in sunshine, to more steps leading in and out of Lodge Valley before reaching the beach at Waterwynch Bay where lunch was taken at 12.30.
At this point we were joined by the smaller group, who had taken a slightly different route so as to avoid congestion on the narrow paths. After lunch walkers were given the option if they wished to leave the walk and continue the short distance into Tenby. Three walkers who had planned on this option left the group and made their way back to Saundersfoot via Tenby.
The remainder set off at 1.15 to retrace the route back to Saundersfoot. As with the outward leg the return was back through Lodge Valley but with a steep climb up the 160 steps that we had previously come down. From here on the strenuous part of the walk was behind us and on reaching the path junction at Trevayne those who wished to took the detour off the Coast Path to Monkstone Point, well worth the effort but not for those with no head for heights as the narrow path is in places very close to the cliff edge.
On returning to the Coast Path and the rest of the group it was a straight forward walk back along the path. Straight forward except that at one point a very large Welsh Black bull had decided to make use of the shade beside the gate that we needed to pass through. He was reluctant to move but after some gentle persuasion gave way.
On reaching the path junction below Swallow Tree we left the coast path and took the route, previously followed by the other group, back to The Glen via Rhode Wood. Fortunately the tide had turned by now and we were able to return across the beach to the start point. After the walkers had signed back in and received their medals they thanked the walk leaders and back markers for the walk and departed for well-deserved refreshments.
The majority of the walkers were from outside Pembrokeshire with one group from Kidwelly, a French family who live in Penarth, walkers from Cardiff and holidaymakers from further afield.
The weather could not have been better and I hope that all enjoyed the walk and suffered no ill effects the following day.
Walk leaders Pembrokeshire Ramblers.