The Pembrokeshire Coast Path runs between St. Dogmaels in the north and Amroth in the south following as much of the coastline of the county as possible - a total of 186 miles. Inspired by a random thought, and supported by the Trailblazer Publications book by Jim Manthorpe, we walked the north-most section between St. Dogmaels and Newport in October 2005, then from Newport to Fishguard in May 2012. Having decided against another 7 year gap we walked another section in October 2012, this time a circular walk from and to St. David’s including about 8.5 miles of the Coast Path from Carfai Bay to Whitesands Bay. Unlike the previous two walks, this time we travelled in the same direction as that followed by the book.
We stayed at the Old Cross Hotel in St. David’s on Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday morning we walked down to Carfai Bay (just over a mile) to join the Coast Path to start our walk at about 9.25. This section of the path was our easiest so far, almost all flat but still beautiful scenery.
Our first stop was at the retreat and small chapel at St. Non’s - and, in a nearby field, the remains of an older St. Non’s chapel and a holy healing well. St. Non was the mother of St. David, the patron saint of Wales, and the chapel remains are said to mark his birthplace. Further on we descended to a small inlet at Porth Clais where we had a coffee at a kiosk in the National Trust car park.
Ascending from the inlet the path passed a beach at Porthlysgi and a disused mine then reached the most westerly point of mainland Wales where we ate my lunch overlooking Ramsey Island in the company of a persistent but seemingly unlucky kestrel.
At the lifeboat station at St. Justinian's we could have taken a boat ride to Ramsey Island to spot birds and other wildlife but we decided to press on, passing a small beach at Porthselau before reaching Whitesands Bay and, at about 15.25, our end point at the cafe in the car park there - another coffee opportunity.
Walking up the road towards St. David’s we took the second road/lane on the right and followed this until we reached the Cathedral and the remains of the Bishop’s Palace - just over two miles in all. Passing the Cathedral we climbed the steps and rewarded ourselves with a couple of pints at the Farmers Arms Inn.
The overall distance we walked was about 12 miles.