The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

WCP: Bosherston to Saundersfoot

Tuesday 27 September

Distance: 21.2 miles

Weather: rainy start, clearing to sun by mid-afternoon

What a superb day that was – if we overlook this morning’s weather. The walking really was first class, amongst stunning scenery.

Having driven back to Bosherston this morning without a drop of water having hit the windscreen, it was disappointing to find that it was drizzling by the time I had donned yesterday’s still-damp clothing and was ready to step outside. So much for my theory that everything would soon be dry today! The reality was that, about an hour in, I had to concede defeat and put my waterproof trousers on. I was still perfectly warm enough in my shorts (not bad for a few days before October), but I couldn’t be doing with my pants getting any wetter from the water dripping off my pack and jacket!

Even in the wetness, I could appreciate the loveliness of my surroundings, as I passed first through a nature reserve and then onto grassy cliff-tops, where I could have so easily omitted Stackpole Head (a minute’s walk would have seen me cut it off), but as the official path goes around it, so did I. It was definitely worthwhile.

I was mid rollercoaster, on my way to Manorbier, when I saw my first person of the day and it took me a few moments to realise that this runner, a man in tights, was in fact Mick. He walked with me for a while, before running on ahead to put the kettle on for me. Did I ever mention what a good chap he is?

Onwards, past a very smelly dead dolphin on the beach, more undulations brought me to the south of Penally, where suddenly the world and his wife were also enjoying the paths, particularly those around Giltar Point, where the red flags weren’t flying on that military range today.

Mick and I made a meal of meeting each other on the way into Tenby (my nominated lunch stop), where he had been forced to park a distance away from the path, and when we did finally meet (by Mick running up from behind me), I enthused about the place. So many popular seaside destinations have a level of tackiness about them, but I couldn’t fault the bits of Tenby and the surrounding area that I saw. I can see us returning  to enjoy the area at more leisure.

I decided not to walk much further after lunch (having covered 17.5 miles by then), settling on going just a final few miles up to Saundersfoot. That was a lovely walk too, but it surprised me with the number and severity of the downs and ups. One of them was a staircase to beat even the monster one I ascended this morning, and may be a contender for the most severe down-and-up of the trip.

Arriving in Saundersfoot I toyed, for the sake of convenience, with carrying on the 1.75 miles to Wiseman’s Bridge, where we were headed for the night, but Mick pointed out that he would be driving back through Saundersfoot in the morning anyway, so I may just as well call it a day. It was only later that I realised that the route between the two places is a friendly cycle-route and thus it would have been negligible effort to have tacked it onto the end of today, rather than it being the start of tomorrow.

(Conrad: I think your walk between Bosherston and Pembroke must have been more than 20 miles unless there has been a significant rerouting of the coast path in recent years. I recorded, via GPS, the distance between Pwllcrochan and Bosherston as being 21 miles and Pembroke must be around 4 miles further. The WCP distance chart agrees as it has Castlemartin to Pembroke down as 22 miles and Bosherston and Castlemartin are a few miles apart.)

Doh! Forgot to put photos in as I went along. Here’s a selection. Forgive me if I don't explain any of them today - I need to sleep more than I need to label photos just now!



  1. I have no means of accurately measuring distances on the walk. I just estimate using the kilometre squares.

    Here is my bit about Tenby; I of course am walking in the opposite direction to you. I wonder if you covered the "waffle path?"

    The strange formatting is lifted from the pdf of my journal where text wraps photos.

    "Entering Tenby a
    steep path had
    been paved with
    some peculiar
    concrete sets
    which looked like
    oversize waffles
    with pointed
    corners; all I can say is that the guy who decided to put them
    there should be made to walk twenty miles on them himself.

    If you want to get fit walk The Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Steep
    ascent follows steep descent at short and regular intervals. The
    scenery is a coastal addicts
    dream with savage cliffs,
    spuming foam, fascinatingly clear
    water in many shades of blue and
    green, and wind and sunshine in
    abundance - wonderful !"

  2. I do remember the waffle path; it stood out as being unusual, although I didn't dislike it. In fact, being grippy and firm, it was a positive contrast to all of the slippery mud I'd encountered earlier on.

    I've now looked at the ascent figures which go with my mileages for this walk, which confirmed that, yes, that path certainly does like its downs and ups!