Walk 5. Freshwater East to Manorbier

Our next walk was the section between Manorbier and Freshwater East. As our accomodation was at Trewent Holiday Village at Freshwater East we had decided to walk this section starting out from here and heading to Manorbier.

This was a return to Trewent Park for us as we had stayed there a few times in the distant past over 15 years ago. It’s a nice holiday village and we noticed some newer brightly coloured chalets and a smart club “The Longhouse” which we found on this trip serves very good bar meals.

Freshwater East Bay is exactly as we remember from years past, a superb wide arc of sandy beach flanked on each side by sloping hillsides. Although we are not sure we had too many days like this all those years ago, super fine weather with hardly a cloud in the azure blue sky!

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Freshwater East Beach

As Caroline’s parents are staying here too, the plan is for them to drive to Manorbier and meet us there which means it’s a one way walk and we’ll not have to double back.

This walk begins from a narrow wood footbridge near to Trewent Park, and the path  runs along the dunes behind the beach and begins to climb the hillside. The next photo was taken fron the hillside and it’s a great view from here of the series of headlands along the coastline which gradually “step” into the distance looking towards Manorbier.

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Headlands step into the distance

Continuing to climb uphill and through woodland, there’s a clearing with a viewpoint overlooking the beach and provides a fine view of the natural arc of the bay and the Trewent Point headland opposite.

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View of Freshwater East natural arc of bay

Continuing onwards and the wooded hillside gives way to open fields as this next section of path trails along the top of gently sloping cliffs and there are outstanding coastal views to Freshwater East in the far distance.

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View from path towards Freshwater East

There are occasional surprises too as the path skims near the edge in places, above some steep cliff sides with dramatic sheer rock features which contrast with the lovely turquoise hued waters.

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As the walk continues along the cliff tops, Swanlake Bay comes into view and with the backdrop of countless farm fields into the distance it’s stunning scenery of both coast and countryside.

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Swanlake Bay in the distance
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Coast path leads down to Swanlake Beach

We walked on to Swanlake Bay and headed down onto the deserted beach with the only sound being the waves gently breaking on to the shore. Just a perfect scene.

Back on the path and there’s a climb across a sloping hillside (the track can be seen on the photo above) to reach a headland. Pausing here and taking in the view back to the bay is enough to “stop you in your tracks” (and we did),  it is simply stunning scenery.

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Coast path view of Swanlake Bay with Freshwater East in distance

Walking onwards we reach another headland and Manorbier Bay comes into view, albeit obscured by a mid morning mist rolling in low over the sea for a dramatic effect. The path meanders downhill steeply here and creates a sort of zigzag effect as it descends.

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Sea mist in Manorbier Bay

From this point onwards the path follows along the gentle sloping ground high above the rugged and rocky coastline.  There are open views on the approach to Manorbier Beach with fine views of the headland known as “Priest’s Nose” on the opposite side of the bay.

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Coastline between Swanlake Bay and Manorbier

On reaching Manorbier Beach a weekend holiday crowd are arriving to take advantage of the exceptionally fine weather. You could argue that this is perhaps a beach scene as good as any in the med!

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Manorbier Beach (not the med!)

As we reach the beach car park having completed this walk, with perfect timing Caroline’s parents arrive to meet us. They had their own adventure, getting lost and driving towards Milford Haven due to a sat nav misdirection error, before finding their way to Manorbier. We make our way up the hill past the castle to the Beach Break Tearooms in the village, for the post walk essentials: coffee, tea and cake.

This was a very enjoyable walk along a beautiful section of scenic coastline with some wonderful views under lovely clear blue skies. This walk, a distance of just under 4 miles, brings to 21 miles now completed with 165 miles further to go on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

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