The next stage of our coast path walks starts from St. Mary’s Church, Pwllcrochan near the Valero power station, and finishes at Pembroke town. It’s a distance of six and a half miles on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
We had previously reached the beautiful church at Pwllcrochan on walk 12. There’s a parking area near the church so we drove to the site and parked there and began our walk back up the lane towards the entrance to the power station. There’s an old school house in ruins on the lane a sign of past times when this was a small community with the school and church at its heart, before the post war industry arrived.
We took a slight detour down a track leading to an inlet, before backtracking to rejoin the official path and headed east along a country lane and then followed the coast path way-markers around the boundary of the power station. The large site is surprisingly well hidden from the path, being mostly out of view apart from a series of tall chimneys and pylons, as some pleasant woodland screens it very well.
After rounding the power station boundary we crossed farm fields, at one gate we encountered a beautiful sight, a protective mare with a very young foal.
The open fields provide some nice views across the Pembroke river as the path heads inland following the line of a tidal inlet.
At a number of places the path winds it way through natural native woodland glades. As in the photo below, the path was at times flanked by banks of white flowering wild garlic and wildflowers attracting lots of butterflies, a lovely contrast with the greenery in the sunlight.
Back in the open countryside and crossing farm fields the path joins a quiet country lane. As we walked along this lane, accompanied only by the sound of birds chirping merrily in the hedgerows, from nowhere we were suddenly startled as a Sparrow Hawk swooped onto the hedgerow alongside us and in an instant seized a young sparrow in its talons and then took flight with its screeching prey. It was over in seconds but our close up view brought to mind the old saying “Nature in the raw is seldom mild” and Tennyson’s “Tho’ nature, red in tooth and claw”.
Turning off the lane we headed back into countryside and a walk across farmland fields, before the track winds through a pleasant woodland valley.
Occasionally there’s a fine view such as the tidal mudflats at Goldborough Pill and a glimpse into the past with the remains of an old ivy covered lime kiln.
Pembroke Castle one of the most impressive and largest Norman Castles in Britain.
From here on it’s a walk through bland streets at Hundleton, around a tidal inlet known as Quoits Mill before some road walking through Monkton, then down “The Awkward Hill” with its row of quaint old character cottages. We wondered if the name of the street referred to the steepness of the hill or some occupants in times past.
The path runs below the ridge on which the Castle was built, it’s walls and towers high above you on one side. the calm waters of the Castle Mill Pond on the other side.
The Castle holds a place in British history as the birthplace of Henry VII and the Tudor dynasty. There’s an impressive statue on the bridge of Henry Tudor.
Pembroke is an historic town and it’s worth finding time for a wander around the ponds either side of the bridge, Main Street, and recommend a visit to the magnificent castle.
> Walk distance ~ a ‘there and back’ walk, 13 miles in total with the return. With sections of woodland, countryside and fields along the way it was a very pleasant easy going walk
> Time ~ 5 and a half hours
> Recommended Rest Stop:
- The Quayside Cafe a lovely cafe within the Cornstore building, Pembroke bridge, with quality range of food, snacks and drinks
We have now completed 56 miles on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, so just 130 miles to go. Join us again as we continue walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.