• Tom

Walking Pembrokeshire (Part 3)

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

My last few days in the spectacular Pembrokeshire. A place for adventurers and thrill seekers, jumping cliffs and visiting the many beaches. It’s far from the crowds and the quaint villages that greet you on your journey is a walker’s dream.

Day 14

REST DAY! I slept soundly in the old converted barn house, the thick walls and blackout curtains helped regain that lost sleep.

My Mum Sue, her partner Nick, my then partner Lewis and my sister Ellen headed to Abereiddy, the small village better known for it’s ‘Blue Lagoon’. It is a flooded slate pit that sits overlooking the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast and Abereiddy’s surfing beach. The pool looks even bluer than the rest of the adjacent sea, perhaps because of it’s calmness, you’re able to fully appreciate the clean, turquoise water.

Despite the cloud of rainy mist, we changed into our cold wetsuits and as we walked over, sunshine broke through opening a patch of blue sky. It was a perfect spot to try some coasteering, where you find high points over the sea to throw yourself off, trying to fight off the vertigo. Not to be outdone by my little sister, I also jump off the highest ledge, feeling like Pocahontas, but in reality, falling with flailing arms and legs.

The sunshine came through for a coasteering adventure, you can see behind where we jumped from

The area must have microclimates because when we moved onto Whitesands Bay, it become colder and wetter once again. We had lunch overlooking the beach where the many surfers battled the waves. Our evening involved good food, drinks, tv and Monopoly. We managed to get through it without any serious damage but seriously, the box should come with a warning! Especially if you’re playing with competitive people like myself.

It was a perfect day of exploration and relaxation with my family without 20 miles of walking. The fun weekend had passed too quickly and starting week 3 played on my mind as I went to bed. At least though, I have had some good sleep and food before the journey continued.

Day 15

Is it really week 3 already?! Nearing my halfway point, it feels like I’ve got further to go than ever. As I said goodbye to Lewis, holding back the tears, I ask him ‘Why am I doing this? Why didn’t I just do a week?’. He simply responded ‘Because that isn’t you’.

I have to remind myself that I thrive on being challenged, to do things that many others wouldn’t. I have wanted to fundraise for my Nana for as long as I can remember. It had to be something worthwhile of people’s interest, respect and their donations. So here we go, let’s show the world of Wales’s beauty, the struggles I face as I walk it’s rugged coasts and my resolve to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

The weather was wet and the relatively short walk I faced today was made harder by the wind’s relentless wish to slow you down. I pass the pretty village of Porthgain whose relics lay evidence to it’s once prosperous industrial harbour days.

Kayakers take to the water at Portgain

The weather improved and the rolling green hills shone in the glistening dew left by the rain. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful every corner of the Welsh coast is. We pass a stone structure of some sort and the scenery behind it is like a painting, I push through the difficult moments to be rewarded by sights like these.

Picture perfect

I arrive at Abercastle and as I walk round the headland the small harbour is quintessentially picturesque. It feels welcoming and warm, and I know my day’s destination is not far away. I arrive at the homely Trellin campsite. I setup my tent next to a running stream, surrounded by woodland. It calms my mind for the remaining challenging week I have, I remember that I am supported by so many and it keeps me uplifted and strong.

Coming into my home for the night, Abercastle

Day 16

With another long day’s walk ahead of me I get up early and grudgingly pack away my wet tent in the rain. Fortunately I have a kitchen at my disposal which makes the porridge making easy and a dry affair.

My long walk around the headland between Abercastle and Fishguard is impeded by high wind speeds and rain. It’s hard to appreciate the views when you’re being extra careful where you place your feet and poles. Though nothing could dampen the fantastic views at Strumble Head Lighthouse, despite it’s short stature it’s raised on it’s own island giving it a majestic appearance, as though dominating the seas before it. Next to the lighthouse is a sheltered viewing platform for watching the local wildlife, there are apparently daily sightings of dolphins and less rarely, whales. Both of which I saw none as I didn’t have the time to sit and wait for them to make an appearance.

Sometimes a candid photo captures the moment just right, a stormy outlook but we're walking towards the light

Finally arriving into Goodwick and then Fishguard I was super excited to visit the local, large co-op. This must sound strange but it’s rare to find a decently stocked supermarket when you’re passing mostly small villages. Knowing that my campsite had a microwave, I treat myself to an Indian as well as some other goodies. What I forget to remember is that my campsite is still 3 miles away along a muddy and challenging coastal path, my now top heavy bag makes the last stretch a slog.

I may be tired but I can't not appreciate the views as the sun goes down just outside of camp

Arriving at Fishguard Bay campsite, I once again am treated to a free stay in support of my walk and cause. With only my savings to keep me going, saving on campsite fees are a blessing. I sit in their cosy TV room overlooking the Irish Sea, with Fishguard in the distance, I attempt to catch up with my blog writing. Another day done, another 19 to go.

Day 17

Today is my 300 mile mark meaning I’m halfway! It’s also my last day on the Pembrokeshire coast. The night had been cold and windy, probably only sleeping for a few hours I was eager to just get moving.

The day gives me more dramatic cliff views and cool, blue waters. The weather is dry and pleasant making the challenging terrain easier to walk. I pass several stunning beaches (Pwllgwaelod, Newport, Poppit Sands), some accessible and some not, sometimes I wish I had the time to enjoy them more but I know I can always come back.

Almost at Pwllgwaelod Beach

The lovely, local Parkinson’s support group (organised by Claire) greeted me warmly at the end of my long day next to Cardigan castle. It just so happened that it was my midway point and they even had posters to mark this happy occasion. We shared stories, learning more about what they do for the local Parkinson’s community and my reasons for doing the walk. We had some drinks, ate some decent grub and I ended my day in a lovely soft bed (thanks Terry and Cherry). I appreciated it greatly and it helped me stay positive, knowing that I have another half of my journey to go!

My lovely support group in Cardigan, one of the highlights of the entire trip

With 300 miles down and 300 more to go, I try to remain strong but I’m feeling weary. I hope in someway you’ve seen the struggle, the organisation and the determination it’s taken me to get this far. Despite all the beautiful sights and picturesque photos, this challenge requires a constant resilience to the elements, the heavy backpack, the camping chores and daily washing of Tegwen after she’s rolled in poo. At the time of writing, I have reached my £5000, so I know that my walk was appreciated enough for so many to be so generous. Thank you all for following!

Walk it yourself?

Rating - 5*

Why? - Surfing, sailing, coasteering, this place is perfect for the adventure types. You past fantastic view points like Stumble Head Lighthouse and quaint towns like lower Fishguard. Moving onto Cardigan you pass beautiful beaches which require time to enjoy!

Highlights - Whitesands Bay, Blue Lagoon, Porthgain, Strumble Head Lighthouse, Fishguard, Pwllgwaelod Beach, Newport Beach, Poppit Sands, Cardigan

Tom’s Tip - Just follow this path from start to finish, give yourself time to enjoy the beaches and do some adventure sports. The whole of Pembrokeshire offers the most beautiful views, just enjoy yourself and take it all in. Walk as much as you want, the coast is followed by local buses so you won’t ever be stranded.

Accommodation - St Davids would be your starting point which has lots of accommodation options, so does Fishguard and then Cardigan. No excuses!

Travel - Cardigan and Fishguard are connected by the National Railway, St Davids is only connected by bus.

About Me

Hi! I'm Tom, born and raised in Wales, now living in London. I'm raising money for Diversity Role Models with my pooch, Tegwen. I'm a traveller at heart & never shy away from an adventure, although 300 miles still won't be easy!


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