Dinas Island Coastal Walk
Having been a week since I last completed a coastline walk, I wanted to achieve another. While I do enjoy the coastline along South Pembrokeshire, I wanted to go further north as I rarely, if not, ever go that way. I usually choose where I go using the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Website; it has over 200 walks, so choosing can be a little tricky. After looking through many trails I decided to take the Half Day Walk, a total of seven miles starting from Cwm-yr-Eglwys.
I arrived at Cwm-yr-Eglwys about 8 am and it was silent, I was the only person here. One of the advantages of living in Pembrokeshire when all the tourists have gone is you can pretty much enjoy walking along the coastline with almost no one in sight, making it perfect for grabbing images without no one in sight.
Cwm-yr-Eglwys itself is a small quiet village with a ruined church, Church of St. Brynach the Abbot. This church was destroyed by a great storm in 1859, removing the church roof and damaging the walls. Only a wall and the west end of the graveyard remain. Being so close to the coast, it was just a matter of time until Church of St. Brynach the Abbot would be damaged by storms.
Also in Cwm-yr-Eglwys is a beach that has earned a few awards, some holiday lettings and a car park which is charged at two pounds on a trust basis, just place your money in a hole at the shed as you enter the car park (go on, you know you want to!).
After having a look around Cwm-yr-Eglwys, it was time to depart for the walk. The first section is along Dinas Head to the trig beacon at the very top of the head. Dinas Island is not an island, by the way, it is a peninsula partially detached from the mainland.
It’s a steep start to the walk and not recommended for people who have trouble walking or disabilities that would prevent them from walking. The views as you make the way to the head is fantastic, you can see for miles and reputedly on a perfect day, Ireland can be seen in the distance. At the trig head, the views are even better. On the day I walked this route the weather was a little misty, but I could still see Fishguard & Parrog & beyond.
Leaving Dinas Head to Pwllgwaelod is a little easier, there is some uphill but mostly downhill which makes it a little easy on your legs after the walk up to Dinas Head. Along the way, there are still some brilliant views to take in especially Fishguard with its harbour. Pwllgwaelod is a small beach with a car park & public house serving lunch & drinks although it was closed when i got there. Just before Pwllgwaleod, there are some bays which are mostly inaccessible due to the height of the cliffs, but you can still look down to view them, just be careful.
Heading towards AberBach, the route starts on a steep incline, then a mixture of inclines and declines, with some flat land in-between. Again there are plenty of bays to see while walking to AberBach such as Pwll Cwn, Pwll Ffynnon-Ovy and Pwll Gwylog. As like the previous walk, some of these bays are accessible while others are not, so take care when viewing them or attempting to reach them. The last bay to arrive before heading towards the other side of Dinas Head is AberBach. AberBach is a large beach with big waves coming into the bay, a beautiful sight to see. Also just off the path is a memorial for Officer Cadet Harry M Whitworth who tragically died in a parachute accident on 29th August 2011.
The route to Aber Fforest is pretty much direct as it is mostly on roads and some farmland. There are still some sites to see but not as much as when I was on the coastline. On the map of the PDF file provided by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, there is a route taking you to Dinas Cross. I decided to bypass this and head straight for Bryn Henllan, then back onto the trail. There was not too much to see at Bryn Henllan although there is now a private residence which is up for sale at the time of writing this that used to be a church (Bryn Henllan Vestry). Aber Fforest is another bay on the North Pembrokeshire Coastline with some history; an 18th-century lime kiln is evident of activity here in the past. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot seals or dolphins.
The walk back to Cwm-yr-Eglwys does not take too long. The scenery is as scenic until you get to woodland that also blocks any chance of seeing any bays down below unless you want to risk going through the densely wooded area. In total, the Dinas Island half day coastal walk took me about 5 hours with plenty of photo stops and two rest breaks.