On Thursday we dropped our eldest son at Whitesands where he was spending the day with his girlfriend and her family. He'd given us strict instructions not to 'lurk', which frankly, is understandable given the embarrassment potential that parents have for teenagers - no doubt made worse by the prospect of us donning bathing costumes.
So instead Jane and I went to Porthmynawydd, one of my favourite beaches and somewhat of a Pembrokeshire secret. Perhaps the term 'secret' is a bit strong, for Porthymynawydd is seldom deserted in summer - but on a day when the car parks were overflowing, there were less than a dozen people who'd made the one kilometre walk to reach this peaceful haven.
And yet it's a world away. The bay is formed by a deep cove and headland (Dinas Fach), sheltering a shallow and soft sanded beach. The high cliffs enclose the horizon, adding to the sense of remoteness - and they still the waves, creating, at high tide, a shallow lagoon that's perfect for swimming and messing about. There are caves and rock pools, diving platforms and crystal clear snorkelling. One chap there on Thursday caught a huge spider crab, bringing it back for inspection before releasing it again.
But that's enough description - for more, you must visit yourself.
Often I've read landscape writers describing this or that 'special place', but not revealing the location, claiming that to do so would risk the invasion of crowds. This seems a little selfish to me, and in most cases overestimates the reach of their work and the impact of recommendations. With the exception of disclosing sensitive wildlife sites which might be abused (remember the days when Red Kite nests were guarded by the military?), I take a more generous view; in any event, that one kilometre walk will always deter the tourist hordes.
Our day ended with the tide ebbing to low. We took a wrong turn on the coast path and ascended the western cliffs, only to have to descend again. From the summit though, I could see over the sweep of St Brides; there were tankers at anchor off Skomer, a heat haze softening the sky, and the cove below us - a sparkling jewel in what is already a golden crown.
It looks really idyllic. How lucky we are to have all these wonderful places on our own coastline.ReplyDelete
We have always been of the view that the Pembrokeshire coastline is amongst the best in the world. It is so beautiful how the land sweeps down to the sea and the hidden coves are so very attractive.
As you say, even the shortest of walks is guaranteed to put off tourists. It is a source of constant amazement to us that just a few yards from the Rialto or St Mark's Square in Venice and the streets are almost deserted. Still, that is what makes the difference between a tourist and a traveller we think...or in your case, a local with inside knowledge!
Splendid description....and how right you are to share information.ReplyDelete
I do hope you had a swim in your bathing costumes...such beautiful photos. The weather here in Nova Scotia is similar right now...the sea about 72 or so round where we live...clear because there has been little rain..greenish and alive. Look at the sky in your photos!! sigh..ReplyDelete
You describe this holiday away so well, the boat in the photo drawing me..wanting to visit... a sparkling jewel is right..
I do love the Pembroke coastReplyDelete
What a very lovely place and I like your generosity! I agree: it is rare that a place would truly be spoilt. Our hills above the house are empty compared to Snowdonia and the Lake District but there is plenty of scope for sharing them with people who would take the time and trouble to walk them.ReplyDelete
Superb photos, Mark, and you'e right to tell the world, knowing that only some will ever make that short walk ro get there.ReplyDelete