Day 094: Strumble Head to Newport Sands

Distance: 22.30 miles

Ascent: 10796 feet

Weather: Sunny

Accommodation: YHA Newport


Well the day couldn’t have got off to a better start, with the view from the hostel kitchen stunning and plenty of food to cook for breakfast. The weather appeared to be as forecast with the sky predominantly blue.

I was off not long after 7:15 and the landscape for this first part to Strumble Head was lovely, with the same craggy, boggy terrain as parts of yesterday which I loved. The lighthouse slowly came into view through gaps in the landscape and as you got closer it appeared in all it’s majesty upon its own little island.

This is actually where I had proposed to camp last night next to a weird giant sort of bird hide and in the bright sun this morning the whole area looked beautiful. The path follows the cliffs which seemed to be a never ending series of ascents and descents, though in the sun and with such dramatic scenery I did not care. The path reaches Carregwastad Point, this is apparently the point of the last invasion of Britain. It appears a very bizarre attempt considering it was the third of a trio of landings, the other two being in Ireland and the North East which had already failed. But they managed to get 17 boatloads of men, 47 barrels of powder, 50 tonnes of cartridges/grenades and 2000 stands of arms. But by the sounds of it if the French soldiers/people hadn't become more preoccupied with looting then due to the slow response they may have taken some substantial ground but as it stood they got nowhere.

From here it was not long till the path started to climb down towards Fishguard and I came across a lovely peacock butterfly The coast path crosses over the access roads to the car/passenger ferry via a bridge and then follows the sea wall to the promenade. There was not much of note here though after climbing back up onto the marine way, the path very soon descends into the next cove Lower Town which was a beautiful little harbourside village.

The path climbs back up and continues in the same vain with a couple of beaches to climb down to like Aber Bach, before reaching Pwllgwaelod just shy of Dinas Island. There were steps down to this point and I had a fortunately only small fall on the way down the completely mud covered treads, though still got a bit covered in mud. At the bottom of these steps was a lovely little busy pub though I did not stop.

The path heads onto Dinas Island, which is not an island in any sense of the word as it is solidly linked to the mainland. The path climbs steeply up onto this, and it was quite busy with walkers, presumably due to the weather and the fact there is a 2.5 mile circular loop around it. At the highest point (Pen y Fan), I asked someone if they could take a picture of me sat on the trig point and they said yes. Slightly embarrassingly I really struggled to get onto the trig point but once I had started I had to continue and the woman was laughing her head off. Though finally I made it, and actually quite like the photo.

Around this time whilst I actually had a bit of signal up on the high point I decided that if there was space I would stay in the youth hostel in Newport, as I presumed there would either be signal there or in the pub next door, and I really needed some signal or wi-fi to catch up on admin and publish the diaries. So, I rang YHA, and was told the whole hostel was fully booked out for exclusive hire so there would be no space. This was annoying but I though I would check on the way passed anyway.

The final part of the walk went smoothly and I was lucky to see a male peregrine sitting on a nest though there didn’t appear to be any eggs. What was more surprising is that there were gulls nesting not that far away (less than 10m) which seemed quite risky. I reached Newton Sands which were a stunning sight with the meandering river, large expanse of sand and stunning cottages on the side. I reached the hostel about 5 o’clock and on entering the woman said there was no exclusive hire and there was availability so I could stay (why for the second time on this walk could the phone service get it so wrong). She asked where I had walked and where I was walking and I explained the walk and she very kindly offered to pay for my nights stay which I am very thankful for.

So, after settling in and having a quick shower, as the hostel didn’t have wi-fi or any signal (well a tiny bit of signal upstairs) I headed up to the pub to try and do my admin/diary. The pub did have wi-fi but so terrible it was not actually possible to do my diary or upload previous ones so they will just have to wait.

So all in all a great scenic day in the sun, and the very kind offer at the end made it even better. In fact one of the best days of the walk so far.

charles compton