LInks

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St Davids bay day one walk.

Distance 12.39 miles : Time 8:40:12 : Avg pace 41:59 min/mi : Elevation gain 266m

After the dreadful but normal weather of North Wales we headed down south to St Davids bay. We have relatives in this part of the country and have visited a few times before over the years, however this was the first time we have done any big walks around the rugged Coast line. The North Pembrokeshire coast line is a national park first set up in 1952 and contains some of the most rugged cliff edges around the Uk, it also contains loads of rare wildlife, wild plants and birds etc. The park land covers an area of 242 sq miles it contains woodlands, sandy beaches and big hills. Its coast line contains sea caves, natural arches and stacks and strong currents wash around the many islands and coves. The start of our walk was a camp site perched on one of the cliffs near to the harbour of Porthclais (streetmap) with the coastal path just to the south about ten foot away
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Wild Horses on the coast line North Pembrokeshire

The path around is well kept but the walk is hard work in some places, also the temperature was about 24 with just a slight sea breeze. We made our way to the westernmost point of mainland wales Pen Dal-aderyn, where we looked over to Ramsey island (street map) about 1km off the coast. The island is managed by the RSPB and has many birds and grey seals, it is also home to a few people and you can visit if you wish by catching a boat from St Justinians RNLI lifeboat station (street map). The stretch of water is called the Ramsey sound with a massive rip tide forming over the Bitches, this causes the tidal surge to run at 13 km/h and can be seen clearly from the cliffs. It was around this area that we saw our first wild Atlantic Grey seal swimming in one of the many bays, I did not know that these mammals where so big with some weighing in at 170 - 310kg, you have to keep your eyes peeled to spot them as they dive underwater for such a long time. We arrived at Whitesands beach then turned south east towards the smallest city in the Uk St Davids, (street map) the final resting place of St David the patron saint of Wales. There has been a church on the site for some 1500 years and a huge cathedral now stands there and is worth the time to walk down the hill to visit, the nave is the oldest part built in the 12th century and the wooden roof was erected due to earthquakes in the 13th century. Inside you will find the final resting place of St David. There are all sorts of legends and stories about this saint, with one stating he was born on a cliff whilst a violent storm was taking place. Outside the Cathedral lays the ruins of the Bishops palace, which again is rich in history. You have to pay a small fee to go in but it is worth it. The city has some nice pubs where you can try a few pints of Double Dragon Ale and then walk another few miles (bad idea). On the way home we yet again decided to divert and visited St Nons and the remains of the old chapel (street map), St non was the mother of St David and the old chapel marks the place where St David was born. There is also an old well there which is thought to have healing properties, and you can throw coins in for good luck, also St Nons cross stands in the ruined chapel and is said to date from 7th to 9th century. The modern chapel that stands just to the side of the ruins dates from 1934 and the builder used stone from the old ruins.