Saturday, May 12, 2012

Walking the Pembrokeshire Coast


With no passports in hand, Keenan and I opted for a quiet country retreat on the Pembrokeshire Coast in South Wales over the May Day bank holiday weekend. It was a much needed break as both of us have been putting in crazy hours at work.


We stayed at the charming Cliff House B&B in Saunderfoot, the next village over from the popular resort town of Tenby. The proprietors, Michael and Anne, were wonderful hosts and very knowledgeable of the area, having holidayed here every summer for the past twenty years. They love Pembrokeshire so much that they sold their house and recently took over the operation of the Cliff House B&B. Situated close to the beach, the B&B has wonderful sea views across Carmarthen Bay and has easy access to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, one of fifteen National Trails in Britain.


We didn’t do much during our time in Wales; it was meant to be a mini-break from the hustle and bustle of city life. We went on two walks over the weekend. The first was an easy 2.5 mile walk out and back to Amroth. Enroute there is a nice little pub called the Wiseman right on the beach where you can stop for a pint of bitter or a cold lager. The weather was a bit chilly and wet, which is no surprise for Wales, but not to worry, we bought our waterproof hiking boots and Hunter wellies.

The second walk from Saunderfoot to Tenby was my favourite hike but we had to time our hike carefully as part of the trail starts along the beach. We were warned by our B&B owners not to return too late should we decide to hike back to Saunderfoot as the tides may too high and we may be left stranded on the cliffs, in which case, they will have to call in the boat rescue crew. To avoid making headlines in the local newspaper, ‘Two Americans Stranded while Walking the Pembrokeshire,’ we arranged for a cab to take us back to Sauderfoot.




We waited until the late morning when the tide receded far enough for us to walk along the beach. Then it was all uphill along the coastal cliffs through the woodlands and muddy patches of farmland. The route was more challenging than we anticipated, leaving our poor legs feeling like jelly, but it was well worth it. Voted by National Geographic as one of the best coastal destinations, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path did not disappoint. We enjoyed the fresh country air, the sound of crashing waves, and beautiful scenery.


Surrounded by three Blue Flag sandy beaches, Tenby is a lovely seaside town with its medieval walls, picturesque harbour, and hilltop castle. The pastel-clad houses and cobblestone streets were adorable, as were the numerous candy and ice cream shops. We spent the afternoon exploring the narrow lanes of this charming little town, enjoyed a leisurely pub lunch, and watched Swansea FC lose to Manchester United. That weekend we also witnessed the ‘Super Moon’ – the biggest and brightest moon of the year when it is closer to Earth than usual, which also caused bigger tidal force. That night we slept peacefully listening to the waves crash across the harbour. It was insane how large the waves were the next morning!
 


As with all bank holidays, the three weekend came and went too quickly. We came back on to London on a four hour train journey via Swansea feeling refreshed, energised, and relaxed. Another UK nation checked off our list; just Northern Ireland left to visit. I wonder if the new Titantic is worthy of a trip to Belfast? I just might start planning a trip for the fall.

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