189 (am) Pendine to Amroth

Last night I moved, by train, from Carmarthen to a B&B in Tenby, and this morning I have to catch the bus back to Pendine. The journey takes an hour, with the bus rocking and rolling along the narrow lanes in a drunken fashion. I’m always surprised so few people travel by bus because it’s a great way to see the countryside. A funeral party gets on and then off somewhere near Amroth, and a couple of walkers a few stops later. By the time the bus reaches Pendine, I am the only passenger left.

I walk along the beach and take some photographs. Straight ahead is Dolwen Point with Gilman Point behind.

Pendine and Gilman Point, Ruth walking the Wales Coast Path

Nobody else is making  the climb up to Dolwen Point. I stop for a breather and to take photographs of the view to the east, looking back across Pendine beach and the Pendine Burrows dune system. Unfortunately, a heavy atmospheric haze obscures the details of the landscape.

Pendine dunes and marshes, Ruth hiking in Wales

The last week or so of walking has been mainly on the flat or across gently rolling hills, and I had forgotten how tough a coastal path can be. And the unusual weather is an additional problem, because a high pressure system has swept up from north Africa and settled on the UK like a hot blanket.

By the time I reach Gilman Point, I’m  dripping with sweat and longing for the refreshing touch of a sea breeze. But the air is motionless, thick with heat and humidity.

The path drops down into the next cove, which has a strange rectangular appearance and a shingle beach. The hut perched on the other side is a rather unromantic pumping station.

Ragwen Point and Tenby, Ruth in Pendine

I climb up the next slope and, at this point, in the sweltering air, I realise I haven’t brought enough water with me. In my attempt to travel light, I’ve misjudged the difficulty of the path and the effects of the humid weather. And I didn’t drink my usual 3 cups of coffee at breakfast, as the coffee served in the B&B was excruciatingly bad.

Anyway, nothing for it, I have to carry on. It’s not far to Amroth, where I plan to stop for lunch.

The path meanders among ferns and gorse bushes above Ragwen Point. Ahead is a long sweep of beach, which would look even longer if the tide was out. This is Marros Sands. At low tide, looking at the OS map, I think you might be able walk along the beach, around the next headland, and all the way to Amroth.

Marros Sands, Ruth walking towards Amroth, Wales Coast Path

There will be no beach walking today but somewhere down below, according to my map, the path divides and it’s possible to take a lower footpath running just above the shore. I was planning to do this, following my rule of staying as close to the sea as possible, but I either miss the turnoff, or the route is closed, or the path is too overgrown to spot.

The few clouds in the sky have disappeared. With no wind to blow them away, I assume they have simply evaporated in the heat. The Wales Coast Path dips among trees for a brief period, giving me some blessed respite from the sun.  Then the route joins a track and zig-zags tortuously up a slope towards Marros Beacon. With the sun directly overhead I find this short section incredibly hard. I’ve only been walking for 2 hours, but I feel exhausted, unpleasantly thirsty, and very frustrated by both my lack of fitness and my lack of progress.

A single tree casts a patchy shadow on the track, and I sit down for a brief rest and allow myself a few more sips of precious water. It’s 1pm and I’m hungry as well as thirsty, but I didn’t brink any snacks. I thought it would be a quick and easy walk to Amroth!

After the break, and with 1/2 of my water gone, I set off again. Looking back I take a photo of my lonely tree and its refreshing patch of shade.

 hot and dusty track, Marros Sands, Ruth hiking in Wales

Shortly after this the path leaves the zig-zag track – thank goodness – and winds gently around the slopes of Marros Beacon. Some of the gorse bushes look as dry and withered as I feel!

path around Marros Beacon, Ruth walking Wales Coast Path, towards Amroth

Twenty minutes later, and I’m descending into a deep basin, passing slopes covered in dead trees on the way down. The path up the other side is as steep and tiring as it looks.

Valley, Ruth Livingstone on Wales Coast Path

Another twenty minutes, and I’m staring into another valley. I believe I’m looking across the lower end of Teague’s Wood and the hill across the valley is Telpyn Point. (But I’m not sure, because I thought the previous basin was Teague’s wood.)

 Below Top Castle Fort, Ruth on Wales Coast Path, near Amroth

At the bottom of this valley is a bridge across a stream. I meet a trio of young men coming up towards me – the first walkers I’ve seen all day. They’re stripped to the waist, and look as hot and tired as I feel.

After a tough climb up the other side, I’m relieved to have some easy walking until, over the brow of the hill, I see a curve of bay lined with wooded slopes that reach down to the water’s edge. I think I must be looking down to Amroth – but I’m a little confused, because my map shows a beach, and I can’t see any sand below.

 down to Amroth, Ruth walking in Wales

The path joins a road and I walk on tarmac, glad for once of the easy surface beneath my feet, and head down towards the shore. At a bend I see a welcome sight. A pub!

New Inn, at The Water's Edge, Amroth, Ruth walking the Wales Coast Path

This small collection of houses is called, fittingly, The Water’s Edge on my map. I haven’t reached Amroth yet, but I’m too thirsty and hungry to walk past the pub. It’s time to stop for lunch.

[To be continued…]

Route so far this morning:

About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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16 Responses to 189 (am) Pendine to Amroth

  1. Martyn west says:

    Hi Ruth, This section is a real shock to the system after the meandering flat stages before hand, it’s also useful to carry water purification tablets so you can re stock at a stream.

  2. Marie Keates says:

    The weather here has been much as you describe except without the sun. The humidity has been oppressive and even a two mile walk to work seems like hard going. I could easily imagine how tough that walk was and how you must have been feeling. I hope the pub was open!

  3. theresagreen says:

    You’ll probably enjoy this walk more in retrospect when you look back at your photographs of the spectacular scenery, I’m really enjoying it!

  4. owdjockey says:

    Hi Ruth I had a wonderful walk yesterday from St. Clears to Amroth. I wont’t bore you with the details but I walked from St. Clears to Pendine, the got the bus to Amroth then walked back to Pendine, then got the bus back to St. Clears!! Anyway, (he says very smuggly) I managed to walk back along the beach for the Amroth-Pendine section – the tide was well out with a lovely FLAT beach to walk along.
    BTW I am in the process of setting up my own Blog (instead of hijacking yours!! lol). The only problem is the retrospective input of previous walks ( I have circa 90 to compose and type up!!). I’ll be using WordPress as well. Did you go for the Premium option i.e £85 /pa or just stay with the free plan?

    • That’s some walk, Alan. And lucky you to be able to walk along the beach. I guess the complex bus changes were necessary to make use of the limited bus service. I remember struggling with that section.
      I keep checking your blog. You must get it up and running. Maybe start with inputting the new stuff, because filling in 90 walks might seem too daunting!
      I’ve gone for the free WordPress option, although I’ve bought the domain name through WordPress, which costs about £15 a year.
      But, as I continue to use up my 3 GB free space – mainly with photographs – I might have to go for a Premium option in a year or two.

      • owdjockey says:

        Hi Ruth, yes your right 90 posts is daunting!! What I have just completed is getting my walks in chronological order and giving them a number. and getting the mileages calculated. My total mileage at this point is 1371. I will write up up walk 1, the walk 88,89 & 90 then publish as I have finished the About bit. The rest will be added along the way. The stuff from 15 years ago will be abit sparse, but hey ho. I think the £85/pa is a bit steep, especially going from free to £85! I feel very guilty now about posting my photo’s on your blog. Aiming to publish in about 10 days.
        I intend to keep filling the gap in between Burry Port and Minehead ( which i should do before the end of April). But starting in May, I intend to leap-frog to Scotland and concentrate my summer walking in Scotland.

  5. david watts says:

    You used to be able to drive cars on beach at Pendine, very hard sand, world land speed record once set here & car was buried in sand later, near the speed museum. Used to see dads teaching their youngsters to drive, but of course Elf & safety have stpped that.

  6. Alwyn says:

    We have just done this walk and I couldn’t agree more. It was surprisingly difficult. However, very enjoyable.

  7. John Jones (Phil) says:

    Hi Ruth I completed my Wales Coast Path at Amroth yesterday at 7pm after starting at St Clears at around 1pm. Been doing this in bits for four years or so, and this section had everything and was as tough as any other section I have faced. With thanks to Dougie my brother who was so patient on the vicious upward climbs I can finally say I’ve made it.,Hope it was as special for you as it was for me.
    Phil Jones Lowton, Warrington UK

  8. Hi Phil, and well done on finishing the coast path. A fantastic achievement, and you finished with a good stretch too – lovely scenery and a great end.

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