Rugged and Majestic Coastline - Stackpole
This past week a group of friends and I ventured west from Bristol to Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was an area I was unfamiliar with, but knew was famed for its coastline. Checking the ever changing weather forecast the evening before, Tuesday seemed a great day for a walk and swim in the sea. It looked to be hot so we thought it best to head out early.
We parked in the large National Trust carpark at Stackpole Quay, donned our walking shoes, made sure our water bottles were full and set off. The trail we were planning is a 6 mile round trail beginning in a small cove, climbing up along a breathtaking cliff line, down across Barafundle Bay beach, up through a small woods, along an incredible windswept wild flower and butterfly littered plane, down into the shade of the tree lined lakes, alive with water lilies and finishing along a dusty trail through open fields.
The views along the cliff tops were breathtaking. It was overcast as we began, the grey sky low. Crashing waves kept us company, sounding through inlets and caves beneath our feet, and wild grass tickled our ankles. The beaches we crossed, especially Barafundle Bay, were some of the most inviting - the temptation to discard my backpack and run into the sea strong. Not long before we reached the lily ponds the sun had come out in full and it was hot on our heads. The tree lined path running alongside the lakes was a welcome relief. We stopped for lunch at a picnic spot shaded beneath bountiful green branches and hungrily ate our homemade sandwiches. On our return stretch we crossed back to Barafundle Bay, laid out our towels, and raced for the water. It was bracing and invigorating, and as the waves crashed towards and over us it was hard not to laugh. The sea will always be one my favourite places to be.
It’s a fantastic walk for the views, it’s also a fantastic walk for contemplation. The coastline is rugged, majestic and ancient. The sea is charcoal blue, the caves it swells into numerous. If Pembrokeshire isn’t on your list of places to visit, I highly recommend its added.