24th April 2012

A walk on the Wales Coast Path

Viv Alexander

What better way to discover the Wales Coast Path and think of ideas to connect communities and visitors along it than to get out for a walk along part of it?  The guest post below from Gwyn Hughes-Jones first appeared on the Ordnance Survey blog in February and takes in a 10-mile section along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path around St David’s is available on OS Explorer Map OL35, North Pembrokeshire.

Starting at the car park at Caerfai Bay, follow the Pembrokeshie Coastal Path sign to the right for St Non’s Bay. After a kilometre, you will arrive at St Non’s Bay. St Non, who was the mother of St David, lived in a cottage on the site of the present chapel. It was here that St David was born in about 462 AD.

From St Non’s Bay, continue on the coastal path for 2 km to Porth Clais. Porth Clais is where St David was baptised by Elvis, the Bishop of Munster. After another 2.4 km along the path, you will reach Porthlysgi Bay – keep an eye out for the Wales Coastnatural sea arch on your way.

From Porthlysgi the coastal path tracks around the tip of St David’s Penninsula to Porthstinian (about 4.8 km).  There are fantastic views of Ramsey Island: Ynys Dewi in Welsh. Is was here that Dewi Sant (St David) supposedly met St Patrick. There is another natural arch as you approach Porthstinian, and you will also be able to see Ordovician and Pre-Cambrian rock types providing stunning views.

Porthstinian was home to the Breton hermit St Justinian, who was, apparently, the confessor of St David. He met a sticky end on Ramsey when his head was cut off by his followers, apparently for being too strict a discipliarian!  Porthstinian is also home to the Tyddewi (St David’s) lifeboat. I realise it is not everyone’s cup of tea but I, for one, always enjoy the opportunity to look around the boat house, explore the slip way and take a peek at the Tyne-class lifeboat itself.  Those with wider interests might also be interested in the boat trips around Ramsey Island that set off from here.

From Porthstinian the coastal path goes on to Porthselau which is just south of Porth Mawr (a distance of 3.5 kilometres). When you reach the beach at Porthselau take the first footpath on the right after the campsite and follow it inland for 700 metres (ignore the left-hand fork).  When you reach the road, turn left and follow the road for 1.5 kilometres until you reach a T-junction. Turn left at the junction and continue for 200 metres. Take the road on your right which will lead you to St David’s after 300 metres.

It is worth having a look around St David’s, which is the smallest city in Britain. There is plenty to see and, in contrast to the city, the cathedral is the largest in Wales. There are several local hostelries and it is well worth seeking out a pint of Felin Foel Double Dragon.  It was the first beer in the world to come in a can but, more than that, it tastes great too!

From St David’s it is only a brief 1.5 kilometre stroll back down to the car park at Caerfai Bay.

We’ve also got a Welsh version of the walk for you:

Pa ffordd well sydd i ddathlu Gŵyl Dewi na chael taith gerdded 10milltir ar hyd Llwybr Arfordir Penfro o amgylch Tŷ Ddewi? Mae’r daith ar gael ar fap ‘Explorer’ OL35 Gogledd Penfro.

Cychwynnwch o faes parcio Bae Caerfai, dilynwch arwydd Llwybr Arfordir Penfro I’r dde i gyfeiriad Bae Santes Non. Ymhen cilomedr dewch at y bae. Mam Dewi oedd Sant Non drigai mewn bwthyn oedd ar safle’r capel presennol. Dyma le’r ganwyd Dewi tua 462 OC.

O Fae Santes Non ewch ‘mlaen ar y llwybr am 2 gilomedr i Borth Clais. Yma gwelwch Ffynnon Dewi lle y bedyddiwyd Dewi gan Eilw, Archesgob Munster. Ymhen 2½ cilomedr fe ddowch at Fae Porthlysgi – cadwch lygaid am y bwa morwrol naturiol cyn cyrraedd.

O Borthlysgian, ymlwybra’r llwybr heibio I  Benrhyn Dewi Sant at Borthstinian (tua 4.8 cilomedr). Yma mae golygfeydd arbennig o Ynys Dewi. Yma, yn ôl hanes, y cyfarfu Dewi a Sant Padrig. Mae bwa naturiol arall fel y dewch at Borthlysgian, ac fe welwch hefyd greigiau Ordofigaidd a Chyn-gambriaidd.

Roedd Porthlysgian yn gartref  i Sant  Justinian, y meudwy Llydaweg, oedd , mae’n debyg, yn gyffeswr i Dewi. Daeth diwedd ar ei fywyd ar Ynys Dewi pan dorrwyd ei ben i ffwrdd gan ei ddilynwyr, mae’n debyg, am fod yn rhy llym fel disgyblwr! Mae Porthlysgian hefyd yn gartref i fad achub Tŷ Ddewi. Rwy’n sylweddoli nad yw hyn yn plesio pawb ond dwi’n mwynhau’r cyfle i edrych ar yr adeilad, y llithrfa a’r gwch Tyne ei hun. Efallai fod rhai a diddordeb a dal cwch oddi yma i fynd o gwmpas Ynys Dewi.

Mae’r llwybr yn arwain o Borthstinian i Borthselau sydd ychydig i’r de o Borth Mawr 3.5 cilomedr). Pan gyrhaeddwch y traeth ym Mhorthselau, cymerwch y llwybr cyntaf ar y dde ac fe ddowch at y maes campio. Dilynwch hwn am y tir am 700 medr (anwybyddwch y fforch i’r chwith). Pan gyrhaeddwch y ffordd, trowch i’r chwith a dilyn y ffordd am 1½ cilomedr hyd y dewch i ben y ffordd. Yma trowch i’r chwith ac ymlaen am 200medr. Cymerwch y ffordd ar y dde a wnaiff eich arwain i Dŷ  Ddewi ymhen 300 medr.

Mae’n werth i chi edrych o gwmpas Tŷ Ddewi, y ddinas leiaf ym Mhrydain. Mae digon i’w weld ac, yn wahanol i’r ddinas, mae’r gadeirlan y fwyaf yng Nghymru. Mae yma nifer o dafarnau lleol and mae’n werth chwilio am beint o ‘Double Dragon’ gan fragdy Felin Foel. Dyma’r cwrw cyntaf yn y byd i’w gael mewn can ond, yn well na hyn, mae’n flasus hefyd!

Dim ond 1½ cilomedr sydd o Dŷ Ddewi yn ôl i’r maes parcio ym Mae Caerfai.

Our Wales Coast Path Challenge closes at noon on 2 May – so hurry you have just over a week to enter your ideas to be in with a chance to win a slice of up to £125,000 in funding to get started.