Warren Farm, Warren, SA71 5HS

Weekend 4 (3 & 4 June) with overall difficulty: 96

Starting at Milford Haven on 3 June at 7.30am and walking 9 miles to Dale

Summary

A comparatively easy walk without any serious gradients but it does need careful planning to avoid a long detour, should a high tide be covering the stepping stones at Sandy Haven and another at The Gann.

The route

  • We will start at the marina before walking through Hakin to Gelliswick Bay.
  • The path heads up the other side, past some houses and around the natural gas refinery before reaching Sandy Haven.
  • The stepping stones across Sandy Haven Pill are only reliably dry 2½ hours either side of low tide. Get the timing wrong and we’ll face a 3½ mile detour, so we will need to get there before 10am
  • There are some great views along the next section and the stunning Lindsway beach, especially if it’s low tide.
  • Clamber down to the beach if you have time before continuing to the rocky little beach at Monk Haven, passing some interesting buildings en-route.
  • At Musselwick, get down onto the beach at the earliest opportunity and continue along the foreshore to The Gann, a great place for birdwatching.
  • The Gann can only be crossed 3½ hours each side of low tide but the detour is only 2 miles this time! Even so, we’ll do what we can to make it there by 11 am. Or possibly try to arrange to be ferried across the 100 yards or so to the other side
  • Head along the pebble ridge and follow the road into Dale, where will finish our walk with refreshments at the Griffin Inn

Tides

Time Height Range m ft Time Height Range m ft Time Height Range m ft Time Height Range m ft
3 Sat
00:54 5.76 18.9 3.55 11.6 07:33 2.09 6.8 3.67 12.0 13:33 5.54 18.2 3.45 11.3 19:58 2.20 7.2 3.34 11.0

Distances

Gelliswick to Sandy Haven : 4 miles, (6.4 km)  
Sandy Haven to Wenall Bay : 2 miles, (3.2 km)  
Wenall Bay to Musselwick : 2 miles, (3.2 km)  
Musselwick (High Tide Route) to Pickleridge : 3 miles, (4.8 km)  
Musselwick (Low Tide Route) to Dale : 2 miles, (3.2 km)  

Overall difficulty: 55-63

Starting at Dale on 4 June at 9.00 am and walking 11 miles to Martins Haven

Summary

Wild and exposed headlands punctuated by some of Pembrokeshire’s finest beaches. The finale, the most westerly point on the Marloes peninsula, overlooks the turbulent tide race of Jack Sound and Skomer Island and is where the wide sweep of St Bride’s Bay reveals itself. Moderately strenuous.

The route

  • From Dale village, head around the headland towards Dale Fort Field Studies Centre on a tarmac lane to the footpath that winds its way in and out of various coves on its way to St Anne’s Head lighthouse.
  • Watwick Bay and Mill Bay are both accessible, and we’ll probably make the detour to Mill Bay for two reasons:
    • it’s where Henry VII landed his army, in 1485, on his way to the battle of Bosworth, to become the first king of the Tudor dynasty, and
    • there are some interesting remains of a wrecked submarine on the beach at Mill Bay. It broke loose from its tow en-route to be scrapped and didn’t have any crew on board as a consequence
  • There’s an even shorter detour to see Cobblers Hole, some heavily folded rocks, just after St Anne’s Head
  • Heading north now, we’ll pass West Dale beach and walk past The Hookses, a very isolated cottage tucked into a hollow
  • The runways of the disused airfield are still evident, although it hasn’t been operational since the war. There are several similar cliff top airfields around Pembrokeshire. Their job of protecting convoys has long since vanished
  • We should be able to walk across the magnificent Marloes Sands (location for Snow White & the Huntsman) to regain the Coast Path where the stream joins the beach
  • Just past Gateholm Island is Albion Beach. Sticking out of the sand at low tide is all that remains of a wrecked ship: its prop shaft. This was The Albion that gives the beach its name. It was passing through Jack Sound and swerved to avoid a rowing boat but hit the rocks instead. The ship was beached here and all aboard saved but the ship soon broke up
  • The path is easy and level now, all the way to the tip of the peninsula, where the sweep of St Bride’s Bay reveals itself. Across the turbulent tide race of Jack Sound, is Skomer Island. Over half a million seabirds nest here during May and June including Puffins, Kittiwakes and Manx Shearwaters

Tides

Time Height Range m ft Time Height Range m ft Time Height Range m ft Time Height Range m ft
4 Sun
02:03 5.76 18.9 3.56 11.7 08:39 2.01 6.6 3.75 12.3 14:40 5.68 18.6 3.67 12.0 21:02 2.05 6.7 3.63 11.9

Distances

Dale Village to Dale Fort : 1 mile, (1.6 km)  
Dale Fort to Watwick : 1 mile, (1.6 km)  
Watwick to St. Anne’s Head : 2 miles, (3.2 km)  
St. Anne’s Head to Hayguard Hay : 2 miles, (3.2 km)  
Hayguard Hay, Westdale to Raggle Rocks, Marloes : 2 miles, (3.2 km)  
Raggle Rocks. to Watery Bay : 1 mile, (1.6 km)  
Watery Bay to Martin’s Haven : 1 mile, (1.6 km)  

Overall difficulty: 41

[Text paraphrased from the Visit Pembrokeshire and  PCNPA websites and various Coast Path guidebooks.]