DALE PENINSULA COATAL WALK A MUST IN MY OPINION
You can do this walk either way from the house; it is a 6 mile walk (10K). A brisk walk it will take 3 hours but I would say more like 4 hours or make the day of it stopping off at the beaches on the way. It follows the coastal path for most of the way. You should wear suitable clothing and walking shoes or boots, and take a supply of water and food as there is nowhere to buy food or drink on the way. This is completely dog friendly and your dog will only need to be on a lead through 2 fields.
Starting The Walk:
Turn right out of the drive, walk to the end of the road, turn right pass the Yacht club on your left are 4 houses, these date from the 18th and 19th centuries. The first house was once a general store called Polly Morgan’s the second house was once the Tabernacle Congregational Chapel built in 1838. The third house was Arties Cottage a local character. The last house along the quay was an Inn called The Brig. This Building dates from 1750.
Continue up the road towards the Fort, at the foot of the hill there is a wood to your right, which borders the southern edge of the village. It is called Blue Anchor Wood. The wood continues to the left of the road as Point Wood which runs along the north-east coast of the Dale peninsula.
At the top of the hill is a beautiful view of the bay usually full of small sailing boats and other craft. About 50 metres further on you will see a coastal path sign on the right go through the gate (you may like to go to the fort first if so continue straight on, you will need to return to this path to continue the walk, look in information pack at the house for the history & information on the fort)
Walk along the path you will start to go downwards (great place for picking sloes and blackberries) towards an inlet which is called Castle beach, next to the wooden bridge are the ruins of a lime kiln.
Here we often come for a bonfire and barbeque, the pools here are full of wildlife we often find star fish here. It can seem to have a lot of debris on this beach this is due to peculiarity of the tides, we always try to do a bit of a clear up when we can.
Walk back to the bridge and continue to walk up the hill and through a couple of gates. In the distance you can see a tall navigation tower, which is your next stop. Walk up and over the top of the hill through the gate. The navigation tower was built in 1970 and is over 58 metres high. There are another 3 towers these are all used by tankers ferries and other large vessels to help line up angle of approach to the Haven. Looking back towards Castle beach Bay you can see how dense the trees are in this sheltered part of the peninsular.
Across the bay you can get a good view of Dale Fort. Notice the protective ditch reaching down to the sea on the landward side, and the gun parapet facing out to sea. The parapet is surrounded by walls made of limestone 1.4 metres thick, capped with granite. You now have a fairly long walk to your next beach Watwick Bay (one of our favourite beaches) Continue along the Coast Path for about 500 metres, and then take the side path if you would like to go down onto the beach, be aware the path down is steep in places.
Make your way back to the path to rejoin the Coastal Path. The walk continues along towards West Blockhouse Point, here there is a stone bench to sit and enjoy the views.
(Dedicated to Brigadier C.T.W. Gough O.B.E who served at the fort from 1931-1935)
Follow the signposts, which take you around Mill Bay. Mill Bay is a very important historical site. On Sunday 7th August 1485, Henry Tudor (Henry VII) landed in the bay from his exile in Brittany. He marched inland with a French mercenary army on his way he collected an army of 5000 Welsh men. On 22nd August he defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, bringing the War of the Roses to an end and the starting of the Tudor Dynasty. Continue up the hill to the buildings on St Ann’s Head. Beside the path above the bay is an information board describing the landing of Henry Tudor. The Coast Path continues past a derelict walled garden and up across a field towards the lighthouse on St Ann’s Head (look out for mushrooms).
The footpath across the field takes you quite close to the new lighthouse buildings, although there is no public access to the site. The Coast Path continues along the metalled road past the old ‘high light.’
Follow the Coast Path through the entrance in the boundary wall and turn left through the gate. (You could if you wish walk along the road which will eventually take you back into Dale but this route is slightly shorter but with no views.) The steep sided inlet to the left is called the Vomit, named after the plumes of sea-spray that rush upwards from the inlet during westerly gales. The path follows close to the cliff edge for some distance. Take care along this stretch. Follow the sign posted route, y make sure you stop when looking at the scenery. Watch out for dolphins, porpoises, storm petrels, buzzards, wheatears and choughs. Keep walking, on a clear day you can get a good view of the nearby islands, the two largest islands are Skokholm to the left and Skomer to the right, both managed by the Wildlife Trust. Continue your walk along the Coast Path, which follows the cliff as you walk along the next edge around a bay called Frenchman’s Bay. As you walk along the next kilometre or so of the Coast Path it is difficult to believe that the fields to your right once contained over 100 hut and buildings for service personnel. You will have a longish walk of over a kilometre before the next stop at the end of the national Trust land. You have just walked around Welshman’s Bay, which ends at a promontory called Long Point. In places along this stretch the exposed rocks of the cliff show evidence of the last glaciations, in the form of a gravelly, stony deposition the top on the bedrock.
About 500 metres further on you leave the Kete National Trust property. The path carries on around Castle Bay. Walk down the path towards the beach, West Dale Beach (this is our family’s favourite beach in the area)
From the path down to West Dale Bay you can continue the circular walk turning before going on to the beach turn right walking through the field and back to Dale village for a well deserved ice-cream (Pembrokeshire promise is my favourite ice-cream you can get it from the café) or a glass of real ale from the Griffin Inn.