Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Break in Pembrokeshire

Its almost two years since my last Nature post so time for another! One advantage of being retired is having the freedom and time to pursue the things you like doing.

One of the simple pleasures in life for me is walking so I jumped at the offer of joining a friend - also retired - for a few days holiday in Pembrokeshire close to the coastal path and an opportunity to remind myself of some of the things that really matter away from the world of investments and pensions.

The weather forecast was set fair for the whole week which was quite a contrast compared to the wind and rain just before the Easter holiday.

Opened in 1970, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path was the first National Trail in Wales and is one of 15 National Trails in Britain. The path hugs the coastline for 186 miles (300km) of some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in Britain.

The undulating nature of some parts of the path present physically demanding ascents and descents, however it can be enjoyed in shorter sections accessible to walkers of all ages and abilities. Although I like to walk, I am not quite as fit these days as I would like so a walk of 2 to 3 hours - maybe around 6 - 7 miles would be the max. for any one day.

The coastal path is stunning all year round but I particularly enjoy the Spring renewal. At this time of year, the path is strewn with coconut-scented gorse intermingled with the distinctive white blossom of blackthorn which later in the year will provide the sloe berries. At the side of the narrow path are pockets of wild primroses, red campion, speedwell, celandine, violets and stitchwort to name a few of the more common sightings.

Surprisingly for the time of year, there seemed to be few sea birds nesting on the spectacular cliffs. Maybe it was just our location - some 5 miles north of Fishguard. We saw many red kites on the journey down, which seem to be flourishing after their recent reintroduction. In 1980s this distinctive bird was one of only three globally threatened species in the UK, and so it became a high priority for conservation efforts. Other birds of note were buzzards, song thrush and some oyster catchers with their distinctive call.

So, a great few days away recharging the old batteries, fantastic scenery and wildlife, some good simple food and a good book to pass away the evenings beside the log stove. Simple pleasures indeed.

(Appreciation of the wonderful conversion by John & Jo!)

Be good to return and have a few more days later in the year, but its back to the wind and rain to complete the gestalt!

Now, lets check if those dividends came in whilst I was away……

9 comments:

  1. I have never walked this coastal path before. Looks absolutely stunning. Put that on my list! Is there an easy way to get there without a car?

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    1. DD,

      If you have not visited before I am sure you will not be disappointed. Check out the link to the National Park site for transport info ('Enjoying' tab). Train or national coach to Fishguard would be an option - also there is the puffin bus service which runs the length of the coastal path.

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    2. Sounds good to me. Found that site shortly after I posted here!

      Have you done the South Downs Way? Another excellent walk!

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    3. Not ventured that far but thanks for the recommendation, I will check it out!

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  2. I've always fancied walking this footpath and you've made me determined to do something about it very soon. It sounds like you had a great time. :-)

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    1. Cerridwen,

      I am sure you will enjoy a visit - with a name like yours, its possibly your spiritual home! Don't leave it too long - it would be almost impossible not to have a good time if you enjoy being close to the natural world.

      Look forward to your write up after the return.

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  3. Hi John

    I was locked in non-windowed meeting rooms most of the day and during one particularly boring spell I thought of your post. My thought was if only I was FIRE'd I could be amongst the flowers and fresh air rather than amongst 4 magnolia walls.

    Cheers
    RIT

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  4. RIT,

    Another 12 - 18 months and you can wave bye-bye to those boring meetings and embrace financial independence !!

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  5. Looks like a lovely relaxing coastal walk. I am lucky that I live near the coast and can enjoy similar walks. I find they motivate me to keep focusing on my investing.

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