Wales Coast Path Run – Musselwick Bay to Newgale
Coast Path Vital Stats
Musselwick Bay to Newgale
- Distance: 15.19 miles
- Elevation Gain Today: 724m
- Highest Elevation: 87m
- Time: 2:46:55
- Av. Pace: 10:59 mins/mile
- Calories: 11752
Totals to Date
- Total Distance: 983.83 miles
- Total Time: 184:30:24
- Total Elevation Gain: 29785m
- Total Calories: 93844
- Distance to go: 116 miles
After a successful Coast Path run last week using the Fflecsibus as my shuttle, I couldn’t seem to book it at a suitable time this week. Anna therefore suggested I get Morgan to act as my support crew and be my shuttle transport driver. That’s what I did, so the two of us headed off at 8 a.m. on Monday so as to arrive in Marloes at around 10:30 a.m.
It was something of a slow drive thanks to roadworks and lots of slow-moving vehicles but even with a stop for supplies and another stop for a toilet break we were still parked at the exact spot I parked at last week by 10:45 a.m. I quickly got ready and made arrangements with Morgan as to where we’d meet in Broad Haven for lunch. I then headed off down the footpath that I’d emerged from last week to rejoin the Coast Path once again. I snapped a quick photo of Musslewick Bay as the photo I took last week of it came out blurry.
It was a cold day with a stiff Easterly breeze and grey skies. Not the most exciting of days weather-wise and cold whilst standing around but perfect conditions for running. I was soon trotting along the Coast Path at a sensible pace. Not too fast as I had a long way to go but still making good time.
Musselwick to St Brides
As usual, the Coast Path isn’t really conducive to fast running as it’s fairly rugged, has loads of twists and turns, plenty of trip hazards and of course lots of elevation changes too. Today was no different. I do also tend to take it easy and play things conservatively making sure that I slow down for hazards and minimise my chances of a fall. That wasn’t always the case of course. I’ve learnt the hard way on my journey around Wales that it doesn’t take much, just a momentary lapse of concentration, for disaster to occur. I’ve had my fair share of injuries and would prefer not to have too many more. Things weren’t too bad along here today though. There were some rocky bits underfoot, some slippery muddy patches but the path was in good condition and easy to follow. The elevation changes weren’t even too severe along here as the path tended to stick to the tops of the cliffs, only dropping down to sea level now and then.
My new shows were perfect for the job too so all was going well. The path clung closely to the coast, weaving in and out in a convoluted fashion and making the distance I had to run a lot further than it could have been. It’s good to see the path do this though and the GPS trail afterwards traces out the coastline perfectly.
I passed various gulley and cliffs as I followed the coast around and had views out across the entire expanse of St Brides Bay where tankers were moored in the lee of the wind.
Before long I arrived at St Brides with its church and a pretty little seaweed covered rocky beach. There were a couple of horse-riders here and a group of ramblers that I overtook as I skipped across the rocky beach and back out onto more Coast Path on the far side.
St Brides to Broad Haven
I was making good time as miles ticked by in a little over 10 minutes each. Things felt good too so I just continued on, weaving in and out, running up and down and occasionally stopping briefly to take a photo of the bay or an interesting feature along the way.
I’d arranged to meet Morgan just outside of Broad Haven which should be about halfway today. I could soon see the village and its beach ahead of me but still had quite a way to go around the edge of the bay to get to it. After the open coast path atop the cliffs, I entered into a more wooded section in the corner of the bay for a while and then emerged heading north where the beaches of Broad Haven were visible before me.
I dropped down into the quaint village of Little Haven, ran along its short prom and then lost the signs for the Coast Path somewhat.
I ended up running up a steep hill which I soon realized was taking me inland and away from the coast. I turned around, retraced my steps to the bottom and then ran up another hill. This was at least the correct hill and I soon emerged at the top and then ran down the other side where I found Morgan waiting for me in the pre-agreed layby.
Perfect, I was just in time for a lunch stop. It was now around 12:30 p.m. I jumped in the car to get out of the cold, ate a couple of sandwiches, arranged with Morgan where I’d meet him next and then headed off once again.
Broad Haven to Nolton Haven
Morgan was going to have a look around the surf shop in Broad Haven so I ran off along the sea-front and then back out onto the cliffs again. Last time I was here was a few weeks ago for Anna’s birthday. I had planned to run some of the cost path then but had been ill. We had however walked up this bit of the path. It had been hard going that time, I didn’t get far and had to stop on a bench for a breather. Thankfully this time I wasn’t ill and it all felt easy. It was actually much less steep than I remembered and I just trotted up all the way without any issues.
I was now back out on top of the cliffs for yet more of the same twisty, undulating running along the coast. As I approached Druidstone Haven I emerged out onto the road for a short while before dropping down to the beach on a grave track. There was then a steep climb with high steps back to the top again. I had some nice views of the beach behind me on the way up though so had a good excuse to stop to take a photo.
There were more ups and downs and then it was down to the seafront in Nolton Have, The sun was trying to make an appearance here.
Nolton Haven to Newgale
I thought I was close to the end now and that Newgale was just a mile or so along the path. Morgan had told me earlier that it was only 2km. I think he was wrong as it seemed to go on forever. I passed Rickets Head and seemed to have lots of climbing up and down the cliff sides on ever more rocky paths. My feet were beginning to get a little sore too and the steeper climbs had to be walked. Running wouldn’t have been any quicker on them and my heart rate was getting too high if I tried to.
The long Sandy beach of Newgwale eventually appeared before me but there was still some way to go along the path. It was easy to follow but still quite undulating until I finally started to descend to the tarmac at Newgale and into the car park where Morgan was waiting as planned.
I’d covered just over 15 miles today and was moving ever closer to completing my journey around wales.
After a quick change we started the drive home and stopped off at the Moody Cow for coffee and cake before collecting Anna from work as we passed through Aberyswyth. There’s still quite a way to go and the drive along the coast makes it feel as though it’s never-ending but from here the drives should start getting shorter each time and the distance remaining would start to come down into what feels like a more manageable target. Let’s hope I can get back out there soon.