Wales Coast Path – Dinas Island to Cemaes Head

Coast Path Vital Stats

Dinas Island to Cemaes Head

  • Distance: 17.31 miles
  • Elevation Gain Today: 1031m
  • Highest Elevation: 174m
  • Time: 5:39:05
  • Av. Pace: 19:36 mins/mile
  • Calories: 2173

Totals to Date

  • Total Distance: 1066.30 miles
  • Total Time: 209:31:34
  • Total Elevation Gain: 34574m
  • Total Calories: 103640
  • Distance to go: 41 miles

After a decent night at camp, I awoke to find everything still shrouded in mist. So, after breakfast I packed my tent up in two parts so as to keep the dry inner separate from the wet outer and was soon on my way. This time I took the shortcut down the little track back to the Coast Path rather than retrace my steps around the island yet again. The long grass meant that my feet were soaked through in no time.

I followed the Coast Path down off the island on the same path that I had walked yesterday until I came to the pretty village of Cwm yr Eglwys. Above the beach is the end wall of a chapel. The rest was washed away in the enormous storm of 1859 that created all of Pembrokeshire’s pebble banks.

Chapel Wall at Cwm yr Eglwys

It was still misty here as a few people took a dip in the chilly waters. I now headed out through the village and up the hill back onto the cliffs of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. This section was more of the same with lots of winding cliff top paths and the ubiquitous steep descent into little coves followed by steep climbs back onto the cliffs. As is usual these days I seemed to pass lots of perfect camping sites during the early part of the day. One in particular was perfect and almost worth stopping very early at! I’m not sure what I would have done all day here though if I had stopped.

The cliffs tops were pretty spectacular with some steep drops and narrow tracks, but once again there wasn’t much in the way of expansive views thanks to the mist.

After a few miles I dropped down into Newport and stopped at a café for a second breakfast. It was then off around the estuary for some lower-level, flat walking for a while. There were more people about here out for a Sunday morning stroll. It was getting quite warm now as well.I headed across Newport Golf Course and out onto Newport Beach. The sun came out here so I stopped to out on some sun cream and my hat.

I needn’t have bothered really as the path soon took me back up a steep climb to the cliff tops where the mist rolled in once again. I then spent the rest of the day watching the clouds roll by as the temperatures rose. It was like being in a steam room at times! The path was quite overgrown in places and seemed to climb forever. Shorts and stinging nettles weren’t a great combo either. There were some steep descents here and there which weren’t any easier either. It was actually quite a difficult slog along this section and it seemed to go on forever.

Overgrown Path
Overgrown Path

I stopped for lunch and had a proper rest. Shoes and socks off, groundsheet out and after eating my lunch I lay there for half an hour watching the mist stream past as skylarks sang above me. I hadn’t seen anyone since leaving Newport and it seemed as though very few people came this way. I did notice some signs about the International Appalachian Trail along here though, not something I’d heard of before but apparently this part of the Coast Path is also part of that trail.

International Appalachian Trail Sign
International Appalachian Trail Sign

I was soon on my way again for more gruelling Coast Path trekking. I walked past the Witches Cauldron, which today with mist rising from it did indeed look somewhat cauldron like. There were people paddle-boarding here.

Next was Moylegrove and Ceibwr Bay, but not before some impressive cliffs that I could just make out through the murk.

Cliffs through the mist and murk
Cliffs through the mist and murk

I’d identified some potential camping spots around Moylegrove and Ceibwr and they were indeed fine but I now had my sights set on a campsite a little further on, or possibly a wild camp in the dunes behind Poppit Sands. This would allow me to make it all the way to Aberporth and a bus home tomorrow.

So, on I continued, back up onto the cliffs and out around Cemaes Head. I was getting pretty tired now so thoughts of continuing on beyond Poppit Sands faded and instead I looked out for some wild camping spots. I passed a few but thought that maybe the camp site a little further on would be best as I’d be able to have a shower there.

Impressive Folds in the Cliffs towards Cemaes Head
Impressive Folds in the Cliffs towards Cemaes Head

I descended off Cemaes head and as I did the sun started to finally break through. I could hear but still not sea boats and jet-skis on the waters below and then I entered the somewhat messy looking farm of Allt y Coed where the campsite was supposed to be. It looked a little run down and unloved but there were people there so I asked about camping and they seemed friendly enough. I set up on a flattish spot by the shower and toilet block. Today’s walk had been a little over 17 miles but had felt much longer.

By now the sun was blazing so after a nice shower I was able to cook my dinner in the sunshine at a picnic table.

The air was full of birdsong and views across the bay to Gwbert could now be seen. You couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Mobile reception wasn’t great so I watched the sunset and settled down for the night. I hadn’t yet decided if I’d have an early start in the morning ready for another 17 mile day all the way to Aberporth or if I’d have a lazy start and just walk the short distance into Cardigan. I’d see what the morning brought.

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum x says:

    Shame you couldn’t have done this walk and stayed in the caravan with us or does that defeat the whole point?

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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