Manorbier to St. Govans Head
It rained quite a bit overnight and there were still squally showers as we were getting ready. It rained on us all the way down to Manorbier beach. There is a massive castle at the bay almost too big for the size of the place and it almost didn't seem to be situated in the right place but I'm sure it was there for defences. It stopped raining at the beach so we took off the waterproofs only to put them on again a little way further on. After the second shower it got progressively better and didn't rain again until we had finished the section and were waiting for transport.
At Freshwater East there is a toilet block and a camp site as well as a car park. W e continued round a couple of other headlands and descended into Stackpole Quay, you couldn't really see the quay until you were on top of it. There is a National Trust cafe here so we stopped and had a bowl of soup which we ate outside, the chef was outside as well talking to all the customers. As we were eating a chaffinch jumped onto our table and he already had a green caterpillar in his beak but he was determined to have some of my bread he came right up to the plate and pecked some crumbs from the roll while I was sat there all the time! The path from here to Broad Haven was very busy with visitors walking along. There was Stackpole Head to go around and then Stackpole Warren and in between a beach at Barrafundle Bay. This whole area, both coastal and inland is a renownd nature reserve so we are assuming this, as well as the easy access car parks and the bank holiday weekend was why there were so many people on this part of the path.
Coming into Broad Haven you walk through sand dunes, over a bridge then through more sand dunes eventually reaching a car park with a shop and toilets. From here you enter the east Castlemartin artillery range.
At Broad Haven (there is also another Broad Haven further along the coast path) there is the start of the Castle Martin Artillery ranges. There is the west range and the east range. The west range is permanently closed to the public and the best thing here is to use the bus to take you from Stack Rocks to Freshwater West. The east range is open to the public on weekends and public holidays, if at all possible make sure you go through the east range as it is certainly one of the most beautiful areas of the path and has significant geological, archaeological and historic elements.
At St. Govans Head there is a church which has been sandwiched in between the cliffs on a small inlet. It is only a short walk from the main path but well worth a visit just to see how it is actually built into the cliff.
There was a significant head wind for most of the day and when we were getting to St. Govans Head the visibility was getting worse so we decided to walk a mile and a half inland to Bosherston and see when the bus was due. By this time the mist was closing around us again. If we waited here then waited again for a connection in Pembroke it meant that it would be another 4 and a half hours before we got back to the van. We called a taxi instead. We were waiting in a bus shelter which was home to a pair of house martins. They certainly made their presence known at times with their squabbling. The taxi was expensive but because of the reduced transport timetable because of the bank holiday weekend we decided we would book the taxi again to pick us up in the morning and take us back to St. Govans Head. If the weather was not misty it would have been better to walk to Stack Rocks just less than 3 miles away which would have fitted in better with transport arrangements the following morning as we would have started at Freshwater West.