A Wet Day Forecasted

Friday 18th August

This morning didn’t look too good as we peered out of the window and we were very aware of the incoming storm, but at least it hadn’t arrived, yet!!   Unfortunately there are limited places to go when the weather is bad but it’s not a show stopper.

View of village and bay

After sorting ourselves out we headed to Dale, a small village on the northern side of the entrance to Milford Haven, the natural deep water port with an oil refinery deep enough to accommodates large oil tankers.

Dale beach

Arriving in Dale on this overcast morning with rain forecast, as one expected the place was empty.   On a nice day there would be loads of people, holidaymakers and dingy sailors especially, as it is quite a sailing centre.   We parked the car and headed up the hill towards Dale Fort..

Dale Fort

Heading up this quite steep hill at first, but fortunately it eventually evened out thank goodness; good job I didn’t get the scooter out but after five minutes walking wished I had!!!   We carried “on” and “on” heading towards the “fort”; it was challenging to say the least but I had given my knee the target, “fort or bust” and besides I was encouraged by Christine to “get on with it”.   We met a family on the way, they were heading back, so asked if it was worth the effort, only to be told they gave up!!!!!, and still no fort in sight.   The dogs were certainly enjoying themselves, new smells etc., whilst I struggled to put one foot in front of another as we rounded a corner, surely we are here, no, so carried on.   The only good news was the rain was holding off but the views along the haven were very full of mist suggesting it would only be a matter of time; still we were now determined to find this “blinking” fort.  Another corner, yes – – – – no🥵 but we did pass through some double gates, hopefully that was a good sign, but no, we carried on and suddenly there it was, yipeeeee.  Nearly there.

Outside the fort

Was the walk to this Fort Worth it?  Well no.   Yes it was a coastal artillery fort completed in 1858, and was built in response to threats by the French (again).  The fort was built high-up on the rocky promontory at “Dale Point” over looking the Milford Haven sound entrance and also protecting the anchorage below, but It never fired a gun in anger.   Today It is one of the centres run by the “Field Studies Council” and offers residential and non-residential fieldwork for schools, colleges, universities, and there is holiday accommodation and professional leisure courses in natural history and arts.   The other “bit” of history here happened in the next bay; it was in Mill Bay that Henry Tudor landed who went on to defeat King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth 1485, and take the crown becoming King Henry VII.

The nearest we got to this fort was the outside gate, it is not open to the public to look around, so disappointed we headed back down the hill.   Still, the good news, the rain was still holding off.

Neyland Bridge

OK where to now?  Pembroke was the destination via Milford Haven a deep natural harbour port used since the Middle Ages and since the 60’s as an the oil terminal and refinery.  Passing through Milford and heading over the Neyland Bridge towards Pembroke the threatened rain came down in bucket loads, even the wipers struggled to keep the windscreen clear!!   

Arriving in Pembroke we drove through the town, back along the sea front and headed straight back to base camp.  The place was deserted and we certainly didn’t fancy getting out of the car!!!

Dinner, Crib and bed was the order for tonight but as the evening went on the wind and rain increased in strength and taking the dogs out last thing was a difficult task but it had to be done.   There was no let up all night, the motorhome was buffeted from all directions and sleep was going to be in short supply😟😟

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