Marloes Sands

Tuesday 15th August

We woke up to the dogs shuffling around but later this morning, 0700hrs wow!!, and even better, no rain and blue skies.  The girls woke after another “interesting” night on the table bed, only one more to endure !!!!!    Today it’s “Marloes” day, but first a quick trip to Tesco in Haverfordwest for some “beach food” for lunch.  We have to be smart with our decisions on what to buy as the walk down to Marloes sands is about 1km; down a steep path, and once down there nothing, other than lots of sand, so everything has to be carried; returning for something forgotten is definitely a no-no!!

Marloe Sands

Jane and I did the Tesco run in record time whilst Christine and Mia sorted out the bed but in the process the mechanism fell apart in her hand as she raised the table and secured it.  Next Christine took the 3-dogs for their walk.  All back at base camp, we packed the car and headed off.   All the years I visited “Marloes Sands” whilst the children were growing up, cars were parked in the National Trust car park about 100-meters away from the start of the path to the beach but this morning I looked on Google Earth and noted that cars were being parked in a field adjacent to the path.  If this is true, we will all be chuffed, especially my knee!!!   

Just a small part of the journey down

As we were leaving Marloes village we stopped at the farm house whose field we used to camp in 40-years ago, we were curious to know what has happened over this period.   To our surprise, the farm is still in the family, it is now owned by one of the grandsons.   Having caught up with all the news we headed to the path and to our delight, the field we had seen on Google earth was in fact open, and for £4 we could park all day; the extra good news was the gate at the bottom of the field, it led onto the path halfway down, result!!! 

Marloes Sands, the beach named after the local village, is a long curved remote beach surrounded by cliffs in Pembrokeshire and, depending where the measurements are taken and what state the tide is at; it is generally thought to be around a mile long, but when the tide is in, well there is no beach at all, just rocks!!!   The main feature is naturally the large amount of flat solid sand, but also there are large and deep rock pools that make ideal safe havens for the “little-ones”.  The backdrop to the beach are cliffs layered with red sandstone and grey shale.   One feature of the beach are the Three Chimneys; three vertical lines of hard sandstone, there used to be four chimneys, but the fourth crumbled in a severe storm in 1954.  Locally Marloes sands is broken down into sections with each section having a local name. An example of this is the section known as “Churchill”, the reason being a “Pillbox” was built above it during the war!!   Walking along the beach one gets great views of Skokholm and Gateholm Islands and as the sea produces excellent surf, many surfers waiting for “the right one” to come along!!

Rosie having fun with Mia

We had a great day on the beach, Mia and Jane spent much of their time in the sea with their body boards surfing, Christine and I took the dogs along the beach and later in the afternoon I actually went in, unlike my daughter in a wet suit, I took the pain, not for long though!!!   

Stunning beach

As the tide came in, everybody slowly retreated and eventually everyone lost their “vast” personal space and we were all like sardines, crammed together on the rocks at the top of the beach.   Though the sun still shone brightly with a considerable number of people sporting “red” backs, it was time to go.  Packing everything up and scrambling across the rocks we headed for the climb up the path.  It was now we appreciated just how much value that £4 spend had given us!!!

Fabulous views across to Skomer

Walking back to the car Jane said she would like to take the opportunity to drive to Martins Haven (the end of the road) and walk out onto the peninsula headland in Deer Park.  Deer park is a walled enclosure of 175 acres, specifically built to keep and breed deer back in the eighteenth century, but none were ever introduced but it does offer secure habitat to numerous species of birds as well as grazing cattle.  Though early evening the sun was still strong and with no wind this was going to be a pleasant walk but the start is up a steep hill with steps cut out into the side of the bank so I elected to look after the car as the three of them with the three dogs headed out.

Fabulous scenery worth the effort
Mia and Jane

An hour or so later they returned, Christine sporting a badly bruised thumb, a cut elbow and damaged pride; she had fallen over, never mind, next stop the “Lobster Pot” for dinner.

We made the climb to the top

The Lobster Pot is the only pub in sleepy Marloes and hadn’t changed since my last visit 40-years ago, so in we went and though it was a different landlord, he had the same mannerisms, grumpy with everything being too much trouble.   The one big change was the food, it was excellent but far too big-a-portions, no room for a pudding👹.

Despite falling over, the climb was worth it

It was late when we got back to base, but there was a sense of panic in our group, will we get the table to go down bearing in mind what happened this morning.  All sorts of things went through our minds, if plan A failed we had a plan B, we even had plans C & D if needed and of course being a warm night, perhaps sleep under the stars!!! Anyway we managed to get the table flat and place the cushions in place; again differently from the previous evenings!!!, after a quick dog walk, bed called out to all of us, we were all knackered after a really enjoyable day on Marloes Sands.

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