St David's and St Non's.
Start. St David's.
Route. St David's - Goat Street - Warpool Court Hotel - St Non's Retreat - St Non's Chapel and Holy Well - Trwyn Cynddeiriog - Porth Clais - Porthclais Farm - Goat Street - St David's.
Notes. It was late, the sun was low in the sky, we're in St David's the smallest city in the land, a full day spent driving south over Welsh country roads, our minds and bodies were screaming for fresh air. It was a nice evening so why waste the opportunity, lets head for the coast, foot power would transport us there.
We left the city via Goat Street, after a few hundred yards a sign invited us to Warpool Court Hotel and St Non's, we obliged, half a mile of tarmac walking followed passing the hotel before reaching St Non's Retreat. “St Non's Retreat is a place of spirituality, a place of hospitality, a haven for those seeking peace”. That's what the bumf said and if that's what you seek you've found it, we were seeking fresh air and bracing vistas, and we'd just found them.
The coast path disappeared into a low sun, we were eager to walk it but first a little bit of spirituality. Behind the retreat stands a stone chapel, the chapel of Our Lady and St Non built around 1935 using stone taken from the near by ruins of the priory. David's birth was said to have been marked by a thunderstorm and the eruption of a spring near the original chapel, sure enough a holy well exists a few paces to the west of the retreat. After visiting the well we passed through a kissing gate allowing access to the field containing the ruins of the original chapel, a stone within the ruined chapel is said to bare the marks of Non's fingers as she clutched it during the agony of her labour.
We continued through the field into stunning coastal scenery, the coastal stretch of this walk may have been short but it was most definitely beautiful, bracing and certainly cleared our heads. Too soon we descended to the tiny harbour of Porth Clais, said to be where St David was baptized and once the ancient Port of St David, built in a glacial trough it is believed the might of Rome built the original harbour wall.
From the head of the trough we joined a green trod cutting through crop fields, passed Porthclais Farm Campsite we wandered, after skirting the farm ancient green tracks bordered by summer flowers and hedge rows ushered us between crop fields, behind the Warpool Court Hotel and back into the narrow lane that guided us in earlier, all the remained to re-trace our steps.
view route map.
Approaching the joint where land meets sea and stunning scenery awaits.
The tiny Chapel of Our Lady and St Non, built with stone taken from the ruined priory at St David's.
This is the most westerly chapel in Wales and one of the smallest, measuring a mere 25ft-12ft, stained glass windows depict a number of saints, St Non, St David, St Bride and St Brynach and St Winiford.
Near the chapel a shrine to St Non and....
....a holy well.
St Non's Bay.
The remains of St Non's Chapel, the stone in the corner is St Non's cross and is said to bare the marks of Non's fingers as she clutched it during the agony of her labour.
Long shadows and evening views over St Brides Bay
Marine traffic, I presume leaving Milford Haven.
Views along the jagged edge where land meets sea.
Stunning views east along the Pembrokeshire coast.
Cynddeiriog over Porth Ffynnon.
Built in a glacial trough the tiny harbour of Porth Clais.
Porth Clais once an industrial port exporting coal, timber, grain and limestone along the Pembrokeshire coast.
Lime Kilns dominate the head of the inlet on both sides of the small port, in later years there was also a gas works here, now home to the National Trust car park, a refreshment kiosk is all the remains.
Carn Llidi seen across crop fields above Porthclais Farm.
Views north over the flat farm land of Pembrokeshire.
St David's Cathedral, a place of pilgrimage for over 15 centuries, construction started on the present building in 1176, this evenings walk had turned out to be a bit of a pilgrimage and I've enjoyed every step of it, and I'm not a religious person.
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