St David's Head and Carn Llidi.
Start. Whitesands Bay.
Route. Whitesands Bay - Trwynhwrddyn - Porthmelgan - Clawdd y Milwyr - St David's Head - Clawdd y Milwyr - Coetan Arthur - Carn Porth-llong - Carn Hen - Carn Twit - Carn Llidi - Upper Porthmawr - Whitesands Bay.
Notes. In the words of Dennis and Jan Kelsall “a place where the elements of creation come vividly together, earth and fire have forged the ground beneath your feet, from which wind and water have wrought a land of awesome loveliness”. St David's Head home to some of the oldest rock in Wales, laid down some 600 million years ago from deep within the bowels of the Earth. Settled by man at least 6.000 years ago, Coetan Arthur a Neolithic burial chamber dates back to at least 4.000 BC, built to mimic Carn Llidi the peak rising behind it. 2-3.000 years ago man opted to use the promontory cliffs as a defense, building a large wall and ditch on the landward side, Clawdd y Milwyr (the Warrior's Dyke) is believed to be Bronze Age, safely inside can clearly be seen the remains of hut circles.
We set out from Whitesands Bay car park, a good path guided us north along the coast, our first stop the long rocky finger of Trwynhwrddyn, serpent like guarding the north edge of the bay. We continued along the coast above Porth Lieuog another stunning bay, we then descended into a hollow containing a small stream spilling into the sea at Porthmelgan, swinging left towards St David's Head we passed through a gap in Clawdd y Milwyr, the remains of this Bronze Age dyke guarding a number of hut circles, after passing the circles we climbed to the top of Ogof-Geifr, the rocky wind swept crown of St David's Head.
The cold wind ripping across the promontory forced us to shelter behind one of the many rocky outcrops, after soaking up the views we re-traced our steps passed the hut circles, through the dyke then joined another good path following a low ridge running up the coast. This trod guided us over another rocky outcrop depositing us at Coetan Arthur, I took a few snaps of this Neolithic tomb before continuing along the coast to reach a large stone cairn marking the high point of the ridge.
From this high point a strange concrete encased pipe runs over the cliff, this is all that remains of a coastguard lookout station that once occupied the spot. From the cairn and pipe we turned inland, if that's possible in a place like this, with green paths under foot we wandered through open heath, through ancient field systems, across Carn Hen and Carn Twit, we forded the stream we crossed earlier before ascending the shoulder of Carn Llidi.
That was supposed to be that, an easy walk back, trouble was the whole way round we'd been watching people ascending to the rocky eyrie of Carn Llidi, it may only be 520ft high but our little guide book eulogized about the views. So up we went, a concrete path under foot, this soon ended to be replaced by a narrow green trod, this in turn guided us to a steep hands on scramble. A troubleshooting exercise, after studying the problem we picked a route and went for it, the summit welcomed us with absolutely breath-taking views, so good it was hard to leave. But leave we must, down a gully on the north edge of the summit, a lot easier and safer than out chosen ascent route. We continued along the ridge until our progress was halted by a dry stone wall, all we had to do was follow the wall to a path running under the southern slopes of the hill, this we did. The path then guided us along the edge of a field boundary, hedge rows full of summer flora our companion back to the path we left before ascending Carn Llidi. We turned left, descended passed some smart holiday cottages at Upper Porthmawr, before stepping onto tarmac just before the entrance to the Whitesands Bay car park.
view route map.
Seen from the beach at Whitesands Bay, Ramsey Island.
The sea of the Pembrokeshire coast is littered with rocky islands with names like Bishops and Clerks, Gwahan and Carreg-trai.
The long finger of Trwynhwrddyn.
Viewing St David's Head across the beautiful turquoise waters of Porth Lleuog.
Porth Lleuog with Carn Llidi rising behind.
Stunning views from above the cliffs surrounding Porth Lleuog, over the long finger of Trwynhwrddyn the peaks on Ramsey Island, Carnllundain and Carnysgubor.
Soaking up the views from St David's Head, clearly visible the beach at Porthselau.
The rocky summit of Carn Llidi as seen from the hut circles on St David's Head.
Coetan Arthur a Neolithic burial chamber dating back to at least 4.000BC, built to mimic Carn Llidi the peak behind it.
At the high point of the ridge, this is all that remains of a Coastguard Lookout Station.
The high point of the ridge with magical views up the coast.
North along the Pembrokeshire coast, the rocky eyrie of Carn Penberry to the right.
Viewing St Davis's Head from the shoulder of Carn Llidi.
Clinging to a reassuring path looking down on Whitesands Bay.
Ascending the final few feet.
Stunning views from the summit, Ramsey Island and Whitesands Bay.
To the north over many shades of green, Carn Perfedd leading to Carn Penberry, on the far horizon Strumble Head.
Views don't come much better than this, Pembrokeshire in all it's magnificence.
Looking to St David's the smallest city in the land.
Seen from the end of the ridge, from right to left, Carn Penberry, Carn Treliwyd and in dappled light Carn Perfedd and Carn lleilhr.
Upper Porthmawr farm and holiday cottages backed by Carn llidi.
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