Flimston Bay Beach
Flimston Bay is quite a suntrap, facing due south under the Castlemartin Cliffs which shelter it from all but the warm southerly winds.
The area is so full of geological phenomena that the name Flimston features prominently in every geographer’s textbooks and study files and is a ‘must do’ among the student tickboxes.
The stretch of coast between the Green bridge and Mewsford Point is packed with fascinating features. Relatively recent rock falls have left vivid evidence of the past. In fissures running deep down from the clifftop, brick-red and brown stains on the grey limestone emanate from the Triassic marls which have long since been scoured away by erosion and wave action. The wave action occurred particularly when the sea-level was up, aeons ago, on the 200-foot platform which is so clearly visible to the trained eye in the view inland from the cliff edge. More recent erosion is still producing caves, blow-holes, stacks and arches which attract the attention of serious students of geology by the hundred, and they don’t have to look far for the obvious evidence of underlying weaknesses caused by faults and folding.
The Green Bridge of Wales is a well-known tourist atraction - a spectacular 80-feet high natural arch jutting out from the cliffs and topped by green vegetation.
The nearby Elegug Stack is another popular attraction, a great pillar of rock
which accommodates the largest seabird nesting site in the County to be seen from the cliff path. The visitor usually has to cross to one of the offshore islands to get such a wonderful close-up of nesting guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes. Ellegug, or Elligug, is the Pembrokeshire name for the guillemot and the razorbill, and when the National Park was established half a century ago, the chairman of the new committee plumped for The Ellegug in the choice of an emblem. It was a photograph of a razorbill, in fact, that the committee members were shown and Alderman Tom Scourfield, who possessed a wonderful South Pembrokeshire accent, picked out the Ellegug which remains as the Park Authority’s logo to this day. These attractive auks nest proilifically along the ledges and among the tree mallow and sea-beet on the top of the stacks. Fulmar petrels occupy the wider ledges while shags nest in holes on the cliff face which is bright with orange-hued lichen called Xanthoria.
At this point the National Park Coastal Footpath takes a right-angled diversion to the north to avoid the danger area of the Castlemartin Tank Range on which solders have been training since just before World War Two. It takes the coast walker round past Flimston Farm and chapel, which were swallowed up the the MoD, although at certain times the path round the cliffs is open when there is no firing going on. For 30 years German Panzer troops trained here and integrated with the community, many of them marrying local girls and settling in Pembrokeshire.