Warey Haven Beach
A shallow crescent-shaped bay with a virtually inaccessible beach of rock and shingle on the north-west facing stretch of coast between St Brides and Mill Haven near Talbenny, Warey Haven is a place that few people are familiar with.
Walkers on the National Park Coastal Foopath will see it just past Halfway rock as they trek south-west towards Nab Head, but visitors to this isolated spot are more likely to be geological students, for this stretch of the coast is a challenge. Just south of Warey Bay are two interesting geological features - grey stone blocks lodged in the clifftop, which are what is known as ‘glacial head’ derived from melting ice, and an erratic fine-grained grey near-granite boulder split in two which was dropped from the glacial ice aeons ago.
A short distance to the north near Mill Haven is another legacy of the Ice Age, where the hard, irregular Pre-Cambrian rock rises high above the flat-topped Old Red Sandstone, creating an interesting change of colour and form in the cliffscape. It’s a feature not only for the geologists but also for keen artists and photographers as it has all the appearance of a sculpture or an abstract painting.
Two Iron Age forts, or Raths, act as sentinels on each side of the corner of the headland to the north-east of Warey Haven. One, overlooking the tiny cove called Foxes’ Holes is a single bank, central entrance fort and, immediately under the north end is the junction of the Pre-Cambrian with the Old Red Sandstone strata, which causes the footpath to change colour from brown to red over a stretch of 200 yards. The northerly fort, overlooking Brandy Bay, is slightly less pronounced, but its inner bank continues far down the slope.
A short walk from Warey Haven takes one to St Brides and a magnificent view of the former country seat of the Kensington family; 19th century St Brides Castle with its castellated top and lofty towers, imposingly sited on the gently sloping hill behind the little beach. It was built in 1833 by Charles Philipps of Picton Castle and was considerably enlarged beteen 1905 and 1913, the Kensington family having bought it in 1888 and sold it in 1923. It served for over 30 years as a TB isolation hospital and later as an old people’s home before being converted into holiday apartments in the early 1990s.
The Kensingtons. who own extensive properties in Kensington, London, also owned Sealyham Mansion near Letterston and had a town house in Haverfordwest in the 18th to 20th centuries.
Warey Haven has the distinction of being in the heart of what became known as ‘The Broad Haven Triangle’ in the 1970s when children and staff at Broad Haven school reported seeing a cigar-shaped UFO in a field near the school and there were sightings of humanoid figures in silver space suits at Ripperston and Broadmoor. These shortlived phenomena remain unexplained.