Walk 6 – Angle to Pembroke
Distance: 11 miles.
Distance from Bluestone: 36 min (20.6miles) to Angle starting point.
Toilets: There are toilets at the starting point of Angle and the end point of Pembroke.
Parking: Angle Village Parking & Pembroke Town Parking
Food and drink: This is another rural walk with little along the way, so pack a picnic and plenty of water. Wavecrest Café in Angle will be your last opportunity to grab a quick bite or a coffee before you arrive at the historic town of Pembroke, where you'll be spoilt for choice.
Welcome to part six of our expedition across the Pembrokeshire National Coast Path! This week we're leaving the quaint village of Angle and heading for bustling Pembroke. This rural walk takes in scenic countryside, some historic locations, as well as a look at the industry of Pembrokeshire.
Make sure to be well-supplied before leaving Angle, as the Wavecrest Café will be your last opportunity to grab refreshments before arriving at Pembroke. As you leave Angle, make sure to visit the historic Tower House. A Pele tower, reasonably typical in Scotland and Ireland but rare in Wales, sits at Castle Farm. Built at the turn of the 14th century by the Shirburn family, the tower's surroundings are potentially thought to hold evidence of a moat and other structures, suggesting it was once a much larger building. Ask for the key at Castle Farm and explore some medieval history before setting off on your journey.
Leaving Angle, we took the path along East Angle Bay. Angle Bay is one of the lesser visited bays because it is as muddy as it is sandy, but taking the time to stop for a while may treat you to views of various wildlife. Exploring the rock pools surrounding the bay may lead you to find the rare cushion starfish. Many wader birds can be found in the bay, including redshanks, curlews, plovers, and oystercatchers, who hunt in the muddy landscape rich in invertebrates.
Leaving Angle Bay takes us along an access road, where a large oil refinery can be seen climbing out of the horizon. Whilst the sight of the refinery chimneys are juxtaposed with the serenity of the Pembrokeshire countryside, they are unobtrusive to your walk. In Pembrokeshire maritime prime, the waterways of Milford Haven were described by Lord Nelson as "the greatest natural harbour in the world" and would offer excellent accessibility for ships making the area a hotspot for trade and industry. Over the 20th century, as modern industry took hold, refineries sprang up due to the ease of access for supertankers.
Forging on, we come to the Grade II listed building, Popton Fort. The building was constructed as one of the Palmerston forts in the Victorian era, being completed in 1864 and looks out over the Daugleddau estuary. Initially abandoned at the start of the 20th century, the fort was once again put to use during the Second World War. The oil refinery now owns the fort and is not open to public access.
From here, the path leads inland, away from naval battlements and industry through peaceful ancient woodland. Forest flowers, including bright bluebells, can bloom here amongst lush green foliage. Out the other side of the woods and uphill through fields and farms will return you above the Haven waterway, offering views across the stretch of water with boats and ships scuttling and chugging back and forth. The path then sweeps back inland, leading you to the picturesque point of Pwllcrochan and its medieval St. Mary's church. The church dates back to 1342 and is now under the care of the nearby oil company, which has made efforts to preserve the area as a historical monument and create a nature conservation area in the surrounding marshland.
Heading on, we follow the road along Pembroke River and up into Monkton. Passing by the Church of St. Nicholas and St. John, Monkton blends right into Pembroke. The dominant feature of Pembroke is its medieval castle. The site was built in 1039 before being turned into a Norman stone castle in 1189. The location of much history over the centuries, including the birth of Henry VII, Britain's only Welsh king, the castle has undergone much restoration and preservation and today hosts events and exhibits for the public to enjoy. There are also plenty of pubs, cafés and restaurants in Pembroke for you to relax and have a well-deserved bite to eat before tackling the next leg of your journey.
Next up: Pembroke to Milford Haven