We all know that the beach is a glorious place to be on a sunny day. Toasty sand beneath your feet, the sound of splashing and peels of laughter, the smell of suncream and the taste of ice cream and salty air – ah yes. Nothing quite beats it.
We Brits need to face the fact that our lovely home island will form the basis of holidays for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, we are not known for predictable sunny summer spells, so we shall learn to see the magic in a rainy day that makes one appreciate our climate for its capricious ways. As Billy Connolly famously quoted…
“There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes”.
I have always been drawn to a drizzly beach. There is a mystical allure to the lingering sea spray, the drama of the waves and the crunch of the sand underfoot. Seeking shelter within dripping caves and often being the only person on the beach are enjoyable novelties.
En route, one often finds themselves seeking some form of cosy reward, in our case, deluxe hot chocolates piled with marshmallows and scones whilst huddled in the beautiful garden of Ye Olde Worlde Cafe in Bosherston.
There is no better rainy day beach walk than the loop from Broad Haven South Beach, up the Dunes and around the pond to the Bosherston Causeway and then back around, crossing the grassy bridge and passing the remnants of a hillfort and evidence of ancient man. Although gorgeous in any climate, the looping paths of the Stackpole estate are less congested and one is more likely to avoid two-way traffic when crossing the narrow bridges that divide the famous lakes known for their carpet of beautiful lilypads.
Start by parking at Broad Haven South Beach, a national trust car park, before heading down towards the beautiful expanse of sand. Looking out to sea, you will notice Church Rock, so-called because it resembles a submerged church at high tide. Next, head up towards the ponds, passing a beautiful network of caves and rockpools before crossing a little bridge that starts you on your loop around the pond.
Apart from the water lilies, which are truly spectacular and a show-stopper in their own right, several other highlights are worth visiting in the Lakes, such as the 3,000-year-old Fishpond Camp, built on the high ground at a time when the lakes were a tidal inlet.
Another outstanding feature of this walk is Eight Arch Bridge, a grade II listed site built, as the name suggests, with eight arches made from rubble stone. Shortly after crossing this bridge, you’ll find yourself passing the Devil’s Quoit, a standing stone and a burial chamber dating back to the Bronze Age.
This walk around Bosherston is certainly not just rich in artificial wonders but a feast for wildlife enthusiasts. From the beach, bottle-nosed dolphins can be spotted while the cliffs are home to a wide variety of birds, such as herons, shags, fulmars, razorbills and kittiwakes.
These secretive water birds live in the reeds alongside other wildfowl such as goosander and gadwall. Finally, in the woodland, you’ll find multitudes of winged friends, such as wrens, chiffchaffs, tawny owls and sparrowhawks. At one point along our walk, we spotted the amusing sight of a hungry Cormorant struggling with a lively eel that didn’t want to be swallowed – check out the video below!
Bosherston also has an excellent opportunity for fishing, with perch, pike and silverfish frequenting the waters. The lakes are gin clear and very weedy, allowing you to spot fish. Winter is best for pike fishing; however, there can be great fishing for roach and tench in summer. A licence to fish on the 74 acres of spring-fed and stream-fed shallow lakes can be purchased via the National Trust.
There is ample opportunity to stop and refuel at some of the local cafes and pubs. Alongside the aforementioned Olde Worlde Cafe (the place to go for baked goods and a charming setting), is The Govan’s Inn, a quintessentially British Tavern famous for its roasts (the perfect pick-me-up after a rainy day walk around Bosherston).
The St Govans Inn particularly comes into it’s own during the colder months, making for the perfect post-walk thawing, tucking into good food next to a roaring fire.
This walk around Bosherston is one of Britains hidden gems and can be adjusted in length according to your needs. The usual crowds that frequent the path in Summer, flocking to see the white lilies, are lessened on a rainy day, making this a brilliant wet weather walk for those who prefer more of a peaceful hike. So make sure to stop by on your next visit around Tenby, sharing your photos and letting us know what you think!