A coastal view from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

National Trail Officer's Survey: 3 Pembroke Dock to Milford Haven

22nd May 2014

Monday 28th April

I frequently take the 356 bus to the office in Pembroke Dock, but today as soon as I got there I turned straight around and started walking back toward Milford Haven.  (The first bus leaves Milford from Hamilton Terrace at 8.40).  The first 1.6 miles (2.6km) of this walk crosses the magnificent bridges of the Cleddau and the smaller one over Westfield Pill.  They provide commanding views up and down the Haven and over Westfield Pill Marina, a feature that Brunel built a railway along.  Turn left and the path passes briefly through Neyland Woods, (rich with bluebells today and the light leaves of the oak just beginning to burst).  I noted a couple of trees had come down in the storms.  The root plate of one of them has ripped out a hole in the path; the Southwest Warden Team will repair that shortly.

Photo: From The Cleddau Bridge

The path then follows along quite a long road section (on pavement) through Neyland with its Brunel Quay and then along a much quieter road (no pavement) through Llandstadwell total 1.7 miles (2.8km).  The path then leaves the road and goes across country for another 2.5 miles (4.1km).  Here I had a brief chat with the National Park Southwest Warden Team mowing the path and told them about the hole in Neyland Woods.   The route passes beneath the giant wind turbines, which after seven months still haven’t generated power.  They are due to be commissioned soon and are very close to the walker; it will be interesting to see if there are any complaints about these.  The path then passes the oil storage depot and pipelines until it crosses the new gas pipeline which takes gas to England.  This section of Path offers a somewhat surreal experience as you walk through coastal scrub and suddenly come to a big metal bridge with an anti IRA wire fence, then back into scrub again. 

Photo: Urban signs

As I approached Milford Haven, the path crossed the very busy Milford to Neyland road before dropping down to Castle Pill, then swinging round into Milford on a mix of roads with and without pavement and short off road urban paths.  There are short sections of very busy (60mph limit) and windy roads with no pavement.    The recommended route then follows quieter lanes to Milford Sea Front where the route follows a very pleasant promenade with wonderful views across the Haven to Pembroke.  Once in Milford Haven you have some good hotels, restaurants, pubs, shops and the option of buses and trains to various locations.

Photo: Milford Haven Waterway from Milford Haven Rath


The particular interest that I find in this walk is the ever-present waterway with its mostly military industrial archaeology.   There is the steady to and froing of various sizes of oil and gas tankers and the Irish Ferry at lunchtime into Pembroke Dock.  In fair weather a multitude of small boats and yachts sail from the marinas or where they park in the Haven.   Pembroke used to be home to a Flying Boat Squadron, their hangers can be seen behind the Royal Dockyard wall over in Pembroke Dock.  Two disused jetties are the clue to the mine depots that used to resupply ships with armaments.  The Waterston oil storage depot or tank farm was once Gulf Oil refinery, the refining equipment was dismantled and shipped abroad over 10 years ago.

The walk today was about 8 miles or 13km and would usually take 4 or 5 hours.  The bus used was the 356 Milford Haven to Monkton and the journey I did takes about 20 minutes.  Visit http://www.pembrokeshiregreenways.co.uk for full bus details. 


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From The Cleddau Bridge
Urban signs
Milford Haven Waterway from Milford Haven Rath