Author Topic: Old Bagger's walking trip - Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - 14/6 - 2/7 2018  (Read 7812 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have been doing a bit of research re "cheap" return tickets. I am hoping that some will become available but the fairly random set of dates I have so far put into the machine haven't found any. I can buy a walk-on ticket from Haverfordwest to Southend Central for £65.50, including the Old Buggers' Rail Card reduction. That's about £99 without the OBRC. However, Haverfordwest to Swansea can be purchased fo £10.85, Swansea to Paddington for £32.35 and Paddington to Southend Central for £11.50, a total of £54.70 and therefore a saving of £10.80 simply by asking the ticket office bod the right questions.

FFS renationalise them!
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I am going to Peterborough next week.  If I buy a straight through ticket I pay over double the cost of two tickets.  I have to change trains at Nuneaton regardless. 

I simply don't understand why the ticket system doesn't give you the best deal.

Oh, perhaps I do... 

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
My brother had exactly the same issue when he had a regular journey from Shrewsbury to Bangor for a weekly teaching appointment. If he bought a ticket straight through, it cost £7 more than if he "broke" the journey at Chester, even though he was on exactly the same trains for both.
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have packed my rucksack with most of teh stuff off my checklist. I haven't put in my waterproof or a bottle of water yet. It comes to 11kg or thereabouts.
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Still no cheap tickets back from Haverfordwest for the dates we want. However, rather nice £19-odd tickets are available from Swansea to Southend in mid-June.

I shall probably buy a ticket for 1st July or thereabouts if and when the cheap ones become available. This will add a little extra time should we fall behind our schedule, but, importantly, if we do finish to time, will allow me a day or two at the West Hook campsite and with it a visit to Marloes Beach and/or Skomer Island.

I don't want to find myself time-constrained and abandoning the walk with only about 20 miles left to do, and therefore forced to come back later for unfinished business.
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Steph

  • Fast. Fast and bulbous. But fluffy.
I have a large and very good Lowe Alpine rucksack that can be borrowed. With the extending lid, it goes up to 90 litres, about 75 with the lid in normal position.

I don't know the north coast stretch, but the spectacular stuff is on the South IMHO. Make sure to pop inland at Bosherston by way of the lily ponds, as (a) it is gorgeous and (b) there is a pub there. The stretch by St Govan's has the chapel, the Castlemartin tank ranges (which can divert the path), the Green Bridge, Huntsman's Leap and an awful lot of seabirds. Much auking and a lot of choughs. Views out to Lundy.

Bosherston also usually has a lagoon , so that those fond of al fresco bathing can find a little warmer water. There is a campsite inland at St Petrox (don't know if it is still open) that has an old church tower one can ascend for ace views. Seaside cafe used to be by Traeth Mawr, campsite there now, and the ascent afterwards used to go past a mini 'Pentre Ifan', regularly used in  dramatic photos but which is only about two feet high. Not to be confused with Coetan Arthur.

Mae angen arnaf i byw, a fe fydda'i

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Thanks, Steph. I think I'm OK in the rucksack dept. My Vango is pretty good.

Another walk today. I'm finding 10 miles walks pretty routine at the moment. I think I must sort out a longer one...

http://gentlemancyclist.org.uk/2018/04/13/a-flat-stroll/
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Impressive progress as well as interesting reading Wow.  I admire your dedication to this.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have purchased a ticket for the return journey, leaving Manorbier at 9.29am. £20.45 with the OBRC. I'll just have to get to Manorbier from Cardigan! I'm sure there will be buses.

Manorbier was selected because a) there is a camp site less than half a mile from the station and b) my grandmother was born there. Her father was a freeman of Haverfordwest.
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I'll just have to get to Manorbier from Cardigan! I'm sure there will be buses.

My tickets have cost £62, advance tickets, no discount cards, for the two major journeys. Southend to Kilgetty and the return Manorbier to Southend. Same trains as Wow but maybe different coach on the return.
I guess a bus from St. Dogmaels (sp) to Cardigan and thence to Manorbier won't cost too much but why are we going to Cardigan?  ???
Cardigan to Manorbier is a three bus journey according to google.

Steph

  • Fast. Fast and bulbous. But fluffy.
Fair point indeed! If you aren't tied to specific Manorbier trains, why not bus it down to Abergwaun ("Fishguard") and hop a train to Whitland, picking up the line coming from Manorbier?
Mae angen arnaf i byw, a fe fydda'i

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Well, I hadn't checked any bus timetables so I assumed that Cardigan, which is very close to Poppit Sands (the official end of the walk) would be a good place to get the bus. It appears that St. Dogmaels is on that bus route.
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I climbed Pen-y-Ghent today. Not a long walk but a lot of up.
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
For perfectly good reasons, my would-be companions are no longer in contention for this jaunt.

Quelle dommage!

Oh well, I shall have to struggle round on my own... unless there's anyone out there who has a bit of spare time?  ;D
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I can no longer join Wow for this trip  :( so I have train tickets, as above, free and gratis  :thumbsup:  for anyone who would like to join Wow. Let me know and I'll pass them on to Wow for distribution in time for the day of departure.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I am starting to plot my daily routes and plan for meals.

I hit upon a brainwave for the first night: I found a B & B near Kilgety station offering a single room for £45. I can dump my luggage off, get a taxi to take me to Amroth, do 3 hours' walking to Tenby in daylight (sun sets at 9.38) and get a train back to Kilgety (21.53 or 22.55, 10 minute trip) and return to the station in the morning. I'll be passing through Saundersfoot & Tenby so there will be plenty of eateries.

My brothers and a sister spent last week at Nolton Haven and the consensus was that I should book B & Bs all round to keep the luggage down. Well, I've bought a tent for this and I know it's going to be tough. Also, lots of places simply are not anywhere near B & Bs. I will probably book the occasional one for convenience's sake but B & B timings will, in general, cramp my style. I will want to be starting earlier than most of them will do breakfast, and few of them will be close to the coastal path.
Basses lower the tone.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have just changed the thread title in respect of the singularity of this attempt.

I think I am now going to be without a tent. It's logistically quite difficult to book B & Bs at precisely the right places, and the lack of any sort of commerce on big chunks of this mean that I still might have to take cooking gear, and/or ask hosts for packed lunches. I am also considering bag drops - there's a company that does this for £8.50 a time, it seems.

I don't think I am up to the 16 mile stretch between Newport and St. Dogmaels in a single day so I have booked B & B at Moylegrove. Lucky to get in I think as it's a tiny place. It's looking as though I might well have a rest day at St. David's though. I haven't managed to book anywhere at Broadhaven (the one near St. Bride's Bay) so I have booked 2 nights at Solva and will rely on the Puffin Shuttle to get me to where I need to be that night and the following morning.

To be honest, I am finding the whole thing quite daunting at the moment.
Basses lower the tone.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
OK, I now have all my B & Bs booked and all the daily mileages plotted. At the moment, the only problem is that the daily mileages come to something like 20 miles short of the official length of the coastal path! I am assuming that this this because the gps track I have plotted is made up of short straight lines, of roughly 300 yards each, and this takes no account of bends in the path, either right/left or up/down.

My B & Bs are in:-

Kilgetty
Swanlake Bay
Bosherston
Angle
Herbrandston (4 nights)
Solva
St. Davids (2 nights)
Trefin (2 nights)
Fishguard
Newport
Moylgrove
Haverfordwest (2 nights)

Those places where I have more than one night will involved vehicle transfers to where I finished the previous day. The Taberna Inn in Herbrandston is an amazing place: £30 a night for the first night, £25 a night thereafter, and a free lift anywhere between Neyland and Newgale. Other transfers will be via the Puffin Shuttle/Strumble Shuttle or the Poppit Rocket.
Basses lower the tone.

OK, I now have all my B & Bs booked and all the daily mileages plotted. At the moment, the only problem is that the daily mileages come to something like 20 miles short of the official length of the coastal path! I am assuming that this this because the gps track I have plotted is made up of short straight lines, of roughly 300 yards each, and this takes no account of bends in the path, either right/left or up/down.

Probably. The more accurately you map a coastline the longer it gets. They are fractal.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have noted that one of the bus services I might want to use is the 404. I hope I can find it...
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
15 very hot miles with my pack today, in the company of my Coach*. We walked from Tonbridge to Edenbridge along the Eden Valley Trail. All very pretty.

If there's a choice, steer clear of the Porcupine Tea Room, Penshurst Place. Stupidly expensive for a very inadequate lunch. I had to have fish & chips when we got to the Henry VIII near Hever Castle. Much better value.

A disappointing lack of interesting wildlife on the walk. A fair bit of birdsong, but mostly the everyday stuff - blackcaps, song thrushes, wrens and blackbirds. When we were crossing the last field we heard two skylarks and two cuckoos so the best was saved up to the end.

*Her Welshness. Great company and makes these long walks look so easy.
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have just done a very useful bit of research/preparation - and had a stroke of good luck.

There is a bit of the coastal path which is under the control of the military - the Castlemartin Ranges. Most of the time it isn't open to the public and I had resigned myself to not being able to walk it. I'm staying at Bosherston on Saturday night. That's lucky because the Eastern Ranges are open at evenings and weekends only. That means that I can drop my stuff off at the Bosherston pub when I approach from the east and then catch a bus to the Stack Rocks, which mark the western boundary of the eastern ranges, and walk "the wrong way" back to Bosherston.

The western ranges are not open to the public other than on a limited number of days per year when the walk is guided by a National Parks ranger. As luck would have it, there is one such walk on Sunday, which is my scheduled day for doing that stretch of coast. I have just spoken to one of the rangers and paid my £6 entry fee for the walk. Given that that stretch of coastland is rarely visited by humans, it is very wild and full of interesting wildlife. According to the guy I just spoke to "it's the prettiest bit of Pembrokeshire".

I'm really choughed about that! (sorry...)
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That's a lucky coincidence! Have fun  :D
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Day 2: 11 miles or so. Deliberately very slow. Good b & b with a lousy signal. Blog report later. Zzzzz.
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