Tuesday, 12 August 2014

DINAS ISLAND

Dinas Island is not actually an island at all, but a rounded rocky headland between Newport and Fishguard. A walk along the coast path around the headland provides fantastic views of the Pembrokeshire coastline. On the Newport side of the peninsula the path can be joined at Cwm-yr-Eglwys ('Valley of the Church'), named for the ruined church of St Brynach's overlooking the beach. The church, which dates from pre-Norman times, succumbed to the sea twice in the mid-1800s: once in 1850, when the chancel was destroyed, then again during the so-called Royal Charter Storm of 1859 (the Royal Charter was a ship which ran aground on Anglesey during this once-in-a-century storm). The 1859 storm did for most of the rest of the church, so that following demolition work in 1880 there was just one end left standing plus the graveyard. A sea wall was built to protect the site. Walkers wanting to reach Pwllgwaelod, which lies on the Fishguard side of the peninsula, have two choices: stick with the coast path following the peninsula around to Pwllgwaelod, or head inland on a wheelchair-friendly path along a valley which cuts across the landward side of the headland. Pwllgwaelod has a small sand-and-shingle beach with a pub/restaurant which was occasionally visited by Dylan Thomas.

Map of the area.

File:Ruins of St Brynach's, Cwm-yr-Eglwys - geograph.org.uk - 1800572.jpg
Cwm-yr-Eglwys. Photo by Richard Law, via Wikimedia Commons
 

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