About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Barafundle Bay, Bosherston and St Govan's Chapel

We decided to start the day at Stackpole Quay as it came recommended by One Who Knows. And there were books in the car park (though the most modern poetry was Chaucer).

Then we walked along the coast path to Barafundle Bay, on account of it being dog-friendly and gorgeous.  

But I think it must have featured in one too many Sunday supplements because everyone else, their kids and their dog were headed there too, it being half term and all. 

We decided there were rather too many young children for a farm dog to resist herding, so we admired from a distance and then went to the local pub instead. This is their reading nook. (No poetry.)

Then we drove to Bosherston, which was also recommended by friends - I did a straw poll on Facebook - on account of its lilies. 

Which were flowering and very beautiful indeed. 

In fact, it would have been wildly romantic if what I'd momentarily taken for an extremely loud, extremely close woodpecker ... 

... hadn't turned out to be machine gun fire, accompanied by explosions, from the nearby firing range. 

There were even hand grenades!

After a while we reached a not too busy Broad Haven beach, where a happy Ted ran and played and splashed. 

I was expecting not to be able to walk around the coast to St Govan's Head, as our walking book warned that it wasn't always possible when there was live firing, but we did manage to get through the first check point. 

I was a bit surprised that they were firing during a school holiday. It doesn't happen on Dartmoor - or at least, it didn't used to - but maybe it's all this extra high alert palaver. 

The corvids, by the way - you can just see one in this photo - were definitely jackdaws. 

After a while we reached the ice cream van. We decided to let Ted have his own ice cream, which he refused to have anything to do with. Then he scoffed it and barked most peremptorily to be given the remainder of Northerner's as well. (I had a cider ice lolly. He didn't want that.) 

Then I went down to see St Govan's Chapel.

Govan, or rather Gofan, was a hermit who lived on the side of this cliff in the 6th century. 

According to legend, he was an Irish monk who travelled to Wales late in life to seek the friends and family of the abbot who trained him. 

Or he might have been the knight, Gawain, who entered into a state of retreat in later years.

Or a thief. 

In any event, he was set upon by pirates from either Ireland or Lundy (not Wales 😊) and a fissure in the cliffs opened up and hid him until they left. 

Gofan decided to live in a cave in the cliff. He died in 586. The current chapel was built over the cave in the 13th century. 

Oh and he had a holy well too, did Gofan. 

Careful up there ... it's a long way down.

If we'd wanted to walk further along the coast path to the natural stone arch of the Green Bridge of Wales, we'd have been disappointed. 

As it was, we'd already planned to walk to the pub in Bosherston ... 

... where we were serenaded by a spadger.


  1. Hope you enjoyed St Govan's, Deborah. A shame about the firing...

    1. I've always felt cross that the Army do firing on Dartmoor. Training I get because of the terrain, but there really shouldn't be potentially lethal debris lying around a National Park. I had no idea it happened in other National Parks too.