Lush times at the Lily Ponds

St Govan’s Head

Our first port of call for Friday was St Govan’s Head to have a look at the remains of an old 14th century chapel which was carved into, and out of, the limestone rocks that surrounds it.

The chapel at St Govan's Head

The chapel at St Govan’s Head

The area itself was named after a sixth century monk, and hermit, called Saint Govan who lived in a fissure in the rocks in the area. Most of what’s known about Saint Govan is just myth and legend but I feel I learnt the most ‘truthful account’ about him from this article on St Govan’s Chapel.

Coastline at St Govan's Head

Coastline at St Govan’s Head

It also tells the story of how the rocks opened and closed up to shelter St Govan from some pirates who were after him. Whether or not that’s true is anyone’s guess but it’s an interesting tale and the location is definitely worthy of having a few stories attached to it. You definitely feel like there’s something special about it when you climb down the stairs, walk through the tiny old chapel and out onto the rocky secret cove below.

St Govan's Head from the cove

St Govan’s Head from the cove

Bosherton lily ponds and Stackpole…

Next up we visited the Bosherton lily ponds and took a very scenic walk around the coastline to Stackpole. Out of all the walks we did on our trip to Pembroke I think this one was easily my favourite.

The walk takes you along bridges, over the lily ponds, up onto a hill where you get a lovely view of all the lily pads stretching out across the huge man-made lakes below, before taking you to a beautiful beach and finally onto the Stackpole Outdoor Learning Centre and gardens. There really is something quite magical about this spot and it was definitely one of the highlights of the holiday for me.

The whole area is run by the National Trust and so parking charges are applicable for non members (£5 for the day), however it depends what time of year you go. If you go out of season then I think those rates are reduced. Check before you go via the National Trust website.

Bosherton lily pond

Bosherton lily pond

Of course, we managed to pick up a couple of geocaches along the route 😉 The first was The Eel-Leet Troll Bridge and, our only other one being Country Roads, although there were others to be found, I think we just got too distracted by the views and the wildlife to pick them up!

The Eel-Leet Troll Bridge was a great hide, and not where we were expecting, with it being called ‘troll bridge’ that usually gets us looking under the bridges…however this one was a bit more sneaky, but thankfully we managed to spot its hiding place and get our names into the logbook 🙂

I attempted to capture some bees on my camera along the way with varying degrees of success, but I had the most luck in the walled gardens at the Stackpole Outdoor Learning Centre. I definitely still need more practice though!

The gardens were very pretty, and the cafe attached to the Learning Centre gave us a very welcome opportunity to have a quick cuppa before our walk back to the car at Bosherton. 🙂

Crocodile at Stackpole Walled Garden

Crocodile at Stackpole Walled Garden

If it’s a scenic and memorable walk in Wales filled with wildlife and flowers that you’re looking for then Stackpole and the Bosherton Lakes/lily ponds is definitely your answer!

Dolaucothi gold mine and Henrhyd Falls

And so it came to our final day of the holiday and we all said goodbye’s in the morning and went our separate ways. 🙁

Not wanting the adventures to end though MrB and I decided to head to the Dolaucothi Gold Mine to take the tour there, which is, again, run by the National Trust (we were definitely getting our money’s worth out of the membership cards on that holiday!).

Dolaucothi Gold mine

Dolaucothi Gold mine

It was an excellent tour with a brilliant tour guide who kept the stories of the old gold miners and history of the ancient Roman mine light-hearted and interesting. What made me smile was spotting a familiar geological feature that we’d seen earlier on in the holiday and learnt about through an Earthcache! It was nice to recognise it, know exactly how it was formed and its technical name…it was like having top secret information. Who says you don’t learn anything whilst Geocaching eh?! 😉

Cave-dwelling bacteria

Cave-dwelling bacteria

We also found the geocache All that glitters… whilst we were there too, which was an added bonus, although it wasn’t the easiest of caches to find. With a vague hint and a few possible search items it took us a while to locate but luckily there weren’t any muggles around so we could take our time, and after a methodical search, we managed to uncover it. Woop! 🙂

Looking stylish(!) at the Dolaucothi gold mine!

Looking stylish(!) at the Dolaucothi gold mine!

Henrhyd Falls was next on our list, and our last stop of the holiday before home. It was also…yup you guessed it, owned by the National Trust! We parked in the car park which is somewhere way above the waterfall and then walked all the way to the bottom to marvel at its beauty.

Henrhyd falls

Henrhyd falls

Being the highest waterfall in Wales it was pretty impressive and apart from one other couple we were the only people down there which gave us the perfect opportunity to look for the cache Beware! Falling Rocks. which was a nice easy find – although the cache was a bit waterlogged.

Beware! Falling rocks!

Beware! Falling rocks!

Getting back in the van was kind of sad because it meant that all of the nonsense and fun of the past week was all over. We’d had a lovely time in Pembroke though and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to families or those looking for an adventurous getaway.

Extra information on what’s available in this stunning part of the UK can be found on the VisitPembrokeshire website.

Until next time, safe travels and happy caching!

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