Porthgain to Abercastell

The BBC weather forecast had got it right this week and the sky was clear.  We arrived at Porthgain in time for coffee at The Shed, whilst around us, the gallery and the Sloop were already open, someone was putting the ice-cream sign up outside the shop, and at the other end of the village, someone else was setting up a garage sale to make the most of the Easter visitors. Crows and seagulls wheeled around the derelict quarry buildings whose brickwork glowed in the sunshine, whilst some pigeons flew in and out of holes in the walls, beating their wings furiously.  Pigeons always make flying look like hard work.


Guess what it’s used for.


The fields also contain the remains of old machinery.


Ynys Fach (Small Island) to the east of Porthgain

Along the coast path we met several families and recognised the different stages of walking with children; the baby on the back, the young child watching the ferry through binoculars (and being watched anxiously at the steep sections), the grumpy, slightly older children dragging their heels and the older teenagers waiting for their parents to catch up. All stages we have been through with our girls. Hannah and Emily went on to do their Duke of Edinburgh awards with the impressive expeditions, while we amble around the coast in very small sections, stopping at cafes and staying home when it rains.

Emily Rastall

Emily resting on the coast path between Trefin and Abercastell in 2007


Spring is springing! Pennywort grows in the walls along the coast. It has many medicinal uses, but we settle for nibbling on the occasional leaf.

There were many signs of spring along the walk today – primroses and violets lined the path, bumblebees were busy and house martens, recently returned from their winter in Africa, wove invisible patterns in the sky.


Pembrokeshire is rich in archaeology, but this stone circle above Trefin is a recent construction.


Blackthorn in flower above Trefin.

We stopped for lunch on the beach at Trefin, a family favourite and a good one for rockpools.  Looking at the map today, we discovered that it is called Aber Draw.  We never knew it had a name.

Approaching Aber Draw - the beach below Trefin

Approaching Aber Draw – the beach below Trefin

We were met by someone asking if either of us knew anything about rocks.  We have had many conversations about sedimentary rocks, shales. intrusions, extrusions, granite, dolorite etc., but this is the first time Roger has got into a conversation about gold mining on this walk. (There is no gold on the beach at Trefin.)


The remains of the corn mill still stand above the beach. It was used for about 500 years, until 1918.


Emily Rastall

Emily had more footwear than the rest of the family put together, but knew we could be relied upon to come to the rescue if she wore the wrong pair.


Cave on Trefin.



Limpet face

P1030976 P1030988

Trefin has been a favourite beach for looking for seaweeds, but the winter storms have washed the loose seaweeds away, leaving a thin covering of fine green weed. Small clusters of seaweed have managed to cling on in some of the rock pools. 


Emily explored some of the colours and textures of the seaweeds on Trefin as part of a 6th form project.

Our final destination today was Abercastell. Like Porthgain, Abercastell is a working harbour and was the landing place of the first recorded solo Atlantic sailing west to east in 1876 by Alfred Johnson.  Today, there were a few people on the beach, but compared to Porthgain, it was very quiet.

Emily Rastall

Emily, Hannah and Kate hold up the capstone on Carreg Samson, the cromlech above Abercastell.


Emily Rastall

Enjoying the sunshine at Abercastell in 2007.







3 thoughts on “Porthgain to Abercastell

  1. Sounds like Spring has truly sprung in Pembrokeshire what with primroses, violets, bumblebees and house martens. Beautiful. In Ottawa, not so much.

  2. Pingback: Porthgain to Abercastell | buzzknappfisher

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