Bumble at Strumble!

Another fabulous weekend adventure ‘downline’ in Pembrokeshire. This time Strumble head was our desination and a small CL site at Tresinwen Farm. Just a short walk from Stumble head and it’s magnificent lighthouse.

We managed to get a good start on Friday afternoon and arrived at the site about 8pm. Bit of a chore to get Hank level and find a good spot but after a bit of time we were all set up, hounds fed and watered and we’d settled down to a steaming hot bowl of tortellini and tomato sauce! Great standby for those late night arrivals.

After a sleepy lie-in and a peak outside Saturday looked like turning into a decent day. Our mornings usually follow a similar pattern in Hank, humans up, tablets for Tilly, dogs out for an early morning wee and walk, human gets dinette set up for breakfast, dogs fed, relax over leisurely breakfast and plan the day! VANLIFE BLISS…

All set up and off we go through the tiny hamlet of Tresinwen which seems made up of a large dairy farm and associated holiday cottages. It’s a really pretty spot with lots of really quaint Pembrokeshire properties. Up the lane we trundle to the headland and there in the distance is the lighthouse, not far ahead and a fairly popular spot given the number of cars squeezing past us four to get to it.

Once we’d made it to the cliffs again we had a wow moment, the view was spectacular and it looked like we might have another amazing day bumbling around on the Pembrokeshire/Wales Coast path.

The Lighthouse sits on a little island, Ynys Michel and can only be reached by a small bridge. The present lighthouse was built in 1908, but the first proposal to build a lighthouse here was made in 1825 by Trinity House. This lighthouse replaces a light ship previously moored in the south of Cardigan Bay. The lighthouse is similar in construction to Skokholm Lighthouse further down the coast and is among the last lighthouses to be built in Britain.

The circular stone tower is 55 ft high and was updated from paraffin to electricity in 1949. The Lighthouse was fully electrified in 1965 and was fully automated in 1980 and is now monitored from the Trinity House Operations Control Centre at Harwich with regular visits made by an attendant.

A plaque in the lantern-room is inscribed with a verse from Psalm 127:

Except the Lord Build the house
They labour in vain that build it
Except the Lord keep the city
The Watchman waketh but in vain

We all had a lovely mooch around the headland and a short detour west along the Coast path before being cruelly stumped by a very steep flight of steps, Greyhounds don’t so steps, especially Tilly, well she is 12!! We settled down to have a relaxing sit in the sun, sheltered in a little steep sided valley looking out to sea and trying desperately to spot any wildlife! Claire spotted a dolphin/porpoise but I wasn’t convinced!

We headed back to the Lightouse and after a quick look at the trusty Viewranger app on my iPhone we noticed we had the possibility of a circular routeback to Hank. Through a combination of Coast path, Footpath and Bridleway we could avoid retracing our steps, fab!!

It was time for lunch and we needed to find a sheltered spot out of the nagging breeze. Luckily I managed to live up to my adopted trail name ‘picnic spot’ and bagged us a magnificent place to stop and admire the views!

A couple of minutes later we noticed lots of Gannets diving into the sea in one particularly choppy area and watched them through our binoculars, they must have been feeding on a shoal of fish. Claire gives a big shout out and in the same spot we see a dorsal fin breach the water, dolphins!!!!! Amazing and for the next 5-10 minutes as we see them again and again come out of the water, we think they actually may have been porpoises but we need to check. Didn’t manage any photos as we were just to excited. Our enthusiasm rubbed off on a group of German girls walking past on the coast path as they all stopped to try to spot the porpoises.

Excitement over we  followed our circular route back to Hank along the coast. More seal spotting in a small bay just below our inland return with a seal cow on the beach and a huge male bobbing in the water bellowing away and making a very eerie noise. We’d never heard any seals making a noise before and felt privileged to be there on our own above this little bay with the seals.

We needed to stop to get over all the wildlifetastic adventures so we settled down at a little beach at our return leg junction.

Tilly settled for a snooze, Belle wondered on the beach with me and Claire tried to hunt down some cool pebbles, she loves a pebble that girl!!

After watching a guy swim across the bay and hoping he didn’t falter we headed back inland past the farm and got back to Hank thoroughly filled up with happiness!!!

Tea time for us, snooze time for Tilly and Belle before starting to pack up and get Hank ready for the journey home.

Time too leave and head home, we packed Hank, took the hounds out for a last wee and walk and headed East back along the A40 away from the setting sun and destination home!

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