DISTANCE/DURATION: 3.1 miles (4.9 km) 1 hour 30 minutes.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Service bus Dale 315/316, *Puffin Shuttle 400 (*seasonal, hail & ride).
CHARACTER: Coast, cliff slope, steep gradients in wood, fields and livestock, 0.9 mile (1.5 km) minor road walking.
LOOK OUT FOR: Iron Age fort, ruined limekiln, wooded bay, Victorian fort and views up Milford Haven Waterway.
The Dale peninsula is largely treeless but this route takes in long slopes down to the sea that are unusual for being heavily wooded.
These days busy Dale is a popular location for sailing and windsurfing but the village has a long sea-faring tradition. In the 16th century it was one of Pembrokeshire’s most important ports and had a reputation as a smugglers’ hideout, while ships were still being built at Dale in the 1850s.
Dale Fort offers excellent views along the Haven Waterway. The Victorian fort was built inside a far larger Iron Age settlement and was a key part of Milford Haven’s 19th century defences. Now it is a Field Studies Centre for students of marine biology.
Climbing down into Castlebeach Bay is a treat. The little wooded valley has a hidden-away feel and its tiny beach is often deserted. Look out for a ruined limekiln, in which limestone was once burned to make lime for agricultural use.
Beyond the bay the path climbs towards the highest point on the route giving excellent views of the Haven and across Watwick Bay.
Close by is another defensive structure, the imposing Victorian era West Blockhouse. Now holiday accommodation, its position is well hidden. Alongside it stand three navigation towers – these and the single one at Watwick Point provide a guide to tankers as they enter the waterway.
It is worth making a detour to a third bay, Mill Bay, royally linked by history to a famous English battle.
Henry Tudor (later King Henry VII) landed at Mill Bay in August 1485 with a force of 2,000 men. It took Tudor’s force some weeks to reach Bosworth Field, gathering support as he marched.
Victory at Bosworth won Henry a kingdom and gave England a Pembroke-born monarch.
Find this walk
Grid ref: SM815046
- Take great care when on the Coast Path
- Stay on the path and away from cliff edges
- Wear boots and warm, waterproof clothing
- Take extra care in windy and/or wet conditions
- Always supervise children and dogs
- Leave gates and property as you find them
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