Walk Caswell Bay to Pwll Du Bay

My second journey takes me to Pwll Du (“black pool”) Bay , very different from yesterday’s walk. Be prepared not to meet a soul, see any houses or signs of man’s intervention with nature. No cafes or restaurants here, that bottle of water will be essential. Onto the beach again I follow the sea defence wall (thankfully its presence will keep old Redcliffe safe from the ravages of that relentless sea) and, whilst breathing deeply I tackle the seventy steps ahead that snake steeply up the cliff  to meet the public path. A handrail supports me all the way. A much needed aid! With that behind me I can now enjoy the walk. The narrow dirt track is uneven in parts, so I pay special attention to  my footing but still manage to admire that spectacular view ahead of me. Brandy Cove, Pwll Du Bay Gorse and bracken grow either side of the path sheltering  my journey to Brandy Cove. Named, because smuggling in the nineteenth century was rife and due to the bay’s remoteness proved to be an ideal opportunity to land elicit cargo of tobacco and alcohol! With no car park in sight this bay remains quiet and unspoilt. Just fifteen minutes into the journey I continue following the headland footpath passing through stile gates that keep the hillside ponies from wandering. At the point of the headland the path peters out, the ground becomes uneven, loose shale covers the slope and great care must be taken. Looking down the cliff edge I see unique rock formations. Quite spectacular! The last turn to the right takes me by surprise revealing that stunning sight  called Pwll Du Bay. A calm, sheltered and remote beach that invites me to take a closer look. A narrow stream snakes its way through the limestone pebbles to its final destination – the sea. Just two buildings in sight, both of which have been public houses in their time frequented by  the local quarrymen and fishermen. Here too, smuggling was rife. I continue along the path which takes me over a bridge and pass between the two houses. Climbing a mound of pebbles I see the full expanse of the beach. I rest a while and enjoy just being there. My choice now, is to return the way I came or to take the higher road. I double back over the bridge and take the rocky road cut into the cliff headland which allows only four by fours access to the houses below. It is not for the faint hearted to be behind that wheel but perfectly comfortable for a walker to pass by. As I reach the top of the slope I see Pwll Du lane on my left but a gate entrance to the right looks  far more appealing. I open the gate and turn to the left, walk along a wide grassy bank. Blackberries galore, frustrated, no vessel to put them in. Over a stile I enter into an enclosed wooded area and walk down the many steps which will soon take me back to Brandy cove . Just ten more minutes along the cliff path and Caswell beach is in appears before me, a very welcome sight. Again allow about two hours for this journey.

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