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A tail of a walk to Amroth

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Thursday, April 11, 2019

A tail of a walk to Amroth

We walked further and further down the side of the valley along the muddy path. Everything was still and quiet, apart from the gurgling stream below. I ran ahead of my owner, sniffing as I went. We were deep inside the woodland of the Colby estate in the south of Pembrokeshire. After a few minutes we reached the bottom of the valley and crossed the stream over a bridge made of heavy logs. We now headed back along the valley keeping close to the water. I was just beginning to think of having a paddle when we came to another bridge. It was a narrow wooden bridge with wooden rails either side. I knew this would mean only one thing ...

My owner, I would say, is rather prim and proper. But when we she saw the bridge, as I anticipated, she clapped her hands with delight. ‘This reminds me of when I was a child,’ she said. ‘Let’s play Poohsticks!’ She grabbed two twigs, one in each hand, walked to the centre of the bridge and leant over the rails. ‘Yours is the twig on the right,’ she said. I watched with my front paws on the rail as she counted to three and then let them go. As soon as the twigs disappeared under the bridge we dashed to the other side. Surprise, surprise - her twig appeared first, zooming like a speed boat whilst mine eventually drifted into view like a punt on the Cam. I barked a couple of times, making the point in the strongest possible terms that she had thrown her stick, not dropped it. But then she said, ‘Come on Tigger.’ Whenever she calls me Tigger I have to bounce along, which I duly did, all the way back to the top of the valley.

My owner had parked her car in the car park next to the entrance to Colby Woodland Garden. I assumed we had finished our walk but we had only just begun! We walked straight past the car and into the garden. ‘We’ll walk through the meadow and have a drink at a cafe in Amroth,’ she said. She tied my lead to a nearby seat and I waited outside the shop while she had her National Trust membership card scanned. As I waited a shiver of excitement ran down my spine. Going to the cafe in Amroth could mean only one thing ... But more of that later.

Before walking through the meadow we went into the walled garden to admire the magnolias. There were some ducks wandering around but my owner kept me tight on the lead. Then we walked back out and we set off towards Amroth.

The meadow is the floor of a valley with a stream running down the middle. There are lots of interesting paths and exciting things to find on the slopes either side of the valley. For example, there is a 130 foot Japanese Red Cedar and there are lots of rhododendrons. But today we kept to the meadow. We were making a beeline for Amroth and the cafe ...

Amroth is a village on the coast which developed in the nineteenth century as a result of the mining of coal and iron ore in south Pembrokeshire. The anthracite coal was of a very good quality and Queen Victoria insisted it was used on her royal steam yacht. But avast ye! We had by now arrived at Amroth and we went directly to ... the Pirate Cafe!

Now, I have always seen myself as a pawrate, and as I looked up at the sign with its skull and crossbones, I steeled myself for the raucous atmosphere we would undoubtedly find inside. I was hoping my owner would enter into the spirit of things by going up to the counter and saying something like: “I’ve been sailing the seven seas looking for buried treasure, arr, that I have. Give me a tot of your best rum.’ Sadly, instead she asked for a nice cup of tea and commented on the lovely weather. And apart from the stature of a pirate outside, there were no other pirates in sight. Still, at least I knew I was welcome because this is a dog-friendly cafe.

Afterwards we went for a long walk on the beach and then went to the Temple Bar for lunch. This has won a Pembrokeshire Tourism award for being dog friendly so I always like coming here. As we went in I was still in pirate mode and went over to their resident dog, Mikey, to see if he wanted to play. But he has seen it all before and just huffed and went to sleep. And as my owner ate her meal I decided Mikey had the right idea and I went to sleep at her feet dreaming of treasure chests overflowing with gold - and dog biscuits.

Note: This blog is part of a series written for the Visit Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Project. The project has received funding via the Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government, the Fund aims to encourage new innovative product ideas working in partnership which will have a greater impact and attract more visitors.


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