Follow us on
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook

The Pembrokeshire Tourism Blog

Dog-friendly getaways: 48 hours in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Monday, April 15, 2019

 Read More

Why Pembrokeshire might just be the most dog-friendly place to holiday.

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Thursday, April 11, 2019

 Read More

A tail of a walk in Porthgain

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Thursday, April 11, 2019

A tail of a walk in Porthgain Read More

A tail of a walk to Amroth

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Thursday, April 11, 2019

A tail of a walk to Amroth Read More

Pwt y Cwt yn Nanhyfer

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Monday, April 01, 2019

Pwt y Cwt yn Nanhyfer Read More

A tail of a walk in Nevern

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Monday, April 01, 2019

A tail of a walk in Nevern Read More

Walking in the Shadow of Brunel

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Friday, March 08, 2019



As we drove down through Neyland the excitement mounted. I began to yelp and bark in anticipation of one of my favourite walks. I then banged my head as usual on the window of the hatchback’s boot lid. For any vets out there who are looking for a topic to research you might like to consider doing a study on pre-walk concussion in excited dogs travelling in small cars. Anyway, I digress (which proves I haven’t got concussion otherwise I wouldn’t be able to use posh words like ‘digress’). What was I talking about? Ah, yes, the trip to Neyland.


My owner parked at the free car park overlooking the Cleddau. That’s right, we were going on the walk to the Westfield Pill nature reserve! My owner put my lead on and we walked to the railings by the water’s edge. Across the water we could see Pembroke Dock and to our left was the bridge spanning the River Cleddau. But as I rested my front paws on the railings I was transported back in time to the 1850’s. He HAS got concussion I hear you say, but no, these are special railings. They are made out of original train rails designed by the civil engineer commemorated in a statue nearby - none other than Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


Neyland was once a bustling harbour with a railway line connecting it with Haverfordwest. When the line reached Neyland it divided into multiple tracks for sidings. We walked along these tracks, which are still there today, embedded in the tarmac. As we followed the tracks I did what any self-respecting railway enthusiast would do in this situation - I pretended I was a train. I made a chugging noise, howled like a whistle and pulled hard on the lead. My owner was not amused. She did not appreciate being treated like heavily laden rolling stock. Anyway, my train noises were drowned out by the bustling activity of Dale Sailing’s shipyard to our left. Then we reached the end of the tarmac and left the tracks behind. The marina now came into full view.


The marina, known officially as Neyland Yacht Haven, is a stunning sight with all sorts of colourful yachts and boats. There are lots of facilities including Manillas Café and the Bar Restaurant.  It was a nice sunny day so my owner decided to stop for a coffee. We sat at a table outside and I helped myself to some water from one of the bowls provided by the nice people from the café.  


After coffee we set off again along the path until we had passed the end of the marina. We were now walking where the single railway track used to go as it followed the water inlet upstream. This was originally tidal but a lagoon was formed by bunds which were built in the 1980s to retain sludge drained from the marina. This is where the Westfield Pill nature reserve begins. Staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Trust maintain the reserve.


The reserve has lots of wildlife. There are around thirty species of butterfly and 150 different types of birds including ospreys, little egrets and little grebes. Many birds breed here including kingfishers, shelducks, mute swans, mallards and herons. You can also spot lizards, adders and grass snakes which like to find shade amongst the limestone ballast on which the railway was built. There are also some interesting flowers and plants. For example the reserve has the largest colony of bastard balm in Wales. Its flowers are white with a splash of purple on their lower lip. On this particular day I did spot some swans in the water with their signets. By the way, did you know that when a male and female swan pair off they often remain together for life? Swans have always made good matches.


The route through the reserve is very picturesque - at one point there is even a lagoon on the left as well as the right. The route is also a cycle path and is part of the Celtic Trail. This particular stretch, from here to the village of Johnston, is known as the Brunel Cycle Trail. Some cyclists take this very seriously. As they go by they have a look on their face which clearly betrays the fact that they are pretending to be in the Tour de France and being chased by the peloton. I usually annoy them by barking in French.


It took us about twenty minutes to walk to the other end of the reserve. The path continues for many miles, but we turned round and headed back. By the time we reached the car I was ready for a good rest and snuggled down in the boot. There was no danger of banging my head as I was too tired to even sit up. By the time we left Neyland I was sound asleep and dreaming I was on a steam train being driven by Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself.


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.



Isambard Kingdom Brunel 

Dale Sailing Co

Celtic Trail Cycle Route

Wildlife Trust of South West Wales





.  


 Read More

Voyages of a Sea Dog

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Wednesday, February 20, 2019


 Read More

A Walking Tail on Newgale Beach

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Friday, June 22, 2018

A Walking Tail Around Carew

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Friday, June 15, 2018

Recent Posts


Tags

forecast images Wedding Venue big blue Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Wales Coast Path Pembrokeshire Swan Lake Bay language Christmas lunch Manorbier B&B Picton Castle Pets partnership marketing Presipe Bay Ceibwr Castell Henllys Ironage Fort attractions county council Pwll y Wrach Porthsele exercise ShareWales Lindsway Bay pembrokeshire tourism surfing Christmas Group Accommodation Pembrokeshire autumn/winter guide village Dog Friendly Tourism Oriel y Parc Sustainable Tourism, Environment working together Destination Pembrokeshire visitor economy half term 2018 Porthlysgi Bay Heatherton World of Adventures strategy Nevern Pembrokeshire Coastal Path beaches Bleeding Yew Ordance-Survey pembrokeshire food pembrokeshire produce customer service Manor House Wildlife Park winners Year of Discovery Celtic Quest Coasteering Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo customer Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Ordance Survey Sustainable Tourism Musselwick Top of the Woods Carew Castle & tidal Mill Weddings Pembrokeshire beaches The Giltar Hotel Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo Tour of Pembrokeshire views Sector Saundersfoot Chamber for Tourism Flimston Bay 2019 PR Agency Event Porthclais Newgale Experience Bullslaughter Bay Church Doors Treath Llyfn Oli Tuggey celtic camping and bunkhouses Year of Adventure 2016 Dark Skies VisitWales charity activity Accommodation Amroth Castle suppliers tourism marketing Bethsaida B&B Skrinkle Haven Accesible Pembrokeshire Wales, Wales Tourism Alliance, Industry, Sector visitor Year of Legends Industry Team Stargazing Guides opinion positive open all year Whitesands Bay 2017 pembrokeshire tourism events history walking community Keep Wales Tidy Green Key Award Wales

Archive