On the same day that we went to Manorbier, we picked Danny up from his Scout’s event and then drove down to Church Door’s Cove. I had never been here before so it was great to go somewhere new. It is so-called because two high arched caves in the sandstone cliffs resemble the doorways of a church.
We parked up, overlooking the cliffs and drop. The car was shaking in the wind. Dave went out to check that it was safe enough for a family walk. We ruled out one of the walks as it was very close to the edge- the little ones would have been blown away! We chose a more sheltered walk down to Church Doors Cove. It turns out this walk was fine for all of the kids but unsuitable for me!
From the car park we had a good view of Caldey Island. If I’d had a better lens at the time I could have taken some good shots. I will have to do a blog about Caldey one day as it is one of my favourite places in Pembrokeshire.
The initial walk was fine. I was pleased that there was a hedge separating the path from the cliff side. We came to some steep stone steps leading down to the bay. I started to feel scared at this point, but my fear was still manageable. Rebecca was also a little wary. While Dave, Danny, Caitlyn and Izzy went down easily, we looked out for each other and took each step one at a time and I felt confident that we could do it.
Then we came to the metal steps. As soon as I saw the beach through the steps, I started to shake and sway. I started repeating that I couldn’t do it and wouldn’t go on the metal steps. Dave came back up and helped Rebecca down. While the kids played, he came back up to help me but I didn’t want help. I just didn’t want to go on the metal steps. Dave tried being reassuring and practical and telling me how safe I would be etc. But I was already shaking and dizzy so in my mind, that made it likely that I would trip and fall down them. The camera around my neck suddenly felt very heavy on me and I was scared it would fall through the steps. I worried about the kids playing on the beach below. I urged Dave just to leave me be, to look after my camera and most importantly the kids. I then ran up the first lot of steps and watched them all from that, in my mind, safer place.
I had been crying lots, but feeling safer on the stone, I took some deep breaths and instantly felt calmer. I took the selfie as a way of checking how bad I looked after sobbing! I didn’t want the other walkers to know what a fuss I had made! Thankfully, it was a no make up day so I didn’t have panda eyes!
A little part of me felt like going back to the metal steps and seeing if I could do it. But the other part felt too exhausted from the fright earlier. I knew I was missing out on seeing the kids explore a new place. I also felt guilty leaving Dave to look after all four kids on his own. I also felt that Dave and the kids would feel really mad at me for not coming down and spoiling their day.
Thankfully when they came back they were all happy, exhilarated from the fun of playing in a new place and jumping in the waves etc. Danny was soaked and they couldn’t wait to tell me everything that had happened.
Back in their company, I instantly felt more “normal” again. Looking at the photos makes me want to try to get down them again but I also don’t want to be a burden if I go back there and can’t do it! I am so much better than I used to be but some places really put the fear in me. There is a walk really close to my home that I struggle with and I want to go there one day with just Dave to try and “conquer” it. We’ll see!
Instead of going straight home we went to the closest park. This was a great idea as it meant I got to have fun with the kids which took my mind off my height phobia for the rest of the day!
Here is a little video of the day. There would have been more video if I’d managed to get onto the beach, sorry!
If you want to visit Church Coves Bay this year, why not book a break at Bluestone National Park Resort, Pembrokeshire.