As I mentioned in our last This Week post, we spent Bank Holiday Monday in Monk Haven. It’s a day out that we do a few times a year and one of my favourites.
You can drive to the car park in Monk Haven, but I prefer to park up in St Ishmaels as it means we get to go to the park too, it lengthens our walk and also means I don’t have to drive down the very narrow road.
So, we parked by the cricket club, played in the park and enjoyed the sensory garden. There are also very handy toilets there to make use of before you set off on your walk.
We then walk through St Ishmaels village, past the school, past the Brook Inn pub and along the little brook full of tadpoles.
Next we walked down this charming country road. I much prefer to walk down it and enjoy the view than drive down and worry about meeting oncoming cars.
Down another hill and we come to the Church and Graveyard.
There are benches and there is also a spring where we fill up our water bottles. Danny had fun making videos.
We walk on again past Monk Haven Manor B&B, which was once the old vicarage. We walk past bluebells, snowdrops, fox glove and wild herbs. There is also plenty of wild garlic as there are old lime kilns here too.
We come to the walled beach. I always thought these were part of the old monastery or sea defences but have recently found out that they were just ornamental walls for the landscaping of Trewarren Estate.
We stop here for a while and eat a picnic (or have a BBQ). Sometimes we spend the good part of a day here, other times just an hour or so. We must be a sight to other people using the beach, as as soon as we’ve laid down our bags, the kids strip off and run down to the sea. Once I’ve tidied up all the waylaid socks and so on, I catch them up and go down too.
There are lots of rocks to climb as well, which keep my little climbing monkeys happy. The ferry goes past and we dream of our next visit to Ireland.
After the beach, we walk on into the woods.
Since the storms there are a couple of trees that we have to climb over and under to get through.
Then we get to the clearing with the rope swings and as you know, we all love a rope swing.
Just up from the rope swings is the ruin of the old watch tower.
The kids enjoyed a little play in the stream and in the bamboo shelter.
Then, just like in the book, “Going on a Bear Hunt” we retrace our steps back to the car. Although, instead of rushing away from the bear, we we take our time and take lots of rests for small tired legs.
Back to the beach…
Up the hill…
Past the cows in the meadow, the B&B, Wild Garlic, back to the Church, fill up our water bottles, through the narrow lane…
All the while we sing and encourage each other along. Danny’s favourite was “The Pirate Song”, he made up funny lyrics to keep Izzy happy and walking on. He has to take care himself when walking far because of his heart condition, so it was lovely to see him being well enough and able to help someone else too. Jo did very well too and it was good training for her as she is taking part in the Step Out for Stroke Event on Saturday, something we didn’t think we would see her do as she was bed bound all those months ago.
Back to the tadpoles. The kids lay down, head and hands hanging over the brook. Every time we sit here, old people pass by and I think they’re going to judge us for being a bit wild and feral, but they always say it’s lovely to see children outdoors and playing in this way, and every time I breath a huge sigh of relief!
Then we walk back through the village, again such a sight all wet from the sea, messy from the woods, carrying wild garlic and pet tadpoles, still singing our travelling songs…
Back to the rapeseed fields, the park and sensory garden, then back to the car.
At this point Danny always climbs up on top of the recycling banks and I always tell him to get down (life is Groundhog day sometimes as a parent!). Then off home with more happy memories.
This is such a lovely walk for the kids to draw maps of once home as there are lovely landmarks at each stop.
Do you have a favourite family walk that you love to return to?
Previous posts about Monk Haven
Monk Haven B&B