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Trips and outings

Sands of speed

This is the name of a 7 mile (11 km) stretch of sandy beach located on the south Wales coastline between Tenby and Swansea. The most impressive feature of this beach is its flatness and straightness at such a long length. You can see the satellite view below.

In the early 20th century the sands were often used as a racing course and later, in the 1920s, it was used for land speed records. It was even used as an aircraft runway. Durine the 2nd world war the sands were taken over by the British MOD who used it as a firing range. It owns it to this day, but it is open to the public. There are, however many signs that warn visitors about possible unexploded devices. From 2004 the Sands are closed to vehicles due to safety reasons, but, on occasions, there are some rally car events staged there. Some episodes of BBC’s Top Gear were filmed there. Is an example…

For more information about Pendine Sands please visit the Pendine Sands Wikipedia page.

There is a good parking area by the entrance to the Sands. There is a Speed museum there as well. When I arrived there I could see many horses in the car park that were used for horseback riding on the Sands. As mentioned at the top the Pendine Sands are 7 miles long and I certainly didn’t really want to walk the whole length. Don’t get me wrong, they look spectacular but after walking for 10 minutes it feels a bit like a damp sand desert. But you can see a huge stretch of water – slightly reminded me of Daytona beach. However Daytona Beach beach is about 23 miles (37 km) long.

I later moved down the coast and visited the litle village of Laugharne. First I stopped at St. Martin’s church on the northern part of the village in which grounds the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is buried in. After that I proceeded towards Laugharne castle in the southern part of Laugharne.

St. Martin's church in Laugharne
St. Martin’s church in Laugharne
Laugharne castle
Laugharne castle
Categories
Trips and outings

Tenby

Tenby harbour with the Quay on left, lifeboat station above it, Castle Hill in the centre top

I have put it off for a long time but a sightee-er to Tenby was well due. The town of Tenby lies on the south Pembrokeshire coast and if leaving from Haverfordwest can take the road across the Cledau bridge or you can, by saving the 75p bridge toll and, depriving the Pembrokeshire County Council :-), go through Canaston Bridge.

St. Catherine's Island with Castle beach in foreground
St. Catherine’s Island with Castle beach in foreground

I had the privilege to see it on a beautiful sunny July day in 2008. There are a few parking spots close to town but the multi-storey car park is your best bet. See map here. I have been to a few British seaside towns but this beats them all with it delightful charm and lack off cheesy entertainment that so often can be found in the stereotypical British seaside town. As I was born in Portsmouth I feel free to slag it off as an example to my point.

I wanted to take the opportunity and see Caldey island, which is just off the coast from Tenby but at is was a Sunday and the island is de facto run by monks it was closed. All you could take is sightseeing boat trips round the island. I was on the seal safari trip. Besides getting really up close to some curious seals I had the chance to get a first seat view of the Tenby lifeboat being pulled back up into the lifeboat house. For those who are not familiar with the procedure of launching the RNLI lifeboats in Tenby is that they keep the boat completely closed-up in the lifeboat and when an emergency demands the service of the RNLI lifeboat that is quickly released and the boat slides down the slipway and straight into the water.

The new Tenby lifeboat station with the lifeboat in the foreground
The new Tenby lifeboat station
The new Tenby lifeboat station

 

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