Marloes and Dale
Marloes and Dale
The Marloes peninsula is on the west coast of Pembrokeshire at the southern end of St Brides Bay. Dale is located on the south side of the peninsula while Marloes is on the north side.
Dale is tucked away in a sheltered bay while Marloes is in a much wilder and exposed location.
Off the end of The Marloes Peninsula are Skomer and Skokholm Islands, important sea bird colonies.
Picture: Marloes Peninsula.
Albion Sands is closest with Marloes sands behind and West Dale beach further along the coast. A crankshaft sticks out of the sand at low tide on Albion Sands. It's all that remains of a wrecked ship, The Albion, which gives the beach its name. The ship was beached on 18th April 1837 after hitting rocks in Jack Sound. All aboard were saved.
Picture: Marloes Sands from the southern access onto the beach on an early spring day, 15th February 2009
Accommodation is widely available in Dale, Marloes and neighbouring villages. The nearest hotels, however, would be in Milford Haven. There are several B&Bs, guesthouses and a farm guesthouse plus a few camp sites and touring caravan sites for camping. Several caravan parks with self catering static caravans can be found at Little Haven and Hasguard Cross. There are numerous self catering cottages on the Marloes Peninsula. There's a youth hostel near to Marloes Sands, a bunkhouse at Herbrandston and a field studies centre at Dale fort.
Picture: Skomer Island
Near Marloes village is Martin's Haven, the embarkation point for boat trips to Skomer Island. The island is leased to The Wildlife Trust for West Wales, who manage it as a nature reserve. There are approximately 6,000 pairs of Puffins, 120,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters and 10,000 pairs of Guillimots plus numerous razorbills, kittiwakes, chough and a few short eared owls. The best location for birdwatching is The Wick; a sheer cliff carved with ledges that are ideally suited to nesting seabirds and easily viewed from the opposite cliff. In the centre of the island is the ruined farm. An education room and interpretation centre can be found here as well as a newly built hostel that can sleep up to 16 people in 5 rooms. If you stay overnight, you can witness one of the most remarkable natural events in the UK, the Manx Shearwaters returning to their burrows under the cover of darkness. The noise they make is really spooky. There are also several Neolithic hut circles tucked under a rocky outcrop. Visit in May to see carpets of bluebells and pink campion.
Picture: A Puffin on Skomer Island
Skokholm island is roughly a mile in length and half a mile across at its widest point. It has deep bays and gullies exposing interesting underlying rock strata in a variety of red and purple hues. The old farmhouse & cottage can be rented for 3, 4 or 7 nights at a time, sleeping up to 15. There are approximately 2,000 pairs of Puffins, 45,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters, 10,000 pairs of Guillimots plus numerous Razorbills, Storm Petrels and Choughs. Landing is only permitted for those staying in the farmhouse but trips around the island are a good way to see the birds.
Picture: Skokholm Island
Surrounding both Skomer and Skokholm is a marine nature reserve, one of only 3 in the UK. The others are Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland and Lundy.
Picture: Dale beach and pontoon
Dale is a watersports mecca as it occupies a wide sheltered bay on the Milford Haven waterway. It's far enough away from the ports of Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock to avoid disturbance from the few passing commercial ships. The waters in the bay are clean and gently shelving.
Picture: Watersports at Dale
Dale is a Blue Flag beach and has a Seaside Award (Resort) with lifeguards on duty from May to September.
This is Watwick Bay taken on an early spring day, the 15th February 2009. Watwick is a super little beach that can only be accessed via the coast path or by boat. It takes about 20 minutes to reach it from Dale Village.
These folded rocks are on St Anne's Head between the old and the new lighthouses. A rickety gate is signposted to 'Cobblers Hole'.
ID: 1998 Revised: 30/5/2012