The 3 hr hike from Bosherston to Freshwater West was along a road, farmland and grassy sand dunes which was not very appealing to me. I skipped this stretch and got a ride to the parking lot closer to Broomhill Burrows at Freshwater West beach.
This decision gave me an early enough start on one of the remote stretches of the coast path with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and also to hike the Angle peninsula before calling it a day.
It was 10:20 am when I started my hike and it was another hot morning.
Freshwater West beach is a very long stretch of beach and you can see the entire length of it from the PCP. Next time, I would get here early and spend sometime walking this inviting beach.
The trail gets very narrow in some sections on this stretch…just wide enough for a foot. It is uneven and you will see rabbit holes along the sides….it is easy to twist your ankle or loose your balance in sections like this.
3.4 miles of the trail from Freshwater West to West Angle Bay is remote and challenging and there is a notice cautioning hikers before they open the gate. There is no escape route or exit points, no drinking water or facilities and there are sheer cliffs all along the trail. Even on a bright sunny day, you can feel the remoteness of this place. Be prepared is very important.
This section had plenty of one of my favorites of the coast path…seeing the trail snaking along the coast in front of me and behind me.
My legs thanked me for taking it slow on the flat sections of the trail as this section will make tired very fast when you don't pace yourself.
You know it is Angle beach even before you get there as there are a lot of people on the trail close to the beach....strolling along the walking path.
It was 1:40 pm when I arrived at Angle beach. I decided to continue on to hike the Angle peninsula as I had a scheduled pickup to my accommodation outside of Angle.
While this is a easy hike, I would skip this section next time as there is not much of a scenery and there are stretches where the trail goes inland. In 2 days I had gotten used to the pristine scenery of the remote stretches of the trail and found the ones along the peninsula not very enjoyable.
The peninsula trail brings you back in to Angle via this short stretch of beach which gets flooded during hight tide. Timing it to get here during low tide saves you time.
After 3 days of moderate to strenuous hiking on different variations of the trail, the lessons learnt were
Hiking shoes and socks are key...my feet were comfortable and I had 0 blisters and aches.
The hand gloves I had bought for the trip to protect my hands from the sun were turning out to be a good purchase. They also kept my hands clean and protected it from vegetation along the trial.
I learnt the importance of having cool water to sip while on the hike as all the water I carried was warm mid way through the hike today. The first thing I did at the cafe at Angle was buy a bottle of cold water and drink it all…no repeating this again as while this satisfied my thirst, my stomach felt queasy.
The sunrise was at 5:15 am during this time of the year. This meant that the temperature by 10:30 am was hot and at noon with no shade anywhere on the trail...the sun felt harsh.Being prepared with water and protecting yourself from the sun makes it a fun hike.
Today’s hike is memorable for the views of Freshwater West beach from the trail, the remoteness of the trail and a bright sunny day. My decision to start the hike from Freshwater West paid off and set the tone for the rest of the trip - rather than being a “purist” and hiking every bit of it, I wanted to take the time and enjoy the sections that I was hiking.
All along this section of the trail are markers with names on them indicating the place you are at. The map had some of them on it and these were a useful point of reference to locate where I was on the map.
A good hearty breakfast was very important to start the day right.
This lady bug provided me with good luck in the form of a safe and enjoyable hike. All was well in the world.