Walk 2056 - printer friendly version
Pointz Castle from Solva Walk
Author - Jacinta Ashworth
Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SM808243
Lat 51.87408 + Long -5.1857582
Postcode SA62 6UY (approx. location only)
The route climbs to Cribyn ridge above Solva harbour, a grand viewpoint, descends from it and then heads inland, by way of field tracks and paths to Pointz castle. After turning back towards the sea, the return is a great cliff top ramble, later climbing to Cribyn ridge again and descending back into Solva. The walk is outstandingly attractive and yet fairly undemanding. Solva lies at the head of a narrow fiord like inlet, its houses climbing the steep hillsides above the small harbour. This picturesque village was once a port but is now mainly a centre for pleasure craft. Some old lime kilns remain on the eastern side of the harbour.
Solva is a pleasant village with pubs and a café. The start is the free National Park car park in the village (Grid ref. SM808243). Cross a footbridge in the corner of the car park by the Harbour House Hotel, turn left for a few yards to a footpath sign and turn right to join the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Walk along this tree lined path that climbs above the harbour, go through a gate and continue steadily up to the Cribyn ridge. Continue along the ridge, enjoying the fine views - ahead across St. Brides Bay to Wooltack Point at the end of the Marloes peninsula, and to the right over the narrow, steep-sided inlet, usually full with brightly coloured boats.
At the end of this narrow ridge turn left and descend steeply, via steps, into a valley and to a stile. Climb the stile, cross a footbridge onto a stony beach (Gwadn) and walk across to the back of the beach (Grid ref. SM803238). Turn left along a track, here leaving the coast path, and at a fork take the right hand track that climbs steadily above the valley. In late Summer there are views across to the slopes of Cribyn Ridge, clothed in vibrant yellow gorse and purple heather.
Continue along the top edge of the valley to climb a stile. About 100 yds further on, turn left over a stile in a field corner and continue along the track , which bears right to another stile. Climb this and keep ahead to pass the remains of St. Elvis Cromlech, a 5000 year old neolithic burial chamber. Originally the stones would have been covered by an earthen mound. St. Elvis lived in the 6th century and was St. David's religious teacher.
Beyond the cromlech turn left, at a public footpath sign, along the broad track to St. Elvis farm, climb a stile just to the left of the farmhouse and turn right along another broad track (Grid ref. SM813241).
Where the track bends left, climb a stile, walk along a straight grassy track with a hedge bank to the left and wire fence on the right, and continue along the left hand edge of a field to climb two adjacent stiles. Keep ahead along the left hand edge of a field. Climb another stile and continue along a narrow, enclosed and possibly overgrown path, climbing a series of adjacent stiles. Eventually climb a single stile and keep ahead to a public footpath sign - here bear right along a track to Lochvane Farm.
At a public footpath sign continue along a tarmac track between farm buildings (Grid ref. SM822239) and keep along it for half a mile, bearing slightly left at the next public footpath sign in the direction of Pointz Castle. Just where the track bears left towards the next group of farm buildings you reach the overgrown remains of this 'motte and bailey' castle (Grid ref. SM830237), thought to be named after Poncius, a Norman knight who was a tenant of the Bishop of St. David's.
Here turn right over a stile at a public footpath sign, walk along a grassy path, turn right through a kissing gate and continue along the top right hand edge of a field, by a hedge bank on the right, to a stile. Over the stile, turn left along the left hand edge of a field, heading downhill and follow the path as it curves right along the lower edge of a field to a footpath sign. Here turn left over a stile. Continue along a narrow, downhill path between bushes to cross a footbridge over a brook, keep ahead for a few yards to a track and turn right along it. This grassy track heads gently down towards the sea. At a public footpath sign turn right to rejoin the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Grid ref. SM827231).
Recross the brook, climb a stile and head up to the top of the cliffs. The return leg of the walk now follows a highly attractive and relatively easy section of the coast path along the cliff tops, enjoying the views that take in Newgale Sands, the Marloes peninsula, the oil refineries at Milford Haven, the rugged coastline of the St. David's peninsula looking to Ramsey Island, and views inland of Carn Llidi In addition you pass above two short rocky peninsulas - Dinas Fach and Dinas Fawr, sandy coves and then there are fine views of Solva.
As you approach Solva turn right at a coast path sign to descend to stony Gwadn beach which you passed near the start of the walk. Cross the footbridge and retrace your steps up to Cribyn ridge, turning right at the top. From here you can retrace your steps following the coast path route as it gradually descends back to Solva or alternatively stay on the crest of the ridge for longer, dropping down left into Solva at the end.