Leanne Wood on the beauty of Broadhaven and the Pembrokeshire Coast

Hafan: höfn: haefen: Hafen: refuge.

“Sanctuary.”

And so to Broadhaven, at the southern end of St Brides Bay in Pembrokeshire, the epicenter of the infamous Dyfed Triangle.

In 1977, children saw a silver creature emerge from a yellow cigar-shaped object in a field near their school.

The teachers saw the same thing two weeks later, then a local hotel owner saw a flying saucer. Something to do with what’s going on at Brawdy Air Force Base, I wonder?

Now the dark skies and specks of the Milky Way are all to be seen, but it’s worth the night walk from Aberllydan to nearby Hafan Fach, down the steep hill past rows of pastel-painted houses , in the world of Dylan Thomas of Llareggub.

Head further south to St Anne’s Head Lighthouse and the southern tip of the angular Dale Peninsula, where the Daugleddau Estuary opens and the minarets of the Pembroke Oil Refinery dominate the skyline at beyond – and feel that wind.

Leanne writes from Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, this week. (Photo: Leanne Wood)

Flat fields of rich, red dirt and a few bent trees and hedgerows offer no protection to face or hands, where even a moderate westerly wind blows through you.

The cobwebs are quickly cleared away and we head to Mill Bay with its ghostly shipwreck.

Herring were once landed here in abundance, and it was also here that Henry Tudor landed in 1485 – not with fish, but 2,000 men.

Henry would gain local support and go on to defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, taking the crown and launching the Tudor dynasty. I was more interested in a swim, but the brisk wind meant that was not to be.

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St Brides Bay stretches from St David’s in the north to the village of Sain Ffred in the south, made up of a few houses and the 13th century Norman church of St Bridget or St Brigid, the patron saint of Ireland.

Take the coastal path and you’ll soon see the crenellated Gothic megamansion that is St Brides Castle loom up before you, once the home of the mundane 5th Baron Kensington, now a holiday destination.

National Wales: St Brides Castle, the mansion of a Pembrokeshire baron, was also once a sanatorium.  (Photo: Leanne Wood)St Brides Castle, the mansion of a Pembrokeshire baron, was also once a sanatorium. (Photo: Leanne Wood)

The crown jewels of this small region are surely the beaches and coves that lace the rugged coastline.

Of these jewels, Marloes Sands must be the most brilliant. The golden sand glinted in the dim winter light, stretching out where it met large foamy waves, a pale green sea, and an azure sky.

Then your eyes turn to strange volcanic rock formations, shaped like chimneys and rows of giant vertical tombstones that slowly crumble, half-buried along the beach, sculpted by wind and water.

And that’s not all, because the colors of the rocks will blow your mind. From the purple and green Caerbwdi sandstone, used to build St David’s Cathedral, to the yellows, oranges, browns and reds splattered across the canvas.

This small part of Wales truly offered refuge from the storms that surrounded us at the moment; at least for a few days.

Heddwch i chi gyd.

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