Hafan: höfn: haefen: Hafen: haven.

"Area of water where boats shelter. 


And so to Broadhaven, on the southern end of St Brides Bay, Pembrokeshire, the epicentre of the notorious Dyfed Triangle to boot.

In 1977, children spotted a silvery creature emerge from a yellow, cigar-shaped object in a field beside their school.

Teachers saw the same thing two weeks later, then a local hotel owner saw a flying saucer. Anything to do with the goings-on at Brawdy air base, I wonder?

Now dark skies and blotches of Milky Way are all to be seen, but worth the night-time walk from Aberllydan up and over to Hafan Fach next door, winding down the steep hill past rows of pastel-painted houses, into Dylan Thomas’s world of Llareggub.

Go further south to St Anne’s Head lighthouse and the southernmost tip of the angular Dale Peninsula, where the Daugleddau estuary opens up and the minarets of Pembroke oil refinery dominate the skyline beyond - and feel that wind.

The National Wales: Leanne writes from Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, this week. (Picture: Leanne Wood)Leanne writes from Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, this week. (Picture: Leanne Wood)

Flat fields of rich, red earth and a few bent trees and hedgrow offer no protection to face or hands, where even a moderate westerly goes right through you. 

Cobwebs get quickly cleared and we make our way round to Mill Bay with its ghostly shipwreck.

Herring were once landed here in abundance, and it's also here where Henry Tudor came ashore in 1485 - not with fish, but 2,000 men.

Henry would get local support and go on to defeat Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, take the crown, and kick off the Tudor dynasty. I was more interested in a swim, but the keen wind meant it wasn’t to be.


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St Brides Bay sweeps from St David’s in the north to the village of Sain Ffred in the south, consisting of a few houses and the thirteenth century Norman church of St Bridget or St Brigid, the patroness saint of Ireland.

Take the coastal path and you’ll soon see rising before you the crenellated gothic megamansion that is St Brides Castle, former home of the unremarkable 5th baron Kensington, now a holiday destination.

The National Wales: St Brides Castle, a baron's mansion in Pembrokeshire, was also formerly a sanatorium. (Picture: Leanne Wood)St Brides Castle, a baron's mansion in Pembrokeshire, was also formerly a sanatorium. (Picture: Leanne Wood)

The jewels in the crown of this small area are surely the beaches and coves which lace the craggy coastline.

Of those jewels, Marloes Sands has got to be the most lustrous. The golden sand shimmered in the low winter light, stretching away where it met big frothy waves, pale green sea and azure sky.

Then your eyes turn to bizarre volcanic rock formations, shaped like chimney stacks and rows of giant upright tombstones slowly crumbling, half-buried along the beach, sculpted by wind and water. 

And that isn’t all, because the colours of the rocks will blow you away. From the purple and green Caerbwdi sandstone, used to build St David’s Cathedral, to yellows, oranges, browns and reds splashed across the canvas. 

This little part of Wales really did provide a haven from the storms around us at the moment; at least for a couple of days. 

Heddwch i chi gyd.

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