Why I Walked 1047 Miles Around Wales
My Pre-Ride Walk Of 1047 Miles Around Wales Finished
This last week proved to be one of the best, possibly as the end of the walk was in sight with St Dogmaels now only a few miles away, we also had company for these last few days, it may have been only then that I really appreciated how lonely a lot of the walking had been. JayCee is a wonderful loyal and brave companion but it was good to have another human to share the scenery with
The horse riding opportunities are varied along this stretch, parts of the path in the Porthglais , Porthgain and Strumble Head area are unsuitable due to the steepness and the rocky outcrops on the path towards Abercastle and Whitesands,for example, would make for very challenging riding
In these rocky and steep areas is it unrealistic to think that the path could join up with existing bridleways (or create new ones) to at least allow access onto the beaches for horse riders? There are lots of feeder paths that join up with the Pembrokeshire Coastal path that could offer safer off road riding than it is currently available
As far as my planned horse ride around Wales is concerned, I will have to be prepared to often ride on the local roads, which are narrow and congested with holiday traffic. Timing this long distance ride needs to allow for this along with lots of other considerations. The purpose of this long walk around the entire country is to establish how easy or difficult it would be to ride a horse along the same route, if this is of any interest to you please do get in touch here
The scenery and the wildlife was incredible, every day we saw seals, kestrels, Cormorants, Manx Shearwaters, Oyster Catchers, semi wild ponies and plenty of evidence of snakes. Its easy to see why so many people choose to walk here in September particularly as the seals with their pups can be seen and heard. The day that we walked overlooking Ramsey Island will always stick in my mind as the sounds of the seal colony over on the island could be heard echoing over the water, so beautiful, eerie and very evocative
One of the final days of walking was Fishguard to Newport Sands via Dinas Head and Pwllgwaelod, it’s hilly in places but nothing too challenging whether on foot or horseback, of course you can’t ride your horse on it at the moment as access is restricted with the usual stiles and gates apart from the fact that its legal status is that of a footpath and not a bridleway
Most people seem to agree that riding a horse on the roads is dangerous, what will the situation be like in say 25 years time? Traffic is growing every year so the danger to horse riders will increase year in and year out. This situation has been recognised with regard to the needs of cyclists (quite rightly so) but why has the horse riding fraternity being left out? The new all Wales Coastal path was and is such an opportunity to offer increased off road horse riding, agree? If so, please sign and share this petition
We want 10,000 signatures to present to the Welsh Assembly Government at Cardiff, asking that where at all possible the Welsh Coastal Path should be multi use and open to everyone on foot, cycle or horseback
This is what was originally pledged when the All Wales Path was being created and yet to date only 7 miles out of 870 has been allocated for horse riding, the following quote is taken from the official Wales Coastal Path website
The Wales Coastal Path has been developed by the Welsh government in conjunction with the Countryside Council for Wales, 16 local authorities and the two national park authorities. It is accessible to walkers, with some sections being suitable for cyclists, families, pushchairs, people with restricted mobility and horse riders
When I returned home I emailed the authorities to ask about improved access for horse riders on the coastal path, this is the reply
Congratulations on being one of the first people – and dog – to complete the whole circuit. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.
With regard to horse riders, the Welsh Government are currently considering the future management and funding arrangements for the development and maintenance of the Wales Coast Path, including loops and links from it, for all user groups, including horse riders.
We are also discussing possible developments with the British Horse Society.
Swyddog Prosiect Mynediad i’r Arfordir/Coastal Access Project Officer
Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/Countryside Council for Wales
Note the use of the word ‘considering’, in reality this means very little and unless enough people shout loudly enough, the situation may not change
We do realise that parts of the path are entirely unsuitable for horses, too rocky, too steep, too close to the cliff edge and in places too narrow but those miles and miles of it that could be safely ridden on and safely shared with other path users will offer such an unique horse riding experience unparalleled anyone else in the world, what a fantastic tourism opportunity
The Last Day Of My Big Welsh Walk
We actually did it backwards; not literally, walking the very last part of the Welsh Coastal path from St Dogmaels to Newport Sands, a bit of a trek with stunning and dramatic coastline especially in the Ceibwr Bay area and that was it…all over, my pre-ride walk of 1047 miles around Wales finished