This walk starts alongside the “Ferry Inn”, which is on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. takes the walker east from Hazelbeach towards Llanstadwell with the river on our right. After approximately a half a mile, we come to Llanstadwell Church This was built in the 13th century and was visited by King Richard 11 on his way to Ireland. The river channel is such that when the ferry travels in and out of port, it travels on the northern side of the river, and towers over everyone when passing. Indeed visitors to the vicarage at Llanstadwell are often startled by the darkening of the view, even on a sunny day, with the ferry sailing very close to the north shore, blotting out much of the sunlight.
A little further on we come to a road junction (B432) Neyland /Milford Haven, turn right keeping the river on your right. The river is very impressive at this point for looking across to Pembroke Dock, you can see what is called the Car Jetty part of the Royal Navy Dock Yard,
Also which may be of interest? In 1842 the first steam Royal Yacht was ordered and laid down in Pembrock Dock named the Albert & Victoria and was commissioned by Captain Lord Adolphus Fitz Clarence Royal Navy 1st July 1843. on the left of the Docks is the Irish. Ferries Terminal. The terminal is built on the site of the old RAF Sunderland Flying Boat Base. Where during World war 2 they guarded the shipping in the Atlantic and coastal waters. Across at that stretch of water see two round Napoleonic Towers Fortress towers built around 1700/1800 to protect the water way
Continuing the walk along the road you will pass Neyland Yacht Club with a car park along side with seats to stop and rest and maybe watch some yacht racing or youngsters being taught the skills and safety of yachting. A little further along you come to a junction and at this point there stands a post box of Victorian design along side a house which was built for the Station Master. He was a very important man in his day as Neyland was the stepping of point for the Irish Package Steamers. It was also planned to set up sailings to the U.S.A, but sadly this never came to pass. The Admiralty had other ideas, due to estuary being a large warship base.
Turning right takes you once again down to the car park overlooking the river. A delightful spot to view the river, in both directions, this is where the train terminus/station (London /Paddington to Neyland) came to an end.
It had been the dream of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous Victorian Engineer, who’s Statue can be seen standing in the park area around you, to make Neyland the terminal base to the New World. Wales. It was not to be but there are many reminders of that era around the car park and road ways -baulks of timber set in concrete, the remains of the landing stages for the landing and coaling of the ships, with the railing made up from old rail lines of the old G.W.R.line (see the information boards as you walk along this part of the walk). A statue to commemorate this great Victorian engineer was unveiled by H R H Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, on the 23rd July 1999. When you come to the end of the road this is the point where the Neyland to Pembroke Dock car ferry ran (see information board by rails) but this was replaced by the Cleddau Toll Bridge in the 1970’s.
Continue walking keeping the river on your right, and if the tide is out you can see the remains of the coal-loading jetty. Moving further along you come to a tarmac area with railway lines. Built in the 1950s for N.A.T.O, during the Cold War, together with another jetty at Burton they were planned to be used in the event of emergencies or conflict, but they are both now redundant. Looking towards Burton beyond the Cleddau Bridge is the Jolly Sailor, but that route is for another day. In the meantime continue along the Neyland Marina, where lies anchored up to 400 boats, launches and house-boats of all descriptions. This brings us to the end of our first walk, where you can have a welcome break in either the Brunel Chandlery Café or the Bar Restaurant above.
Further information on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
Cllr Dennis Stolliday