Blackbridge Circular Walk (Milford Haven)
It's good to walk, so why not step out and sample some of the walks your town has to offer. This pleasant and interesting walk which starts and finishes on the Marina at Milford Haven docks is one of a number of town and country walks which has been produced by Pembrokeshire County Council.
Enjoy this medium length walk that mixes marvellous river valley and estuary views, interesting local architecture with beautiful woodland and associated bird life. The riverside path is wet and muddy at all seasons, so take care.
This most interesting walk mixes both urban and rural scenery. It includes aspects of both the modern and historical environments of the old fishing port of Milford Haven and stunning rural walking in the pretty wooded valley of Castle Pill and around the Milford Haven estuary itself. This is very much an environment in the process of change. Both rural and urban sections contain fascinating sculptural works, a response to this change.
Begin the walk at Mackerel Quay car park - a new development on Milford Marina, itself an extension of the old Milford Haven fishing port. Allow time at the beginning or end of the walk to explore this area that not only contains many shops and attractions (such as Milford Haven Museum) but is also a working port where pleasure boats and commercial shipping mix together.
Walking: The Marina car park is a short walk from Milford Havne town centre.
Bus: 300/302 (Withybush - Hubberston) - alight at Charles Street or St Lawrence Hill, both in Milford Haven. 315 Puffin Shuttle (Marloes - Haverfordwest) - alight at Tescos, Milford Haven. 356 (Monkton - Milford Haven) - alight at Tescos, Milford Haven Bus Timetables
Train: Nearest station is at Milford Haven, a short walk from the Marina Transport for Wales
Road Map: Search for "Milford Haven".
Parking: There is a large, free car park at the Marina.
Toilets: Public toilets at The Rath and in Milford Haven town centre. Customer toilets are available at restaurants.
Refreshments: Available on the Marina or in Milford Haven town centre. Both locations have a wide variety of cafes, restaurants and public houses.
Start/Finish: Mackerel Quay, The Marina, Milford Haven
Distance: 3.86 miles, 2.5 hours
Terrain: Easy to moderate on roadways, urban footpaths, bridleway, rural paths, quiet lanes, and the foreshore (there is a high tide alternative). Can be wet, muddy and slippery in places.
Car Park: 1
- Walk from Mackerel Quay towards the hill and then right along the promenade in front of an apartment block.
- When you reach a slip way, walk up it towards The Rath, turning right after the junction and bridge along a fairly level path that takes you through parkland below The Rath with views along the Milford Haven waterway to your right.
- Bear right off this path down to a cycle path (3) and follow this to the left. After a gate and barrier bear left up a short hill around the stoney escarpment of an old hill fort.
- Just after turn right onto a narrow urban path that takes you to Beach Hill road where you turn right down towards the estuary.
- Turn left and proceed along the foreshore towards a small boatyard at the foot of Cellar Hill
- Continue along the foreshore until you reach a disused lime kiln on your left and take the waymarked lane that rises up towards Coombs Road.
- This section along the foreshore is worth taking for the lovely riverside views. However, it is impassable at high tide but there is an alternative route along an inland path from Beach Hill road (turn left and right immediately instead of right down to the estuary) to the lime kiln - it is the section you will follow when returning.
- Turn right onto Coombs Road and walk downhill towards Black Bridge, but take care this is a busy road without a pavement, until you reach the bridge
- Cross the bridge and turn left onto a path that immediately forks. The upper path, towards a house, is a bridleway.
- Follow the lower path along the estuary itself (10)- this is an old path that used to serve eight cottages upstream on Castle Pill. Only one cottage remains, Vineyard Cottage.
- After this cottage turn left through a ford and up a quiet lane the curves steeply around the remains of an earthwork castle that gave the pill its name.
- Just before Castle Pill farm take the waymarked path to your left which descends back towards the pill through lovely woodland (12). This section has been the subject of upgrading recently and contains some interesting wooden shelters and carved wooden sculptures reflecting the flora and fauna of the area.
- At the bottom of the hill, cross the bridge and turn left immediately following the stream that flows here
- Keep on this path, ignoring a path on the right that would take you uphill, as it follows the stream and then begins to rise into denser woodland, with more glorious estuary views on your left, and descends towards a gate leading you back onto Black Bridge.
- Turn right and retrace your steps along Coombs Road, turning left onto the lane towards the lime kiln near the 30mph sign. Don't follow the path down to the foreshore but bear right at the lime kiln onto a narrow, leafy path which takes you to Cellar Hill. Turn left here and near the bottom of the hill turn right by a house onto another narrow, steep and leafy leafy urban path.
- When this path descends to Beach Hill road, turn right and walk uphill towards Murray Road. Turn left here. This road leads onto The Rath - a road lined with fine buildings on the right and overlooking the busy Milford Haven waterway on the left. As you walk along here, past the first bandstand, take time to look at some of the monuments - these include a minelayer memorial to ‘Operation Overlord' (the WWII Norwegian invasion), a bronze plaque showing a map of the waterway, and a stunning sculpture commemorating the fishermen of Milford.
- Below you will also see the landscaped gardens of the former Milford Lido.
- Eventually you reach a junction of The Rath with Hamilton Terrace and Slip Hill (outside the British Legion club). Turn left down Slip Hill (18), onto the slipway itself, and then turn right along the promenade back towards Mackerel Quay where your walk began.
- Time for some well earned refreshment as you sit admiring the vessels in the new yacht basin!