Dale - Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Western Section.
Situated right on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, the little village of Dale with a population of around 200, nestles at the foot of a long valley carved out by a glacier at the entrance to St Anne's Headland. (Dale comes from the Norse word for Valley).
A cluster of cottages and dwellings fan back inland from the long beach front, a fine crescent shaped bay sheltered by lush woodland on one side, with far reaching views back over the Milford Haven Estuary on the other.
Given a Royal Charter for the areas weekly markets in the Middle Ages, Dale became an established settlement, though one that had a reputation for smuggling and piracy aided by its sheltered location and easy escape route to the open sea.
Dale grew dramatically as a port through the 18th Century producing and shipping its own beer, limestone and coal. At one time, this now tranquil spot held 14 ale houses, today only the Griffin Inn remains to fly that flag for the thirsty walker.
The village has a laid back happy air, no doubt helped by the fact that it is both the sunniest place in Wales and the location with the lowest rainfall. These days its main attraction is its watersports with a lively yacht club and the Boathouse Café that walkers can make use of whilst watching the little dinghies arrive and depart from the pontoons.
Dale Watersports offers kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, so you could do a lot worse than take a day out here if you want to take to the seas whilst visiting the Pembrokeshire National Park.
Stronger Walkers will probably pass through Dale, pausing for lunch on their way to Marloes but for those stopping overnight, there are a couple of walker friendly B&B’s (though you need to book early as demand outstrips supply here).
There is a popular restaurant as well as the waterside Griffin Inn which is a bit of institution and the place to while away the evening gazing over the water.
Those wanting a stroll can wander along the foreshore, visit the restored limekilns or take a look at the Grade 2 listed Medieval Church of St James with its rather slim, but attractive late Medieval Tower. It’s a short 20 minute walk to cut across to the other side of the headland along the meltwater valley to reach the remote West Dale Sands if you want to see a stunning sunset over the ocean.