A Walking Tail Around Carew Castle

Like every dog I love going for a walk and Pembrokeshire has loads of dog-friendly routes. In this Dog Blog I’ll tell you about a fab circular tour I took around the Mill Pond and Carew Castle. While I yelped with excitement in the back of the car, my discerning owner (I knew she was discerning from the moment she chose me as a puppy) turned off the A477 onto the A4075 passing Carew Castle on the left. She then drove across the bridge and turned down the lane which leads to the car park overlooking the Mill Pond. This is free and gives great views across the water to the castle. I think my owner would have liked to have just relaxed for a while with a good book but I had other ideas. After I had barked a few times and banged my head on the hatchback window she got the hint and let me out.

She put me on the lead to stop me from charging into the water, then set off along the path. Early on we had to move to one side to make way for a man in a wheelchair. He patted my head as he went past and I gave him my best ‘sad eye’ look in the hope he might give me a dog biscuit but nothing was forthcoming (that’s my big word for today). As we went on we saw a robin following us. Sometimes you see birdseed left on fence posts on this section and the robins particularly like this (I know this because one robin regularly tweets about it).

My owner sometimes likes to stop and rest on one of the benches but today we kept going and we soon reached the causeway. The castle was glowing in the afternoon sun, its reflection glistening in the mill pond. A wooden fortification was constructed on this site by Gerald de Windsor at the beginning of the 12th century. In the late 13th and early 14th centuries Sir Nicholas de Carew built a stone castle. In the following centuries further extensions were made, with it eventually becoming an Elizabethan manor. It changed hands several times during the Civil War and was finally abandoned in 1686. In 1983 the National Park Authority acquired its lease.

But to be honest, although the history of the castle certainly gives one, as we dog bloggers would say, paws for thought, I was busy yanking the lead to get across the causeway to the Tidal Mill. This is because I knew that the nice people at the Tidal Mill always leave a freshly filled water bowl for dogs outside the entrance. As I tugged away with my nose barely inches from the ground I did, however, catch sight of a cormorant and some swans on the pond. I also saw a heron on the other side, patiently waiting on the mud for the tide to bring in some fish.

Of course, the bowl of water is not the only good thing about the Tidal Mill. It’s well worth a visit and you can learn about the whole process of producing flour from grain. After I had a good slurp from the bowl we went onto Castle Lane. This is a long section which takes you by the other side of the castle. It ends at the A4075 but just before reaching there we cut across the grass at the end of the meadow and walked past the Celtic Cross. The castle is also worth a visit but this was not the purpose of today’s expedition – this was very much a ‘walk the dog’ trip. Speaking of which I suppose I must allude to one of the main reasons why dog walks are so necessary – rest assured there are ample collecting points on the route for the ol’ scoop poop bags. There, that was delicately dealt with, wasn’t it?

We then headed downhill to the bridge. This is a bit narrow and my owner had to be careful to keep me to one side as traffic went by. After the bridge it was just a case of walking down the lane back to the car park. All in all it’s a great walk, and whether you’re a local or down on holiday, your dog will certainly enjoy it. As we drove out of the car park no doubt there was more interesting wildlife to observe on the pond. But by now I had laid down and was already asleep.

Photo: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park