A week in Pembrokeshire

I just wanted to share a few pictures from my MA residential a few weeks ago in Pembrokeshire.

The first footprints on West Dale beach

The first footprints

I’ve just started an MA in nature and travel writing – I never thought I’d be back at Bath Spa university – and to kick start the course we spent a week at Dale Fort field studies center. It was a wonderful location, perched on the top of a rocky outcrop in deepest south Wales. We spent the days taking walks along the coast and discussing travel writers, photographers, landscape painters, ecology, ecocriticism, you name it, till late in the evenings before grabbing a cheeky red wine in the bar. It was pretty intense and there was a lot to take in, but it was one of those weeks where you come home feeling like a different person.

Dale Fort - teacher son the beach

Tutors – Paul and Joe discuss world domination

It was a bizarre place to stay – at meal times we ate sponge-based pizza and lumpy custard with rows of giggling children, tucked away in a small underground wine-cellar type room. On a couple of occasions we needed a break, when it began to get a bit too much like a trip to a 1950s boarding school we snuck off for some pub grub and a bit of respite. But on the whole it was a really great way to get to know everyone and stuck out there in the wilderness (if you’re a Londoner, Dale is pretty wild, OK) we really got our teeth stuck into things.

Common Toad (but don’t say that to his face)

The centre is surrounded by dramatic coastline, stunning beaches and we were lucky with the weather – the rain even cleared up for twenty or thirty whole seconds over the course of the week. I’ve written a piece about the experience, and just as soon as I find out that is hasn’t won the Guardian travel writing competition, I’ll post it up here.

(My computer has become too old to run PhotoShop, so the photo’s haven’t been straightened or tidied up. Sorry about that)

West Dale Beach

West Dale Beach – my favourite

Birds in stormy sky

bath spa travel writers

We all listen very carefully to Paul

Beauty and the beast

Dale castle, the village and more cows

Dale castle, the village and cows (that’s my class being intelligent in the distance)

sea and sky

Anna Is Eating on West Dale beach (not eating)