Bosherton Lilly Ponds: 100 Things to do in Wales

The weekend didn’t start off very promisingly as we bowled down the M4 towards Pembroke with the caravan in tow. The clouds were grey as we set off, and the threat of rain turned into actuality as we arrived at the campsite. But that didn’t mattered little as we opened the wine.

By Saturday morning the rain had stopped and the temperature rose. However, the clouds were still present, and so thick it remained pretty dark for the rest of the morning. On the 100 list is a visit to Bosherton Lilli Ponds. Right at the end of August these are never going to be at their best, but we have never visited before, though I’ve seen ether on the TV when Iolo Williams visited and filmed the otters, so we couldn’t resist even the remote chance of seeing otters.

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The Lilly Ponds, or rather lakes were created as part of the Stackpole Estate gardens. Originally a Norman Fortified House it was converted into a lavish country house in the 1730s before passing down into the Cawdor family. Eventually death duties became a reality and the house was demolished and the estate donated to the National Trust. There are some fantastic walks along here, but there wasn’t much time to tarry as we were on our way to St Govan’s Chapel. But that didn’t stop me at least trying to get some views, but no otters.

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There was a group of about 5-6 Mute Swans on the western arm of the lake as we passed, and they were very noisy and active. Every now and then a couple would burst into flight and splash their way down the lake a short distance. But still no otters. I think there’s a theme developing here.

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Birds are certainly on the move now that autumn is approaching. We were able to watch a very busy but small group of Chiffchaff feeding in the bushes, and one finally sat still long enough for me get a reasonable photo.

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In fact the sights of autumn seem to be creeping up pretty quickly now. The silky seed heads of Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba) are adorning the hedgerows.

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And the Hawthorn berries are brightening up the hedgerows like fairy lights.

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Down on Broad Haven beach there were three Common Terns and a single Dunlin. The Dunlin seemed to take exception to the terns and mobbed them a couple of times, but terns just turned a blind eye to the annoyance. The photos aren’t too good as the light really was bad.

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Just on the western end of Broad Haven is jagged rock called Castle Rock, but at a certain angle it looks just like King Kong.

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From here we carried on towards St Govan’s Head.

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