St Govan’s cove and the tiny chapel in the rocks.

Vlog February 2024.

For my second adventure I headed across to Pembrokeshire, this is an amazing area of wales full of coastal walks and pretty beaches.

Parking in broad haven south car park we walked just over a mile along the coastal path to St Govans cove. this involved wandering through military land! and although nervous at first it is a public right of way when the land isn’t in use by the military and they keep it very well maintained, the only things that gave it away were the check points to enter and a few occasional signs reminding you to stick to paths and not touch anything that could be military projectiles as it might blow up.  One of the signs stood out to us more than others as it had bullet holes in it. there were also a few old military shelters along the walk. Other than that the walk was very pretty and quite easy, as it was the beginning of spring there were lots of yellow common gorse flowers lining the path and the views along the way were spectacular, every few hundred yards there seemed to be a new cove and pretty view to stop and admire.

We also spotted some sea birds including a Chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) it has a red beak and legs and looks like a large black bird. It is found only on the west of the British Isles including Pembrokshire. the photo I got of it was very blurry so didn’t make the video. but it was amazing to spot something different along the walk, and something to look out for as you wander this route.

Once we made it to St Govan’s cove the views of the chapel are spectacular. The chapel sits partway down the cliff and there are around 72 step down tot he chapel and one of the myths talks of how this number will always vary.

St Govan’s chapel was filled with myth and legend built up over the year, the geology of the rocks seem to have lay part to the stories evolving. Its a very interesting place. and i talk about the pirate and angels myth in my you tube video. originally their was only a rock know and a hermit cell, this was common practice in mediaval times for monks to go wander find somewhere and live as basic as possible a solitude life of prayer in cliffs and caves with only the basics to support them as they thought it was bringing them closer to God. this cell was said to have an  it is thought St Govan would have stayed here and built him self an area for an alter and praying and the well. The chapel was built later on in mediaval times either towards the end of St Govans life or just after and has probably been altered over the years. a sympathetic slate roof is a recent add on but stands out as not orignial for the times the stone walls and interior were built. other myths that have evolved are of healing well water (the well is no longer) but as recent as the 1920’s pilgrims came to be cured from this well. and also a myth that st Govan himself is buried under the alter. theres a lot to take in Myth and legend wise from this tiny  chapel so i feel its worth a visit.

There is also a car park at the top of the cove if you didn’t want to do the longer walk, it is still on military land though and has the same restrictions. The Chapel in peak times and with its ease of access can get quite busy and crowed. As I sat and paint at this location I could see lots of people come and go.

Heres the video I created from this adventure and walk to the chapel. with some info about the story of the pirates, rib marks in the hermit cell and magical bell.