Dinas Island

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The coastal path near Dinas Head

Dinas Island is a peninsula on the coast of Pembrokeshire which marks the eastern edge of Fishguard Bay; the head of the peninsula in the very north is Dinas Head; the bay's east headland, and at Dinas Head the cliffs descend dramatically to the sea.

Dinas Island is between Fishguard and Newport. It reaches a height of 466 feet above sea level at Pen-y-fan, where stands a triangulation point. Dinas Island is contained within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the headland is under the care of the National Trust.[1]

Map of Dinas Island

This is a promontory partially detached from the mainland - hence the name 'Dinas Island'; on its landward side it is bordered by a swampy valley cut by meltwater overflow from a glacial lake, melt water freed from reservoirs in the Prescelly Hills by the dwindling ice.[2][3] This was the same Ice Age melt-water that formed the Gwaun Valley further down the coast.

Plant cover on Dinas Island is typical of a windswept cliff environment, with gorse, bracken and bramble, scrubby trees of hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel, and small oak and ash where there is shelter from the wind. There are also coastal wildflowers such as ling, scabious, thyme, heather, thrift, pennywort, foxglove, and orchids. Bluebells bloom in spring on the eastern slopes. Feral goats at one time inhabited the headland until they were destroyed in 1947.[4]

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, an 186-mile national trail, runs for 3 miles around the peninsula, offering extensive views across Fishguard Bay towards Strumble Head to the south-west, and across Newport Bay to the north-east. This section of the path can be accessed from Pwllgwaelod at its south-western end, and from Cwm-yr-Eglwys at its south-eastern end. Both these locations can be reached from Dinas Cross on the A487, and offer parking and public toilets. A path, suitable for wheelchair access, links the two.

Pwllgwaelod is served by the "Poppit Rocket", a bus which follows the coastline from Fishguard to Cardigan in Cardiganshire to the north.

The headland and Pwllgwaelod beach (R)

Much of Dinas Island is given over to sheep pasture, and Dinas Island Farm - jointly owned and run by the National Trust and the Perkins family, and accessed from Pwllgwaelod - currently farms 1600 Lleyn ewes plus 400 followers on 600 acres. In 2012 it won the Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year Award and a National Grassland Management Award.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Dinas Island)


  1. Britain Express - Dinas Head
  2. Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms, Volume 1, p.374, by Eric C. F. Bird
  3. The Geographical Magazine, Volume 42, Michael Huxley, 1969
  4. Pembrokeshire Coast,1973, by Dilwyn Miles