The Witch’s Cauldron

There is a place on the North Pembrokeshire Coast… (sounds like the start of an Animals tune, or am I showing my age?)… where the sea has carved a network of tunnels you can paddle through, the height of the tide determining which ones are open and which are closed. The most impressive of which has to be the Witch’s Cauldron.

Hidden and tucked away down a narrow channel, it is easy to miss and many have. I know of some who’ve been three or four times before finding it. As you paddle into an ever narrowing gap you suddenly see that the cliff goes through to a collapsed cave. Passing under the low roof you can’t help but notice the light shining through emerald green waters on the right. As the tide drops you’re able to paddle through here to discover another world, a world with another cave and a sea kayaks width channel, cut by a waterfall. But you’ll have to wait for that tide.

Instead the roof opens up above your head and walkers peer down at you from above, watching as you disappear into places they cannot see. There’s a small beach in the left corner, a great spot for lunch, until the Autumn when the seals will pup there, prohibiting access to the Witch’s Cauldron. From the right corner there’s a noise that must be investigated. You are drawn down a small channel leading to a small, but nonetheless beautiful waterfall, beyond which is a small cave.

If the tide is right you’ll be able to squeeze your sea kayak through a hidden crack in the cliff into the dark room. Pitch black and easily big enough for 2-3 sea kayaks, there is only a very small and occasional window of opportunity to experience this dark room. When you can, the ray of light that comes through the crack is amazing. More often you will enter this space at a much lower tide, from a different way; over a rock guarding a much bigger entrance, a beautiful way to enter the area, but not quite as special, or as dark, as entering through the tiny gap.

Sometimes the weather, tide and sea state come together perfectly and we’re able to take complete novices to the Witch’s Cauldron but with very few places to hide in this area it is often just for those with a little more experience.