Dark Pembrokeshire


The Wales Coast Path runs 860 miles from Chepstow to Flint and I’m a quarter of the way along it.  As I trekked Newport’s marshy wetlands, the Vale’s lonely cliffs and Dylan Thomas’ misty estuaries my mind started to wander … I bet these had been great smuggling locations.  And it turns out there were…

…and they still are…

I mapread, I walk, I google … and I’ve discovered dark secrets in beautiful places: IRA weapons drops, multimillion pound drug smuggling rackets, people trafficking.  There are false walls in caves, underground containers beneath perfect sandy beaches, waterproofed suitcases of heroin tied to buoys, weapons pushed into hedgerows.   It’s given me a new perspective on my rambles… and the subject of my next script.

I’ve always been fascinated by smuggling so it’s a real joy to finally be writing about it.  I grew up with Moonfleet and – my favourite – The Adventures of Henry Penn about a village of penguins terrified by pirate smuggler Obadiah Imm.  There’s still that romantic image of smuggling but modern day stories such as the Seal Bay investigation in Wales in the 1980s exposes a more brutal truth.

I love the juxtaposition of gritty menace and gorgeous beaches, tourism and slaughter.  A policeless, woman-against-the-world crime drama in a stunning location here I go …

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