Numerous Iron Age forts and burial chambers attest to a Celtic past when ties with mainland Europe's western seaboard were stronger than those with England. Almost 90% of the path lies within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, providing an opportunity to see seabirds, marine mammals, beautiful beaches and others treasures of the UK's only coastal national park. It's a great walk year-round, but it’s worth timing your walk to see the spring wildflowers if you can.
The route, from St Dogmael's to Amroth, includes steep ascents and descents, flights of steps and gates and over 500 stiles – all individually numbered! The route is very well waymarked, presents no navigational challenges to the average walker and never reaches more than 175 metres above sea level. So although the route is not as serious an undertaking as other British long-distance paths, it does require a good level of fitness and stamina. Much of the trail also follows cliff-top paths, so this is not a route we recommend for anyone affected by vertigo, or for families with young children.
Day 1: Arrival in St Dogmael's.
Day 2: St Dogmael's to Newport - 15 ½ miles (25 km). It's a challenging start to the walk, with many steep sections. But there are rewards for your effort in the form of spectacular views of Cardigan Island and a cliff-edge path that's ideal for wildlife spotting.
Day 3: Newport to Fishguard - 12 miles (19 km)
A less strenuous day but nonetheless involving some steep climbs, thankfully steps have been constructed or cut into the rock to make the going easier. Spend the night in the charming town of Fishguard, tucked inside a sheltered bay.
Day 4: Fishguard to Aber Bach - 13 miles (21 km)
A change in the geology today, with volcanic rock in abundance. It makes for more rounded hills – and fewer steep sections. Gorse and heather abound on this stretch – and their gold and purple flowers make a striking cover for the clifftops in late summer and autumn.
Day 5: Aber Bach to Whitesands - 17 miles (27 km)
The best the Pembrokeshire Coast Path has to offer – wonderful airy walking along the clifftops with superb views of the offshore islands and the birdlife. Abereiddi's Blue Lagoon is an impressive sight, ringed by walls of dark slate. Overnight in the cathedral town of St Davids.
Day 6: Whitesands to Solva - 13 miles (21 km)
An easy stretch of coast path, with gentle gradients and excellent views of “the bitches” - a narrow strait between Ramsey Island and St Davids Head with a very strong current. Experienced kayakers come here to play in the waves and white water. Look out for their acrobatics!
Day 7: Solva to Broad Haven - 12 miles (19 km). Some steep climbs and descents lie in store for the first few miles, before the gradient eases as you head due south past wide sandy beaches to Broad Haven.
Day 8: Broad Haven to Dale - 21 miles (34 km)
Wonderful views today of the islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm, all significant nature reserves and particularly well-known as breeding grounds for seabirds, including the unusual manx shearwater. There's cultural interest too in the form of an Iron Age fort at Watery Bay.
Day 9: Dale to Neyland - 16 miles (26 km). Stony causeways, sandy beaches and sea views await – provided the timing is right! It's all about the tides today, as some beaches can only be crossed at low water.
Day 10: Neyland to Angle - 17 miles (27 km)
The path meanders through the fine city of Pembroke for the first part of the day, before you head into a rather industrialised landscape of oil refineries and pylons. A transfer is available if you prefer to miss this section.
Day 11: Angle to Bosherston - 17 ¾ miles (28 km). It feels refreshingly wild and remote today as you leave the industrialized landscape behind and head out along a coastline dotted with hidden coves and tiny inlets.
Your progress west now involves the Castlemartin Range. It's owned by the Ministry of Defence and access is restricted on weekdays so it's worth timing your trip to walk this section on a Saturday or Sunday. The downside for walkers is that when the range is closed you face a long walk along the road to reach Bosherston.
Day 12: Bosherston to Tenby - 20 ¼ miles (32 km)
Beyond Castlemartin a wonderful section of the path lies ahead. Here you will find the Bosherston Lily Ponds, a National Nature reserve, and secluded Barafundle Bay. The beach here is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in Britain and it's certainly worth lingering a little to drink in the view. There are great views of Caldey Island as you round the point and look out over the Caldey Sound.
Day 13: Tenby to Amroth - 7 ¼ miles (12 km)
Tenby itself is a friendly little town and a good place to enjoy a well-earned rest day if you think your legs might be too weary to finish the walk! The last day is relatively short to give you plenty of time to enjoy the final stage.
- Duration: 12 days hiking
- Distance: 182 miles (291 km)
- Grading: Moderate/Strenuous.
The price is 895 Pound Sterling (GBP) per person based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room. Contact operator for sole traveller/single occupancy rates.
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