Our Pembrokeshire Coast Path walking holidays offer you the chance to enjoy some tremendous scenery along some 186 miles of Welsh coast. The southern coastline is gentler and less remote but can still be a challenge with the constant ups and downs and steepness of some of the coastline. The northern section is wilder and more rugged, with taller cliffs and remote villages. Over the course of the walk, you will pass through or close to some charming towns and villages. You see at first hand some marvellous rock and cliff formations and contortions. There is plenty of history, from prehistoric burial mounts to medieval castles - some of which you may recognise from the cinema. Wild flowers, birds and animals thrive along the coastline. Rabbits to roe deer, Razorbills toguillemots roam this coastline... If you are lucky, you may also spot the occasional dolphins and grey seals frolicking in the sea. On a practical note, the Path does cross through a number of Ministry of Defence firing ranges, which are usually closed to the public during the weekends, public holidays and most evenings after 4.30pm. Do check with the MOD to avoid disappointment. Photographs on our Pembrokeshire Coast Path pages are provided by the kind permission of David Evans. More pictures can be found on his website.
Starting from the northern end of the village, you soon find yourself dipping in and out of sandy bays, on the way to Tenby. There is a wooded section, which is quite unusual for the route. Saundersfoot (3 miles), an attractive small seaside resort, makes a welcome break to the day. The view out to Caldey Island and the cost of The Gower and Exmoor is tremendous.
The wide expanse of sandy beaches on either side of Tenby has helped turn this former fishing village into a popular seaside resort. At low tide, you can continue along the length of its sandy beaches. Alternatively, follow the official routes through thecrooked streets inside its old medieval town walls to explore its history. 2km from Tenby,on the other end of South Beach is the small village of Penally. It is the gateway to Giltar Point, the first of the Ministry of Defence firing ranges along this route. The next five miles to Lydstep (12 miles) is gentle apart from steep hills at either end. When you get to Lydstep, it is worth taking a detour around the headland to enjoy the tremendous views along both sides of the coast.
On the eastern edge of Manorbier is King's Quoit a neolithic burial chamber, with commanding view over the bay. Above the beach stands a beautifully preserved castle ready to defend the village, which sits behind it, against any would-be invaders. The section between Freshwater East and Broad Haven is quite spectacular. It becomes more challenging too, as the Path weaves around headlands and up and down steep slopes to sandy beaches. Between Freshwater East and Stackpole Quay, red sandstones and multicoloured rock strata dominate the coastline. Past Stackpole Quay, limestones take over with cliffs that plunge straight down to the sea. There are stone pillars and arches, blowholes and coves. Stroll across the beautiful white sands of Barafundle Beach, along sloping green banks and through lush woodlands.
We should not confuse this beach with the village of the same name on the North Pembrokeshire coast, as there is no settlement here, just a lovely beach. The next section is fairly level. It is also worth making sure that the Firing Ranges are open to avoid missing some lovely little gems. A mile from Broad Haven is St Govan's Chapel, a tiny stone chapel wedged between cliffs. Further along are the Stack Rocks and the giant natural arches that are the Green Gridges of Wales. At Stack Rocks, the route turns inland and continues on road to Freshwater West, as the area to the west of it can only be accessed on guided walks. The inland route takes you through Stackpole National Nature Reserve to the village of Bosherston. The beautiful sand dunes and ponds are havens for wildlife.
Once pass the wide sandy beach of Freshwater West, beautiful red sandstones colour the Angle Peninsular. It is also very remote: there are no signs of habitation until you get to Angle. The route starts to dip in and out of coves along the southern peninsular. On the northern peninsular, the terrain is tamer and more level. Off the shore, a rather large, menacing-looking Napoleonic fortress sits atop an island.
A large oil refinery on the opposite side of the bay dominates the skyline, fortunately views of it are often obscured by woodland as you walk around the bay to Pembroke. Past Fort Popton (49 miles/78.6km), another Napoleonic fortress, the oil refinery's operations are more obvious. There is also the fascinating sight of large tankers manoeuvring up and down the waterway. There is a bus service between Angle and Pembroke, if you are not keen on this section!
Pembroke is a town steeped in history. Pembroke Castle, a well-preserved Norman castle and Henry VII's birthplace, still stand proudly over the River Cleddau. Further along, Pembroke Dock' (57 miles/91.5km) was an importance naval dockyard in the 19th century. Surrounding the dock today aremany grand buildings from the Victorian era, including a Cambridge gun tower, and the grand Defensible Barracks, a Renaissance styled building. The Path crosses the Daugleddau estuary into Neyland before making its way back out to sea along a mix of urban scape, fields, woodlands and oil refinery. Pass Milford Haven, the coastline is more as nature intended, unspoilt by urbanization and industry. There are odd remnants of sea defences, including Stack Rock Fort sitting commandingly in the middle of the estuary.
A line of beautifully round stepping stones takes you across the little creek of Sandy Haven Pill at low tide. Red sandstones again colour the coastline. A second tidal crossing awaits at The Gann.
The route snakes in and out of bays and headlands around Dale and Marloes. Whilst the flat cliff tops offer far-reaching views, it can feel pretty exposed in this beautiful environment. At Marloes Sands (84 miles/134.4km), the wide stretch of sand is punctuated by black rock strata rising into the sky. At low tide, Gateholme Island can be accessed from its western edge; a settlement once stood on this small mount. Further out to the west, the islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm are haven for seabirds. Past Marloes, it is a relatively easy walk up to Little Haven.
From the little resort of Little Haven, the cliffs are taller and more strenuous. They are also crumbly too, with quite a few falling victim to the sea. It is also an area popular with tourists, attracted to the sandy beaches. After the two-mile long Newgale Beach, the cliffs get steadily higher and steeper, a strenuous roller-coaster until you reach Solva.
The attractive village of Solva is built just below the line of the cliff top, dropping gently down to the harbour. Separated from the sea, by two deep gorges, the village feels calm and sheltered. The terrain is less strenuous after Solva with occasional steep slopes: beautiful cliffs covered with heather and gorse and rocky outcrops jutting into the sea. 1 mile/1.6 km inland from the pretty little bay of Caerfai (112 miles/179.2km) is St David's, the UK's smallest city. St David's is more like a village in size but owes its "city" status to the fact that it possesses a cathedral, and a very fine one at that. Off the most westerly point of mainland Wales, is Ramsey Island, an RSPB reserve and a good location for seal and Puffin spotting. For those interested in jetboats and kayaking, there is the line of rocks called The Bitches for thrills. As the Path rounds the headland, the coastline is more rugged, the scenery progressively wild, the sight of crumbling cliffs more frequent. The brightly painted lifeboat station at St Justinian is a lovely surprise, against this harsh terrain.
Craggy outcrops dating from pre Cambrian period dominate the landscape on this section of the route. The gradient here is mostly gentle. The ruined houses and slag-heaps around Abereiddy (128 miles/205km)and Porthgain (130 miles/208km) are reminders of what was once a thriving quarrying industry here. It was a heavy storm and ensuing typhoid epidemic that killed the industry off in 1938. Today, tourism has replaced quarrying. From Porthgain, the craggy coastline becomes more rugged, reaching out into the sea like hundreds of crooked fingers. Cliffs are taller, plunging down into pretty, little coves. At least the cliff tops are pretty level, to enjoy the views and recover oneself. Just before the village of Abercastle is Carreg Sampson, a fine specimen of a Neolithic burial chamber. Past Pwll Deri, the cliffs are not as sheer and there are a few low ones too but it is still a bit of a roller-coaster ride, dipping in and out of coves, makes it a challenging walk. The scenery is stunning, especially around Strumble Head. Aber Felin Bay is a good location for grey seal spotting.
The last invasion of Britain took place in Fishguard in 1797. It was a shortlived affair, lasting no more than two days as the French were quickly overpowered by the locals. To commemorate this proud fact, the town commissioned its own Bayeux tapestry, which is on display to the public. The lower town and the harbour are charming and the remains of a fort sits on a little headland. The bracken and heather covered cliffs after Fishguard are lower and less undulating, although there are some steep slopes, leading down to pretty little bays. There are also three small wooded sections to add variety to the landscape.
At Newport, the smalll mountain of Carningli serves a wonderful backdrop to this pretty medieval town of stone and colourful cottages. The view from the mountain top is tremendous, reaching as far as Snowdonia and the Wicklows. Birds are attracted to the estuary, the same way that shoppers are to the street market that is held every Monday. The final section to St Dogmaels is the toughest, with tall cliffs, but also one of the prettiest. There are no villages over these 16 miles. Nature offers it sown compensations though. There are natural arches, Witches Cauldron, twisted folds of rocks. Grey seal give birth along these beaches between September and November, and porpoises and dolphins may be spotted off these shores.
Your final destination! Your trek finishes with a long walk on the road along the salt marshes of the Telfi estruary to the little village of St Dogmaels. On the outskirt of the village are the ruins of Trionian Abbey; in its heyday, it was one of the richer monastic institutions in Wales. There is also a weekly farmer's market in the village if you need supplies before heading for home.
The nearest railway stations to the route are listed below.
Kilgetty: 3 miles/5 km from Amroth
Tenby: on route
Penally: on high tide and Firing Range diversion route
Manorbier: 1.3mls/2km from the village
Lamphey: 1.3mls/2km from Freshwater East
Pembroke: on route
Pembroke Dock: on route
Milford Haven: on route
Fishguard Harbour: on route
Fishguard & Goodwick: on route
The National Rail Map provides a map of the rail network for you to plan your journey.
The nearest National Express long distance coach stops are listed below.
Kilgetty: 3 miles/5 km from Amroth
Tenby: on route
Pembroke: on route
Pembroke Dock: on route
Neyland: on route
Steynton: 2.1miles/ 3.4km from Milford Haven
National Express has a route network with over 1,000 UK destinations. The best value tickets will be secured with advance booking.
The villages along and off the Pembrokeshire Coast Path are well connected by bus, which operates daily over the Summer but three times a week over the Winter. We will be happy to help you to plan your way round using the local bus service.
Amroth is readily accessible by car, being just off the A477 and less than 25km from A40 dual carriageway. St Dogmaels is less accessible, with no motorway being within 50km.
We may be able to arrange car parking at your first nights accommodation for the duration of your walking holiday. This will be subject to availability and may incur a small extra charge.
It is difficult to return to the start of the walk using public transport. We will be happy to advise on the public transport options and also to get quotes and book a return journey by taxi for you if you prefer.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path offers a wide range of options, but here are a few of our favourites.
Please contact us for a tailored itinerary, if you don't see what you are looking for.
The path is waymarked with the coast path sign and acorn logo. Basic navigational and map reading skills are recommended.
March to October.
We specialise in providing walking holidays in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and Somerset. We are enthusiastic about outdoor pursuits and have experienced climbing, canoeing, skiing, caving and potholing and windsurfing as well as walking throughout the UK, France, Spain, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
We use our experience to provide self-guided, pack-free walking holidays, tailored to the requirements and abilities of our clients.