Pembrokeshire Coast Path - West Wales Holiday Cottages
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Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Visitors to Pembrokeshire have often been tempted by out-of-this-world images of the dramatic coastline and many pairs of walking boots have been worn out over the 45 years since a continuous path was opened along its length. With a fantastic coastal bus service now in operation, you can walk short sections of the path without having to double back. So pick and choose from the variety of terrains on offer and enjoy the fresh air and the views!

History of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a designated National Trail and lies almost entirely within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which is the only coastal national park in Britain. Work began in the 1950s to create the path - including the cutting of steps into steep sections and erecting nearly 500 stiles and 100 footbridges. It was opened by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas in 1970, and is now 186 miles (299 km) long.

The path runs from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south, linking with the Ceredigion Coastal Path and the Carmarthenshire Coastal Path respectively and forming part of the Wales Coastal Path, officially opened in 2012.

Most of the path runs at cliff-top level, but there are frequent undulations totalling 35,000 feet (11,000 m) of ascent and descent. The two low-tide crossings at Dale and Sandy Haven must be timed accurately or you can find yourselves having to take lengthy detours.

For hardened hikers, the trail represents a challenge to tackle over a number of weeks, but for most of us the path can be enjoyed in smaller sections, many of which can be undertaken in a few hours as circular walks with the chance to enjoy some inland scenery as well as the coast. The northern section is generally more strenuous as this is where most of the really high cliffs are to be found.

A fabulous variety of landscapes

The range of maritime landscapes covered by the path makes for interesting variations in rock and plant life and offers endless opportunities for a dip in the sea whilst passing the 58 beaches and 14 harbours along the route. Many seabirds nest on the cliffs along the route, with particular interest around Stackpole and the Elegug Stacks as well as Dinas Island.

The species of wildflowers you see on your walk depend on the particular habitat, so you might find rare orchids as well as the more prolific sea thrift and gorse.

There are many fascinating historical sites such as Neolithic cromlechs and Iron Age promontory forts as well as more recent vestiges in the form of ruined chapels and churches, lime kilns and fishing harbours.

Access to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

There is easy access to the path both by car and special walkers’ bus services, which operate on all sections of the path: the Puffin Shuttle, the Coastal Cruiser, the Celtic Coaster, St David's Peninsula Shuttle Service, the Strumble Shuttle, and the Poppit Rocket. These operate on a ‘Hail and Ride’ basis so you can stop them in any place where it’s safe. See the Pembrokeshire Council website for coastal bus timetables.

See the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park website for more useful information about the coast path.

Holiday cottages near the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

If you are looking for somewhere to stay nearby, why not take a look at our Pembrokeshire holiday cottages?

Walks

Amroth to Lystep

Area: South Pembrokeshire County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Amroth to Lystep

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This is quite a strenuous walk but gives a great mix of terrain. Walk along beach to Saundersfoot if tide is very low; take time to enjoy the woodland section and to see views out to Caldey Island and Gower on a clear day.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 11.5 miles
  • Time: approximately 6 hours
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Angle to Pembroke

Area: Milford Haven Estuary County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Angle to Pembroke

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Highlight: Pembroke Castle. This section is easy as it's mostly flat. Lots of bays and estuary inlets or pills, where you might spot interesting birds. It also takes you past the industrial area of Pembrokeshire with its impressive refineries. Some road walking.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 11 miles
  • Time: approximately 5 hours, 30 minutes
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Caerfai to Whitesands

Area: St Davids Peninsula County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Caerfai to Whitesands

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Best done as a circular walk if you don't mind returning via a lovely back lane to St Davids. It is quite a flat walk. Visit the cute little chapel of St Non's, little inlet of Porth Clais and the larger beach at Porthlysgi. From the headland you can see Ramsey Island.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 9.5 miles
  • Time: approximately 5 hours, 30 minutes
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Ceibwr to Pwll y Wrach

Area: North Pembrokeshire County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Ceibwr to Pwll y Wrach

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No stiles. Ceibwr Bay is lovely at high tide. Rocky shore. SN106457 to 100449. Walk along the edge of high cliffs. Quite a steep descent to the Witch's Cauldron, which is a dramatic collapsed cave. Best at high tide.

  • Coastal
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 0.8 miles
  • Time: approximately 1 hour, 18 minutes
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Dale to Martins Haven

Area: Dale Peninsula County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Dale to Martins Haven

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Highlight: The bays of Dale, Watwick, Mill and Marloes, which you'll pass on your way round the Point. There's a new lighthouse on St Ann's Head. It's an exposed stretch of the coast path and takes moderate ability.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 10.5 miles
  • Time: approximately 5 hours, 30 minutes
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Lydstep to St Govans

Area: South Pembrokeshire County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Lydstep to St Govans

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The best thing about this walk: beaches - especially Barafundle. Make sure you have bathing togs with you in summer as the sea here is irresistible. There's also the Kings Quoit burial chamber and Manorbier castle. The Stackpole Estate and St Govan's Chapel are places to linger. Gradients are not too taxing but it is tiring due to the length.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 14.5 miles
  • Time: approximately 7 hours, 20 minutes
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Martins Haven to Nolton Haven

Area: St Brides Bay County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Martins Haven to Nolton Haven

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Quite an easy walk till you get to Little Haven but then it gets more strenuous. 6 bays with Haven as part of their name mark this stretch. Haroldston Chins is pretty spectacular; you may see Fulmars here; and there's the Druidston Hotel en route with its amazing views over St Bride's Bay.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 14 miles
  • Time: approximately 7 hours
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Milford Haven to Dale

Area: Milford Haven Estuary County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Milford Haven to Dale

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Not difficult as there are no steep hills. You need to plan well so as to avoid a detour at Sandy Haven, where stepping stones only OK for about 2 hours each side of low tide. Lindsway Beach is lovely - especially at low tide. You'll have to scramble down to it, though. The Gann can be crossed 3.5 hours each side of low tide.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 9 miles
  • Time: approximately 4 hours, 30 minutes
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Newport Sands to Lifeboat Station

Area: North Pembrokeshire County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Newport Sands to Lifeboat Station

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This is a short walk which can be done with a pushchair or wheelchair along a paved track. Some of the further section crosses the sand so route is impassable 2 hrs either side of low tide. The map marker shows the start of the walk NOT a parking place

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 0.8 miles
  • Time: approximately 30 minutes
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Newport to St Dogmaels

Area: North Pembrokeshire County: Pembrokeshire
Parking for Newport to St Dogmaels

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This is long and tough but it's not easy to cut it into shorter chunks although you can branch off at Ceibwr and walk to Moylegrove where you can get the Poppit Rocket.

  • Coastal
  • Cafe/Pub
  • Coastal Path Section
  • Distance: approximately 14 miles
  • Time: approximately 7 hours
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