This 186-mile National Trail through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in south-west Wales is renowned for unspoilt sandy beaches, secluded coves, tiny fishing villages and off-shore islands rich in bird and marine life. This is some of the best coastal walking in Britain.
A keen outdoorsman, Jim Manthorpe works as a ranger in Knoydart, one of the most remote regions of Scotland.
INTRODUCTION - PART 1: PLANNING YOUR WALK 1.1 About the Pembrokeshire Coast Path,
History - How difficult is the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? (route finding) - How long do you need?
1.2 Practical information for the walker Accommodation (camping, bunkhouses and hostels, bed and breakfast) - Food and drink (drinking water, buying camping supplies, pubs) (Aside: Beer) - Money - Other services - Walking companies (accommodation booking, baggage carriers, self-guided holidays, group/guided walking tours) 1.3 Budgeting Camping - Bunkhouses and hostels - B&Bs - Extras (Aside: Information for foreign visitors) 1.4 When to go Seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter) - Temperature - Rainfall - Daylight hours 1.5 Itineraries and Planning map - Which direction? - Village and town facilities - Suggested itineraries (Asides: Highlights of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path - the best day and weekend walks; Walking with dogs) 1.6 What to take Keep it light - How to carry it - Footwear (boots, socks, extra footwear) - Clothes (Aside: Cheaper alternatives) - Toiletries - First aid kit - General items - Sleeping bag - Camping gear - Travel insurance - Maps - Recommended reading (general guidebooks, flora and fauna field guides) 1.7 Getting to and from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Aside: Getting to Britain) National transport (rail, coach, car, air) - Local transport - Public transport map 1.8 Further information Trail information - National Parks - Tourist information - Organizations for walkers
PART 2: MINIMUM IMPACT WALKING AND OUTDOOR SAFETY 2.1 Economic impact Buy local (Aside: Food for thought) - Support local businesses - Encourage local cultural traditions and skills (Aside: The state of the farmed countryside) 2.2 Environmental impact Use public transport whenever possible --Never leave litter (Aside- The lasting impact of litter) - Erosion - Respect all wildlife - Outdoor toiletry - Wild camping (Aside - Your ecological footprint) 2.3 Access Right to roam - Rights of way (Aside: National Parks and the honey pot issue) - Waymarking - The Country Code - Lambing 2.4 Outdoor safety – Avoidance of hazards - Mountain safety - Weather forecasts - Water - Biting insects - Hypothermia - Dealing with an accident
PART 3: THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE 3.1 Conserving Pembrokeshire: Countryside Council for Wales, Voluntary organizations, Beyond conservation 3.2 Flora and fauna Mammals - Reptiles - Birds - Wild flowers, grasses and other plants - Trees, woods and forests
PART 4: ROUTE GUIDE AND MAPS 4.1 Trail maps Scale and walking times - Up or down? - Accommodation - Other features 4.2 Pembrokeshire Coast Path: Kilgetty – Kilgetty to Amroth – Amroth – Amroth to Tenby – Wiseman’s Bridge – Saundersfoot – Tenby – Tenby to Manorbier Bay – Penally – Lydstep – Manorbier – Manorbier Bay to Freshwater East – Freshwater East – Freshwater East to Broad Haven – Stackpole Quay – Broad Haven to Castlemartin – Detour route: Broad Haven to Castlemartin – Bosherston – Merrion, Warren and Castlemartin – Castlemartin to Angle – Angle – Angle to Hundleton – Hundleton – Hundleton to Hazelbeach – Pembroke – Pembroke Dock – Neyland and Hazelbeach – Hazelbeach to Sandy Haven – Milford Haven – East Bank of Sandy Haven and Herbrandston – Sandy Haven to Dale – High tide detour at Sandy Haven – High tide detour at The Gann – West Bank of Sandy Haven and St Ishmael’s – Dale – Dale to Musselwick Sands – Marloes – Musselwick Sands to Broad Haven – Little Haven – Broad Haven – Broad Haven to Newgale – Nolton Haven – Newgale – Newgale to Caerfai Bay – Solva – Caerfai Bay – St David’s – Caerfai Bay to Whitesands Bay – Porthclais, St Justinian’s and Whitesands Bay – Whitesands Bay to Trefin – Abereiddy – Porthgain – Trefin – Trefin to Pwll Deri – Pwll Deri and Strumble Head – Pwll Deri to Fishguard – Goodwick – Fishguard – Fishguard to Newport – Around Pwllgwaelod and Dinas Cross – Newport – Newport to St Dogmaels – Ceibwr Bay and Moylgrove – Poppit Sands – St Dogmaels – Cardigan
More and more people, however, are discovering this magnificent coastline on the extreme western point of Wales. What better way to explore it than to pull on your boots and walk the cliff tops and beaches of this superb 186-mile (299km) route.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path begins in the seaside village of Amroth and takes you across the contorted sandstone cliffs of south Pembrokeshire. Around every corner the cliffs surprise you with blowholes, sea caves and spectacular natural arches such as the famous Green Bridge of Wales.
Then it’s on across the immaculate sands of Freshwater West and through the patchwork fields around the lazy waters of the Daugleddau estuary to the town of Pembroke with its Norman castle and ancient town walls. North of the estuary everything changes. The scenery is wilder and the walking tougher. The path leaves the Norman south and enters true Welsh country crossing spectacular beaches at Broad Haven and Newgale to reach the beautiful village of Solva, its busy little harbour tucked in a fold in the cliffs.
Next is St David’s, the smallest city in Britain, where you can hear the bells of the cathedral echoing across the wooded valley while paying homage to the patron saint of Wales. Leading towards the most westerly point at St David’s Head the path takes you past Ramsey Island, a haven for dolphins and seals.
The final stretch takes you beneath the shadow of the Preseli Hills, bluestone country, the source of some of the raw material for Stonehenge. Continuing over the highest, most spectacular cliffs in West Wales brings you to the end of the path at St Dogmaels near Cardigan.
The Pembrokeshire coast has everything – from endless, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs festooned with wild flowers to lonely hills and sleepy waterways; a beautiful blend of sand, sea and scents.