Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

Pembrokeshire, Wales


The trail:

  • Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales
  • Categories: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Marine west coast / Human continental / Tundra / Foothill / Plain / Coastal / Islands / Rural / Sea / River / Stream / Waterfall
  • Duration: 2-3 Weeks for full Path or single day trips
  • Distance: 186 Miles

Walking the trail:

  • Summary: The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path twists and turns its way for 186 miles along the most breathtaking coastline in Britain. It covers almost every kind of maritime landscape from rugged cliff tops and sheltered coves to wide-open beaches and winding estuaries.



Until 2018 I would always go down to Cornwall and Devon in England for my dose of interesting coastal walking. (I generally prefer rugged coastline rather than beautiful beaches)  Mountains are amazing and a real sense of achievement to reach the summits, but I would not consider the journey to be particularly relaxing! Coastal walking on the other hand is totally calming, whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or a brutal stormy one, I’m just a massive fan of walking along the fantastic paths that have been created along the UKs coastline.

I have never even heard of Pembrokeshire in Wales until I entered into an ultra-trail race along the Pembrokeshire coastline in April 2018. The run covered 35 miles of beautiful rugged coastline lined with some of the coolest secluded white sandy beaches. I had no idea the run was using a section of the Pembrokeshire coastal path which runs a whopping 186 miles from Amroth in the south to Cardigan in the north. The full trail also ascends 35,000ft which is higher than Mount Everest so some sections are quite hilly and challenging especially if you try and do a big distance in one day. 

The day after the trail marathon I visited the nearby Skomer Island to see Puffins, yet again I had no idea these wonderful birds (honestly the most fascinating and friendly birds) could be seen so relatively south of the UK. That trip was probably one of the best day trips I have ever been on, simply an amazing place and one that I’ve written a separate day walk feature for. See link below:

http://www.trailexposure.com/17/118/skomer-island-wales

I returned to the path in December 2019 during a Wales road trip to do some more walking and trail running. Even in December the paths are fully accessible, although the whole national park is very quiet as it’s out of season. You certainly won’t struggle to find accommodation although I found the hotels to still be fairly expensive.

The area I covered on this visit was from St David’s (the UKs smallest city) to Fishguard which is approximately 45 miles. It’s a fantastic section of rugged coastline, beaches and hilly/rocky moorland. During the walk/run I saw old industrial ruins, cool marine wildlife, (including a seal pup on its own on a small beach with mum out to sea catching lunch) and most bizarrely only 5 people in total! It really is a walking wilderness during that time of year so perfect for anyone wanting a peaceful, quiet adventure. I’m thinking the trail is a bit of an undiscovered gem and perhaps writing about how beautiful the place is may not be the wisest idea!

With still more than 100 miles of Pembrokeshire coastline still to explore I will definitely be returning again very soon for a few long weekends over the summer. I love the idea of doing small sections over multiple trips. I don’t think I would ever be interested in doing the full 186 miles in one sitting. However lovely the place is, you may get sick to death of coastal walking for that length of time.

Hope you enjoy the photos, I will certainly be adding more once I’ve returned to see some more.

For the official national trails web site, check out the link below:

https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pembrokeshire-coast-path

Any questions please feel free to ask.

GPX route also available.

 

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