Have you got any top Pembrokeshire tips?

by backpackingbongos

This weekend I am heading off with my partner and Reuben for a few days camping down in Pembrokeshire.  I have to admit that it is an area that I know nothing about.  It’s not going to be a full on hiking holiday, just time to chill, visit some beaches, bimble along the cliffs, and eat fish and chips.  Is there anyone out there who knows the area well and can provide advice on some must see places?  Looking at the map I am looking forward to a bimble around St David’s Head and the Preseli Hills so far.  Your top tips please!

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18 Comments to “Have you got any top Pembrokeshire tips?”

  1. The Pembrokeshire coast is excellent, you’ll like it. Here’s my two-penn’orth of tips:

    Head west from St. Davids to the St Justinians Lifeboat Station (there’s a small car-park there) and pick up the coastal path along the cliffs southwards for a few miles, maybe even do a simple loop back to St. Davids, it’s all easy going. Plenty of dolphins in the strong tidal race between the mainland and Ramsey Island so binoculars are useful. If you’re the sea-going type you can get a RIB trip from there over to (and through) the Bitches ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bitches ), occasionally they take the RIB right up close to the dolphins. Expect to get soaked.

    Take a short hike to Aber Mawr beach, it’s well off the beaten track, reached via a woodland path that heads northwards from the sharp bend in the road between Granston and Abercastle. There are usually seals on or near the beach and many sea-birds (and the occasional Peregrine) in the cliffs to the west.

    Legend has it that the look-out building at Strumble Head is good for seeing whales/dolphins/basking sharks but I’ve never seen any from there. YMMV!

    There’s an excellent bakery/teashop and an expensive-but-intriguing woodcraft shop at Mathry.

    Hope that helps.

    Have fun!

    • Thanks for your tips BG. Is there any parking near that sharp bend where the path starts to Aber Mawr beach? – looks like a lovely out of the way spot.

      • Limited roadside parking near the start of the path – the lane’s a tad narrow and there’s a gate that’s hardly never used but which shouldn’t be blocked. Might be worth having a word at the nearby cottages within spitting-distance to the SW, we holidayed in the stone-built one with the red windows and at the time the owner lived in the adjoining dwelling, if the holiday-cottage is unoccupied they may let you park there. Have a shufty on Google Maps, get the Street View thing up and you’ll see what/where I mean.

        There is a single-track road leading to the cliff-tops at the NE end of the beach, there’s some easier parking available there but you’d miss the walk through the NT woodlands.

        Found this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/wales/738179/British-beach-of-the-week-Abermawr.html

  2. Yes, there’s some good bimbling territory around Stackpole Quays and Bosherston. Head west along the PCP and enjoy some spectacular walking along the clifftops without much up and down. There’s a funky old chapel built into the cliff face, some spectacular sea bird-infested rock stacks and the Green Bridge of Wales, whiich is an impressive natural arch. Head east through sand dunes for more spectacular cliff tops and fine little bays to Freshwater East. Good pub and tea room in Bosherston as well. It is a way south from St Davids though.
    St Davids to Porthgain along the coast is another excellent coastal walk with a good pub at the end. You can get a bus back to St Davids as well.
    Around Strumble Head from Fishguard to Tregwynt is a fine walk, bus return also. A shorter walk from lovely Newport Sands around Dinas Head, cutting back across to Cwm yr Eglwys is also a pleasant walk with fine coastal scenery. Heading west from Newport there’s some impressive walking along the cliffs, you could go as far as Moylgrove and bus back.
    I hope you and Corrina have a splendid time, is Reuben going?

    • Cheers for that Pete. I think that we will explore the north of the park this time around, save on the driving – looks like loads of fine options. Reuben is coming, I’m sure that he will have a blast. Corrina is not too keen on the rubbish weather forecast this weekend!

  3. http://www.brandybrookcampsite.co.uk

    Found the above site by accident a few years ago, a field surrounded by small wood and a stream babbling away.
    You can have a looky at the site and surrounding area with Google street view. Facilities are basic.

    • Cheers for the link Paul, sound like a cracking site. We have something already booked now, fingers crossed it is as good as we hope.

  4. The Preseli is a good option. I had hoped to back pack for an overnight from Crymych, along the Preselis, down to Gwaun Valley and up onto Carn Ingli and drop down to Newport. Perhaps you could do this and report back! Lots of coastal buses which can be useful.

    Leave car in St Davids (I have never failed to park right next to Cathedral for free! Catch a bus to Solva – beautiful little coastal village and walk back along coast either to St Davids or carry on to Porthclais and then back up to St Davids – call in at the Friends Arms, good food and beer.

    A walk around Dale worthwhile then most anywhere on the Pembs coast is worthwhile, then again I am biased! A couple of overnights on the coast mentioned on my blog below.

    • Thanks for the info Bob, just popped by your blog and your last post indeed had some great photos of some of the coastline we are planning on visiting. It all looks rather lovely!

  5. As has already been mentioned, the strech around St David’s head is very nice. Also to the north of Whitesands, Carn Llidi Bychan is apparently worth a wander the top.

    The section of cliffside from Little Haven to Marloes Sands is very beautiful, it’s the bit I walked back in July. I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the bit round Dale, it just didn’t compare to the CP to the north.

    Solva is well worth a visit, a very beautiful village, as is Newgale Sands (you could easily walk from one to the other along the CP).

    One place I do suggest going is the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy. A rather impressive quarry that is now filled by the sea. It’s reportedly over 200ft deep.

  6. Ditto remarks about: Solva and surrounding cliffs/paths, especially those heading west towards….Ramsay island – fantastic headland here, brilliant wildlife spotting, & Strumble Head is gorgeous, elavated north feels quite different to the southern coast. Porthgain also recommended.

    Good pubs, quiet inlets and beaches abound, its doggy (and owner) stroller heaven!

  7. Second the boat trip. We went with a company called Voyages of Discovery in 2003. They took us round the island and into several caves in the boat. Jetting around in a 20ft Atlantic swell on a huge lilo powered by a big outboard, with three young children (5, 3 and 2), what could ;possibly go wrong? Spiffing stuff! Make sure you take your waterproofs.

  8. Can’t add anything more to the above recommendations – they are all waht I was going to suggest. I know the south part of the coast better than the north but providing you avoid Milford Haven sound you can’t go wrong with any of the coast path. If you do get time to head south then my favourites are the headland and beach at Marloes, Broad Haven South and the coast walk east to Barafundle and west to Stack Rocks. I’ve never done it but I’m told taking the boat from St Martins Haven for a day on Skomer is special. You can up close and personal with the puffins – have to get there early though as they limit the numbers.

    I think you’ve already checked out my blog entry from earlier this year but it’s here if you (or anyone else) wants to take a look:

    http://surfnslide.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/pembrokeshire-may-half-term-2011-part-1/
    http://surfnslide.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/pembrokeshire-may-half-term-2011-part-2/

    Have a great trip – look forward to the report

  9. Thanks everyone for you Pembrokeshire tips, its all been very helpful. Loads of options to choose from. I think we will wake up each morning and see what takes our fancy that day. Tootle pip, be back in a few days!

  10. As Bob says the Preseli mountains are fantastic, particularly Carningli and the Gwaun valley. The area is packed full of fantastic archaeology, from the neolithic through to 18th century mine workings. If you do have a walk it might be worth taking a guide to the archaeology so you can appreciate the hill forts from the burial cairns.
    Also if you do head in to the Gwaun Valley there is a fantastic little pub called the Dyffryn Arms in Pontfaen. Its been in every good beer guide since the 1970s. A true historic gem, I hope the landlady is still going strong:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/pubs/3335325/Pint-to-pint.html
    Have a good trip.
    Alistair.

    • Hi Alistair, back from Pemrokeshire so unable to put your recommendations into practice, a shame as that pub sounds like a cracker!

  11. Too late, too late… Any excuse for another trip.. Next time!

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