With such as choice, where do you start?
On the coast there is Pembrokeshire's best known footpath which winds its way around the magnificent bays and spectacular headlands of the only coastal national park in Britain. The 186 mile, 299km trek is a strenuous undertaking if you want to complete it from start to finish, you'll need 10 to 15 days. But most people walk a section at a time always vowing to return and complete the whole path. The introduction of the coastal bus services has made it easier to walk the coast path without the need to retrace your steps or take two cars.
A few suggestions for day routes have been outlined here, but if you intend to work out a circular route an Ordnance Survey map might be useful for finding footpaths away from the coast. Alternatively, visit one of our Tourist Information Centres who have a number of inexpensive leaflets produced by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park or visit http://www.walkingpembrokeshire.co.uk/ for inspiration. Simply look at the interactive map to find your nearest walk - You'll be surprised at what you can find!
Cemaes Head, a rugged and wild section of intensely folded high cliffs. Start at the car park at Poppit near St Dogmael's and walk up the road past the Youth hostel. Follow the coast path to Ceibwr Bay, a distance of 51/2m/7km. By the time you've returned, across country, you'll have covered 91/2 miles or 16km.
Dinas Island, a rocky headland near Fishguard. Start at either Cwm yr Eglwys or Pwllgwaelod and take the coast path around the island, returning to your start point via the low lying valley that connects it to the mainland. Total distance covered is about 3 miles or 5km.
Carregwastad Point, is famous for being the landing point for the last invasion of mainland Britain in 1797, when 1500 French troops came ashore on a disastrous and futile attempt to raise a peasants revolt. Start in the pretty village of Llanwnda, near Fishguard and backtrack along the road for ¼ mile before cutting across country towards the ferry terminal at Goodwick. Pick up the coast path and follow it round to Carregwastad Point. If you want to turn back here the distance is about 51/2 miles, 9km. To carry on to Strumble Head will double the distance.
Strumble Head, is a wild and unpopulated stretch of the path with some spectacular cliffs. Start at the car park at Garn Fawr, 2 miles south of Strumble Head and follow winding country lanes all the way to Strumble lighthouse. Continue along the coast path to the Youth Hostel at Pwll Deri and return to the car park via the hilltop where you get magnificent views of the Pen Caer peninsular you've just walked around. Total distance 51/2 miles, 9km.
Either start at Abereiddy or at Porthgain, a safe-haven harbour with a good pub and restaurant. There's plenty of interest on the way including old stone quarries, the Blue Lagoon - a flooded slate quarry and the secret beach of Traeth Llyfn. Returning to your starting point via Barry Island Farm and Felindre House. Total distance is 4 miles/6km.
St David's Peninsular. Start behind the Cathedral and follow the lanes north along the valley. When you reach Treleddydfawr continue across country until you reach the coast path which you can then follow all the way round the peninsular to Caerfai before returning to St Davids. This route cover 15miles, 23km or it can be tackled in smaller sections:
Whitesands to St Davids Head and back via Carn Llidi 4 miles/6km
Porthstinian to Porthclais and return on the country roads 6miles/10km
St Davids to Porthclais and return via Caerfai 2miles/3km
Or you could catch one of the coastal bus services. The wheelchair accessible Celtic Coaster offers an hourly services around the St Davids peninsula. Catch the bus to Whitesands, walk the coast path and pick it up again at Porthclais for your return journey to St Davids.
Thanks to the introduction of the Puffin Shuttle between St Davids and Milford Haven, some excellent stretches of the coast path can now be tackled without the need to do a circular route. Use the shuttle to travel to the far end of your day's walk and walk back to where you started. Good sections to tackle in this fashion include:
•· Solva to St Davids
•· Newgale to Solva
•· Little Haven to Nolton Haven
•· St Brides Haven to Little Haven
•· Dale to Martins Haven
If you wish to head north you can catch the Strumble Shuttle linking St Davids to Fishguard via Strumble Head and then catch the Poppit Rocket from Fishguard via Newport to Cardigan. These services gives you access to some of remotest and spectacular sections of the coast path. All of the coastal buses are fully accessible and are run on recycled vegetable oil so do your bit for the environment and hop on any of these buses next time you're planning a walk. Take a look at the full timetables.
Take a circular route around the Marloes Peninsula, starting at either Marloes beacon or the National Trust car park for Marloes beach. It covers a distance of 61/2miles/11km
Another good circular route is around the Dale Peninsula, starting from the car park near St Ann's head. The path follows some dramatic cliff tops, dropping down to several lovely sandy coves on the way. Total distance is about 6miles/10km.
South of Milford Haven, another circular route is possible around the Angle Peninsula, starting from either Freshwater West or from West Angle Bay. Travelling in a clockwise direction, you are treated to one of the most dramatic views in Britain as you come over the ridge and see the magnificent beach at Freshwater West stretching away into the distance. Total distance is around 9miles/15km.
The coast path between Stack Rocks and Broad Haven South is only accessible when the army ranges are open. It's a fascinating stretch of coast but can't be easily incorporated into a circular route because the ranges get in the way. Some unusual rock features, arches, stacks, caves and hidden beaches as well as a visit to St Govan's Chapel make the walk interesting. Distance one way is 41/2 miles/71/2 km
Stackpole Quay is the start point for a good walk that takes in dramatic cliffs, the lily ponds at Bosherston and one of the most remarkably unspoilt beaches in Britain, Barafundle. As with the previous walk, there isn't a circular option, merely retrace your steps. With teashops at both ends, Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Village, dehydration shouldn't be a problem. Total distance 41/2miles/7km.
The Coastal Cruiser, also a recycled vegetable oil run bus, connects Pembroke Dock with Angle, Freshwater West, Castlemartin and Bosherston so it's the perfect partner for a days walking on the south coast.
From the National Park car park at Manorbier beach, below the castle, two walks are available, one going west to the secluded Swanlake Bay a distance of 3miles/5km. The path to the east provides a short circular walk returning through the village.
The coast path from Tenby to Saundersfoot passes some of the best beaches you're likely to find in Britain including Glen beach, Monkstone and Waterwynch. There's a regular bus service between the towns, the best way to organise a circular route. To walk the route from one direction from harbour to harbour is around 4 miles/6km.
From Saundersfoot to Amroth, the coast path follows an old tramway, which takes in a series of tunnels for the first mile. The route there and back is approx 5miles/8km
Walks away from the coast.
A series of inexpensive booklets produced by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is available at most Tourist Information centres or visit www.walkingpembrokeshire.co.uk for inspiration.
Walking in the Preseli Hills, details 7 walks including the 7 miles/12km Golden Road, an ancient trackway along the ridge of the Preseli's linking long gone Celtic settlements. There are numerous points of interest along the way: bluestone outcrops (the stone that was used for the inner circle at Stonehenge) several sites linked with King Arthur and an abandoned hill fort.
Four circular walks around the Daugleddau Estuary, one on the western side around Llangwm and 3 on the eastern side at Lawrenny, Cresswell and Coedcanlas. 5 new individual leaflets describe circular walks around Ramsey Sound, Whitesand Bay and Penberry near St Davids plus Beddmorris and Nevern Estuary near Newport.
Walking leaflets have been produced, as part of the Pembrokeshire Greenways initiative*, to help you access the countryside. All of the leaflets contain details of how to access the walks by bus or train - so why not leave the car at home? Tel 01437 776313 or visit www.pembrokeshiregreenways.co.uk
All Saints Walks - Four walks to explore the unspoilt area between Pembroke and Bosherston, visiting enchanting churches and chapels en-route.
Angle Peninsula Walk - Various walks out of Angle village to the surrounding coastline.
Canaston Woods, Minwear Woods & Knights Way - Details on the various walks available in Canaston Woods and the 10-mile pilgrims' trail from Slebech to Amroth.
Lampeter Vale - Three circular walks from Narberth train station discovering the unspoilt valley between Whitland and Narberth.
Landsker Borderlands - A 60-mile long distance walking trail straddling the ‘Landsker line', a historic imaginary line between the English speaking south of Pembrokeshire and the Welsh speaking north.
Llawhaden Walks - Two circular walks through this beautiful valley.
Miners Way - A circular route looking at the industrial heritage around Saundersfoot, Kilgetty and Stepaside.
Narberth Country Walks - Five walks to explore the area around Narberth.
Ritec Walk - A 6-mile circular walk between Penally and St Florence.
South of the Landsker - A 60-mile long-distance walking trail from Narberth to Saundersfoot, Bosherston, Cresswell Quay and back to Narberth.
Other leaflets are available which outline points of interest, walks and historical connections for the following communities:
•· Amroth and Summerhill
•· Begelly and Kilgetty
•· East Williamston and Broadmoor
•· Hundleton and Maidenwells
•· Jefferyston, Loveston, Yerbeston and Cresselly
•· Lamphey and Hodgeston
•· Milton and Carew Cheriton
•· St Florence
•· Stepaside, Pleasant Valley and Wisemans Bridge
•· The Rhos
* Pembrokeshire Greenways is an initiative to help and encourage local residents and visitors, of all abilities, to access the countryside through walking, cycling, horseriding, bus and train travel
Withybush Woods. A gentle one mile trail near the centre of Haverfordwest, yet a haven for peace and tranquillity, except for bird song. The trail is especially suitable for physically and visually handicapped people - it has its own audio trail for enhanced enjoyment.
Llys-y-Fran Country Park.
Approximately 7.5 miles, 11km around the reservoir, focal point of the Country Park which has car parks on each side of the lake. Picnic sites, visitor centre, licensed restaurant, toilets exhibitions area and shops available.
Special events and guided walks are also arranged. These include a tour of the reservoir, woodland bird spotting, the chance to try fly fishing and children activities days (including a boat trip) Tel- 01437 532732/532694 for details.
A walk in Slebech Forest, approx 11/2miles/21/2km starts and finishes at the National Park picnic site overlooking Canaston Bridge on the minor road from Minwear to Backpool Mill.
Tenby Ghost Walks and Guided Walks, regular guided walks from Tudor Square detailing Tenby's fascinating and sometimes chilling past. Tel - 01834 845841 for details.
Accessible Walks to the coast and countryside.
Visit www.walkingpembrokeshire.co.uk for easy access routes or try the Pembrokeshire Access Group who have produced a booklet highlighting routes that are well within the capacity of most electric scooters and some are accessible by manual wheelchairs with assistance and of course pushchairs. Detail of the routes, which can be downloaded, can be found at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/scooting.
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park produce ‘Walks for All' a series of 16 walks on the coast www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk
Carew Castle and mill pond
Cwm yr Eglwys to Pwllgwaelod
Stepaside to Saundersfoot via Wisemans Bridge
St Govans Head
Lower Solva quayside and harbour
Aberfelin mill near Trefin
The Parrog, Newport
Away from the coastline there are several disabled friendly walks:
Blackpool Mill. Situated at the heart of Canaston Woods a wheelchair accessible path has been cleared, alongside the river.
Bosherston. The link from Stackpole Centre to Broad Haven beach, via Grassy Bridge, is complete and is a beautiful walk that everyone can enjoy.
Manorbier. A flat, surfaced path has now been created to enable access from Manorbier Car Park to the beach. Disabled toilet facilities available here.
Penally. The path from Penally railway station to the beach is popular with all users. The route has wheelchair-friendly kissing gates. Disabled toilet facilities available here.
St Florence. The riverside path has been surfaced allowing users to step from the heart of the village, near the shop, to the site of the Old Mill.
Milton Nature Reserve. A disabled path has been established in Milton Nature Reserve, with a parking area located near the shop, offering access to Carew Cheriton.
Withybush Woods. A 1-mile trail through the woods, suitable for both physically and visually impaired.
ID: 31 Revised: 27/10/2011