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An epic coastline hike — Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Steve Bittinger sbittinger [CC0]

An epic coastline hike — Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Hiking Collection by Kit P

13-28

days

3-6 h

/ day

194 mi

13,825 ft

13,925 ft

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path explores one of Britain’s most spectacular stretches of coastline.

Covering every type of coastal landscape the UK has to offer, the trail winds for 186 miles (300 km) over wild cliff tops, above red sandstone coves, along glorious golden beaches, past quaint harbour villages, through flooded glacial valleys, and across tidal estuaries.

Along the way, you experience a landscape so beautiful and so rich with wildlife that it's easy to see why Pembrokeshire is the only coastal national park in Britain.

With birds of prey soaring above, dolphins swimming below, seals resting in the coves, and immense wildflower displays in summer, prepare to be amazed. The area also boasts geology that dates back 500 million years, as well as a historical sights from the Neolithic period to the Napoleonic invasions.

The trail is a challenging undertaking. Crossing a rugged and, at times, formidable landscape, there's a total of 35,000 feet (10,668 m) of ascent and descent to contend with—said to be equivalent to climbing Everest.

In this Collection, I've split the Pembrokeshire Coast Path into 11 stages, which makes for a challenging two-week hike with some rest days. Of course, you can split up the route into as many days as you're comfortable with. You can also walk any single stage, or a couple of stages, in isolation.

Every stage finishes close to accommodation, even if there are only a few options nearby. However, places to stay are not always abundant so it's worth planning in advance and scheduling any rest days accordingly.

If you're planning to arrive by public transport, you can catch a train to Haverfordwest railway station, which is served by direct trains from Swansea and has connecting services around the UK. You would then need to catch T5 TrawsCymru bus service from the station to Cardigan. When you reach Cardigan, you can either walk the 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to St Dogmaels or catch the 408 bus service.

To get home, you can catch the 351 bus service from Amroth to Kilgetty, then catch a train from Kilgetty railway station, which has direct trains to Swansea and, from there, connecting services around the UK.

If you're planning to arrive by car, your best bet is to negotiate with a hotel or B&B a rate to stay for a night either side of your hike in St Dogmaels and see if you can leave your car there.

To get back, you would need to catch the 351 bus from Amroth to the arcade at Sandersfoot, then the 381 bus to Haverfordwest, then the T5 TrawsCymru bus service from the station to Cardigan, and finally you can either walk the one-and-a-half miles to St Dogmaels or catch the 408 bus service.

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Pembrokeshire Coast Path

180 mi

12,675 ft

12,700 ft

Last updated: November 24, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: St Dogmaels to Newport — Pembrokeshire Coast Path

    Difficult
    06:52
    15.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first stage of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path makes for a challenging introduction to the trail.

    With near-constant ascent and descent to contend with, as well as a tough terrain and sizeable distance, this stage explores a wild and remote landscape.

    

    From St Dogmaels, you follow the estuary past Poppit

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    06:37
    14.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With classic cliff hiking, Neolithic and Napoleonic history, and plenty of stunning scenery, this is a wonderful stage.

    

    Before leaving Newport, it's worth taking a small detour to see Carreg Coetan, one of the best-preserved Neolithic burial chambers in the area.

    

    From there, you rejoin the trail and follow

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    07:52
    17.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Sheer coastal cliffs forged from ancient volcanic activity dominate this dramatic stage.

    

    If you're hiking during spring and summer, the landscape transforms into a rich purple and yellow thanks to the heather and gorse blossom.

    

    From Harbour Village, you descend gently past Carregwastad Point, the spot

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    14:03
    32.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This epic stage takes you along rugged clifftops where the geology is spectacular and the wildlife is abundant.

    

    From Trefin, you hike east past Porthgain and the ruins of the village’s old slate quarry, all the while gazing out across the enchanting Irish Sea.

    

    When you reach St David’s Head, prepare to

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    07:24
    16.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Gorgeous coastal scenery and glorious nature make this a memorable stage.

    

    If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming in the ocean below, seals nestled into the coves, and birds of prey swooping above you.

    

    From St David’s, you rejoin the trail and head east along a relatively flat and

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    06:39
    15.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    950 ft
    875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage presents leisurely hiking along red sandstone cliffs topped with stunning wildflowers during spring and summer.

    

    There are some good opportunities to spot seals along this stage, as well as plenty of birdlife, so keep your eyes sharp.

    

    From Broad Haven, the trail winds past Little Haven, Musselwick

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    07:17
    17.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    925 ft
    950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Level walking and an easy-going terrain make for a leisurely hike—but be aware of the tidal crossings on this stage.

    

    From Westdale Bay, you hike around St Ann’s Head, past the tranquil Watwick Bay and the 19th-century Dale Fort.

    

    When you reach Dale, you have to make a crossing to Musslewick which can only

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    09:25
    22.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage takes you out of the national park and into a landscape that's alive with industry.

    

    At 22 miles (35 km) long, this is a tough distance and will be a real test of your fitness and endurance. Because this stage is not as memorable as others, it's a great opportunity to get your head down and

    by Kit P

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  • Intermediate
    04:31
    10.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    600 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You step back into the national park with a bang on this wild and rugged stage.

    

    Exploring a terrain that is intentionally managed to be remote and challenging, you won't see much civilisation on this classic coastal hike.

    

    From Angle, you walk along Chapel Bay, which has a military fort that tells the tale

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    07:17
    16.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You see some of the most iconic sights and best beaches on this stunning stage.

    

    As the route crosses a military firing range, though, it's essential that you research firing times ahead of your hike as you don't want to miss these sights—or put yourself in any danger. Information on how to check is below

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    06:34
    15.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The final stage takes you past some beautiful beaches and provides dramatic views over Caldey Island, the Gower, and Exmoor National Park.

    

    Due to the spectacular beaches in the area, this is usually the busiest stage on the entire trail. But there are probably more ice cream outlets too, so there's always

    by Kit P

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    194 mi
  • Duration
    84:28 h
  • Elevation
    13,825 ft13,925 ft

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An epic coastline hike — Pembrokeshire Coast Path

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