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St Brides Castle

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Three of the best short walks in Pembrokeshire

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 19, 2015
Three of the best short walks in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is deserving of its status as one of the UK’s most beautiful regions. With close to 200 miles of incredible coastline, it’s not surprising it is also a walkers’ paradise – taking people on journeys that seem to span the centuries. 

Many people take walking holidays in this part of the world, but if you don’t have a week to spare don’t worry, there are plenty of shorter walks that will lead you through this beautiful terrain in just a day. 

Here are a few of the best short walks in Pembrokeshire:

1. The Gribin Coastal Walk 

For a journey through unspoilt land which offers spectacular coastal views, The National Trust suggests this circular walk overlooking St Brides Bay and Solva Harbour. The eight-mile route, part of the official Pembrokeshire Coast Path, takes place around a rocky headland with a fairy tale monster of a name: The Gribin.

Richard Law [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Starting at Solva Harbour car park, the path takes you along the Gribin and the harbour’s edge. After about a mile, you’ll reach some old lime kilns which were used to make quicklime and whitewash to be delivered via the waiting boats. They can be explored if the tide is low, or if not, you’ll continue on towards Gribin Point. At the top, you’ll find an Iron Age fort – if you can tear your gaze away from the stunning panoramic vista of the sea straight ahead, then stop and have a look at this ancient building. 

The path descends fairly steeply to the Gwadn pebble beach, the perfect spot for a picnic lunch and/or for some bird watching. The final leg of the route follows the valley behind the beach, encompassing a stream and some stepping stones – so watch your footing. Then it’s just one last push, up an ascending, zig-zagging path through the woods and back to the car park. This is a delightful walk, with lots to see and do. It can easily be done in a day, but because the elevation fluctuates, it might be better aimed at those with a moderate level of fitness.

2. Stackpole Head

James Knight (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of VisitWales’ recommendations for a family-friendly short walk is the five mile circuit which starts at Stackpole Quay and takes in the too-beautiful-to-convey-in-words Barafundle Bay. At around two and a half hours this isn’t too arduous for the little ones, and when they see that beach the walking will be forgotten.

To leave the beach until last, the route goes along a permissive path between the Quay and Eight Arch Bridge – check before leaving that the path is open. The bridge leads you along the water’s edge, eventually reaching Bosherton lily ponds and Broad Haven beach. Follow the path around the coastline, enjoying the views and, finally, you’ll reach Barafundle. With no access via car, this truly is a hidden gem: dunes, pine trees, golden sand and the bluest waters – it’s then only half a mile to walk back to the car park.

3. Tenby

SoylentGreen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

At 4.6 miles, this walk around Tenby explores not just the coast, but the seaside town and its neighbouring landscape. There are also plenty of opportunities to take a boat trip out to Caldey Island, which has been the home of a religious community since the Sixth Century, according to Wales Coastal Path.

Starting in the popular, historic town, the walk starts on South Beach, past Merlin’s Cave and right into the Pembrokeshire National Park along The Ritec estuary. As you continue on the circuit, look out for the ruined remains of Scotsborough House, situated just ahead of Scotsborough Woods, through which the path will take you. It can get a little muddy here at times, so suitable footwear is a must. From the woods, you’ll be lead down into the town, with its 13th Century walls. Stop and explore, maybe grab some lunch, before resuming your walk along North Beach and down towards the harbour where you’ll end up at the start point again.

This is a fairly easy walk which is particularly great for those with a love of architecture and history.

There are so many walks in Pembrokeshire it’s beyond difficult to select just three. They don’t need to be short; if you’d like something more challenging, there’s plenty for you, too. Why not come and explore for yourself?

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


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