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Pembrokeshire Coastal Path Wales - Overview

Walking The Pembrokeshire Coast Path

A view on the Pembrokeshire coast path

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Pembrokeshire Coast Path South | Pembrokeshire Coast Path West | Pembrokeshire Coast Path North | Walking Short Breaks 

Distance - 186 miles across the Gwlad hud a lledrith - “The Land of Magic and Enchantment.”

Ceibwr Coast, Pembrokeshire. Walking holidays and short breaks in Wales.
© Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

Introduction - Through the last two centuries of Welsh history, Pembrokeshire has been quite simply the Holy land at the Western End of the Celtic world. A wonderful and mysterious extremity defiantly facing the full fury of the Atlantic Ocean that has given “The land of Magic” a revered status, for not only the Welsh, but also for the invaders and crusaders that tried to control and tame this isolated, unique and exposed western outpost of mainland Britain.

For the Walker today, the Pembrokeshire National Park is a place where you can leave behind the pressures of the modern world to unwind and relax in a remote haven on the very edge of where the land ends and the sea begins.

Pounded by mighty Atlantic Swells yet faithfully clinging to the edge of soaring cliffs and enticing bays, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path covers the entire length of the only Coastline National Park in the UK.

It embraces this land's diversity by revealing almost every kind of maritime landscape on the way. At every step on The Pembrokeshire Coast Path, you are with the restless ocean, around every corner a surprise emerges from this ruptured coastline of explosive blowholes, cathedral like rock arches, hidden sea caves, windswept dunes and sheltered glacial estuaries.

As the miles pass by so does history itself as you encounter ancient burial chambers, windswept Castle ramparts and chains of imposing Napoleonic Forts.

You discover the remains of a unique and proud industrial past preserved in the old quays, mines and quarries along the route. Walking South to North, you leave the historical influence of the English and Norman invaders behind at the mighty headland pincers of St Brides Bay, to enter the very Welshness of the wilder Celtic homelands in the North.

Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire Coast Path, walking in Wales.At night in The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, expect to rest in hidden fishing villages nestled in deep green valleys, beneath towering Norman Coastal Castles in historic medieval towns or simply gazing over wide broad golden sands in perfect crescent shaped bays. A walkers odyssey, in two weeks of wandering, The Pembrokeshire Coast Path will lead you into pure air, clean seas and forgotten corners. Past no less than 58 stunning beaches and over 14 unique harbours. You will climb 35,000ft on the way, well over the height of Mount Everest, in a glorious run of short steep ascents and descents from the hidden coves to the towering cliffs, a huge twisting and relentless Celtic Coastal rollercoaster

History and Culture

Carn Llidi, Wales. Pemborkeshire Coast National Park, Wales walking.For those wanting to discover the cultural context, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is a dramatic trail through time and culture itself. Walk past lonely Cromlechs (burial chambers), Megalithic standing stones, and over 40 long forgotten Iron Age cliff fortresses. This is an area whose prehistoric history dates right back to the huge bluestone Menhirs used to build Stonehenge that were somehow dragged from their remote location in the rolling Preseli Hills. How and why remains one of the greatest mysteries of the human world.

Throughout your walk you will encounter medieval churches and tiny chapels, many set up by the early sea fairing Saints at a time when this corner of Wales was the very centre of the Celtic World linking Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany with the development of Christianity in the UK.

St David's Castle, Pembrokeshire coast path, Wales walking holidays.In the footsteps of St David and St Patrick, you will make the same coastal pilgrimage to the 6th Century Holy town of St Davids, the smallest “City” in the United Kingdom, with its breathtaking Cathedral and Bishops Palace set in the most unlikely and heavenly peninsula location.

 

Elsewhere on this section of The Wales Coast Path, you will be in the shadow of the huge and impressive Norman Coastal Castles, a legacy of Pembrokeshire's fluid past, as a battleground of cultures and conflicts between Celts, Vikings, Normans and the English. From the modern age, other twists in the path will reveal imposing Victorian Forts, Royal Navel Dockyards and the tunnels, quays and quarries from the areas industrial Archaeology when this coast was part one segment of the worlds most famous Coalface.

Wildlife -

Welsh Coast Path wildlife, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.The sheer inaccessibility of the Pembrokeshire Coast Paths rocky stacks and offshore islands mean that this is the only UK National Trail that links some of the worlds largest breeding sites for migratory and sea birds. Huge deafening colonies of Manx Shearwaters, Cormorants and Razorbills swirl in feathered clouds on the offshore islands of Skomer and Skokholm and you can expect glimpses of rarer birds such as Choughs, Puffins and Peregrine Falcons.

Undisturbed by the human interference and protected from their usual predators by the sheer inaccessibility of the high cliffs, and volcanic headlands, sea birds thrive in unprecedented numbers here in designated Marine Nature Reserves.

Walking in Wales wildlife, Welsh coastal path, Pembrokeshire.The aquatic life is rich with the seas open to the mighty Atlantic Ocean and as you walk in Pembrokeshire, you will be witness to the power of one of the highest tidal ranges in the world.

Gaze from the heights of the cliff tops into the azure blue waters, and you will see the largest Grey Seal colonies in Southern Britain along with the chance to spot pods of porpoises, dolphins and for the lucky even passing whales and basking sharks. On land, a lack of intensive modern farming in long forgotten corners of the Pembrokeshire National Park results in healthy populations of protected species that are difficult to find elsewhere in Wales.

Welsh coast path scenery, walking in Wales.The Pembrokeshire Coast Path supports the rare Adder snake, Horseshoe Bats and Glow Worms whilst Grey Squirrel and wild deer are present in the southern Pembrokeshire woodlands.

Uncommon Butterflies including the grizzled skipper are attracted to the protected coastal meadows, dunes and salt marshes which are a vibrant explosion of purple heathers and bright yellow gorse.

Add to this mix the carpets of wildflowers and rarer orchids that transform the Welsh Coastal Park here into a riot of colour during the spring months.

Marloes, Pembrokeshire Coastal path, Wales walking holidays and short breaks.In the UK, only Cornwall, or the very North of Scotland can come close to the coastal magnificence experienced by those who visit Pembrokeshire, but even they can no longer compete with the overall challenge of the full 850 miles of Welsh Coast Path. If you can’t undertake it all, then head for Pembrokeshire and walk the original inspiration for this incredible walk on its most dramatic section through the Gwlad hud a lledrith.

 

CLICK HERE to see the detailed walking information for the South Section from Amroth to Milford Haven

CLICK HERE to see the detailed walking information for the  West Section from Milford Haven to St Davids

CLICK HERE to see the detailed walking information for the North Section from St David's to St Dogmaels

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