pembrokeshire coast path

Pembrokeshire coast path walks from Newgale

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We all love a trip to the seaside, but when you’re visiting Newgale, you’re actually perched right in the middle of the UK’s only coastal national park…meaning you’re never too far from a fantastic waterside view.  The best way to really take in the wildness of the West Wales coast is to walk some of its 186-mile coastal path.  We don’t suggest that you try all of it at once (unless you’re really brave) but from our base here in Newgale you can get to explore some of the most stunning beach views, its famous wildlife, small fishing villages and even ancient shipwrecks.  We’ve put together a guide for setting off from Newgale so that all you need to do it put your walking boots on, grab a bottle of water and decide whether you fancy going North or South!

Newgale to Solva

Solva harbour with fishing boats

Two beautiful points along the coastal path are Newgale beach, the stunning stretch of sandy shore that has already drawn you to our holiday lets, and Solva, its nearby naughty neighbour, full of fishing boats, afternoon tea spots and whispers of smugglers and pirates in years gone by.

Reaching the north end of Newgale beach, you have to climb up the pavement and up a steep hill to reach the  Pembrokeshire coast path – this is an indication of the steepness of the hill to climb ahead.  But believe us when we tell you that it’s totally worth that first push – as the path winds across the top of the cliffs, the views looking back at the beach and around the St Brides Bay cove are breathtaking.

Catching your breath again, you dip down gently into Pwll March and then into Cwm Mawr, with jagged rocks and sealing caves dotting the landscape around you.  Dependent on the time of year, the sea bordering the Pembrokeshire coast path will either be full of kayaks (summer) or seals (autumn) – this is a great stretch for spotting dolphins, too.

As you come past the dramatic slices of prehistoric Cambrian rock that jut out from the water called Pen Dinas, you see their more rounded cluster of islands in the foreground, Black Scar, Green Scar and The Mare.  This area is where you’re likely to spot the remnants of ancient shipwrecks – no surprise in these wild waters.  Beyond this stretch of the Pembrokeshire coast path, Ramsey Island sits majestically in the distance.

The path gets a little steeper as you dip down a rocky ravine and back up towards the fishing harbour of Solva.  The small sandy coves of St Elvis and the finger-like green hump of The Gribin which stretches out between two valleys to form the Solva estuary take a deceptively long time to circumnavigate, but it’s worth it when you arrive.  Drop down into the harbour’s car park and then find somewhere to have a crab sandwich and a pint!

Miles: 5.4 / 8.7 kilometers
Difficulty: Moderate – some steep hills and cliffside paths.
Suitable for prams and wheelchairs? No.
Look out for: dolphins, seals, shipwrecks, gannets from nearby Grassholm and The Blue Tits sea swimmers who often take a dip in Solva harbour at high tide.
If you’re feeling brave: keep going on for another 4.3 miles until you get to St David’s beach, Caerfai.  This path is mostly straight across the top of the cliffs so isn’t quite as strenuous except for the fantastic bluff at Porth-y-Rhaw, one of Pembrokeshire’s earliest recorded iron-age promontory forts with archaeological evidence of timber-built roundhouses and, later, of Roman occupation.

Newgale to Broad Haven

Broad Haven village and beach looking towards Newgale

Heading south from Newgale beach and passing arguably one of the most ideally located cafes in the area, you start your ascent towards one of the quieter walks along this vast and popular Pembrokeshire coast path.  The village of Broad Haven is popular with holidaymakers, but most tend to miss out on the stunning secret coves and remnants of industry that this middle-of-nowhere route has to offer.

The first impressive milestone you hit is Rickets Head, a stunning rock formation that’s visible from Newgale and sits like a magnificent lion’s head popping up above the water.  Just beyond this is a fantastic little place to explore while passing through; Rickets Head Colliery Coal Mine.  It’s abandoned now, but from the Pembrokeshire coast path, you can see the red brick chimney stack clearly…something that’s not quite visible from the Welsh road above.  It dates back to the early 14th century and forms part of the Pembrokeshire Coalfield which also includes the nearby hamlet of Nolton Haven.  The Pembrokeshire coast path winds down through this pretty shingle cove and its row of colourful houses, pub and the newly renovated restaurant, Haven Brasserie.

The path gets a bit wilder from here on out, but no less stunning; the beautiful hidden stretch of sand at Druidstone Haven sits right underneath its beautiful seaside hotel and has its own waterfall running off the cliffs and onto the beach. 

Finally, after a few rocky dips and climbs in the coastline, you pass farmland and fishing boats to drop down into the seaside town of Broad Haven, with beach-lined cafes and shops a welcome site after a brisk hike from Newgale.

Miles: 5.7 / 9.2 kilometers
Difficulty: Moderate – some steep hills towards the end make this walk a little more challenging.
Suitable for prams and wheelchairs? No.
Look out for: mining chimneys, tram tracks, seabirds nesting on the unspoilt cliffs and the industrial cargo ships passing close by on their way south of St Brides Bay into Milford Haven docks.
If you’re feeling brave: carry on another mile and a half through Broad Haven and up the coast road to the tiny village beyond, Little Haven.  Its rocky beach is perfect for a quiet dip at high tide, and its picturesque pubs are the perfect place for an evening meal and are more traditional than those at Broad Haven, being more akin to a Cornish fishing village.

If these hikes seem like too far to go and come back again, then the coastal bus service, called the Puffin Shuttle, runs from early May until the end of September and there are stops at St Davids, Solva, Newgale, Broad Haven and Little Haven.

For more information on hikes, activities and fun days out while you’re staying with us at beautiful Newgale Holidays, please follow us on social media or check back at our News Page soon!

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