Walk this way - Part III

Date Posted: 21/02/2012

The next stops on our walking tour of the Wales Coast Path are Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. We take a look at some of the highlights of the routes, and some of the attractions in the nearby areas for group travel organisers to consider. Click here for Part I and Part II of our series.

Beach Lovers

Along the 870 miles of the Wales Coast Path are some of the most picturesque and unspoilt beaches in the whole of Britain for walking groups to enjoy. In 2011, Keep Wales Tidy awarded the coveted Blue Flag to 42 Welsh beaches, based on their clean water, litter-free shoreline, visitor amenities and safety.

Pembrokeshire is renowned for its beaches – having more than 50, and many of them award-winning. Whether in busy resorts or remote and peaceful bays within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, there is something for everyone, from families to wave-hungry surfers. Barafundle on the National Trust’s Stackpole Estate regularly hits the headlines as it is often thought to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Carmarthenshire is home to one of the longest unbroken stretches of golden sand on the Wales Coast Path. The beaches of Marros, Pendine and Cefn Sidan stretch for nearly seven miles and have good access, the latter from Pembrey Country Park.

Back to the walks...

Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is home to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and wildlife rich islands. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail passes through some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery, including 58 beaches, 14 harbours and the UK’s smallest city - St David’s. All in all, it will make a memorable group holiday.

Three short coastal walks

Abereiddi to Blue Lagoon – 300 yards – a wheelchair accessible walk which leads to a stunning view over the ‘Blue Lagoon’ – a deep, flooded quarry.

Ceibwr to Pwll y wrach – under 1 mile – Ceibwr Bay was once a busy port serving Moylegrove. Pwll y wrach – the witches’ cauldron – is one of the most striking geological features on this stretch of coast – a collapsed cave, formed where the sea has picked out soft, crumbling shale and sandstone along a fault line.

Tenby – 4.6 miles – take in this bustling, pretty seaside town and its nearby countryside. There are great views out to Caldey Island, home to a religious community since the sixth century.

Three long coastal walks

Martin’s Haven to Dale – 10 miles – fairly easy walking on the level, with the occasional short climb. A walk of contrasts – starting with rugged headland and great coastal views and ending in the wooded shelter of the Milford Haven waterway.

Broad Haven South to Skrinkle Haven  – 11 miles – this section typifies why this coastline is worthy of National Park status. It contains the National Trust’s Barafundle beach (voted one of the top ten beaches in the world) and the Lily Ponds at Bosherston. An undulating path, but one where you are never far from a beach, village pub or toilet.

Whitesands to Solva – 13 miles – from the golden sands of Whitesands Bay this walk passes close to St David’s – described as Britain’s smallest city – and ends in the pretty harbour village of Solva. Porpoise can be seen in the waters between the mainland and Ramsey Island so it’s worth stopping for a break along this stretch.

Carmarthenshire

Carmarthen Bay is a coastline of great contrasts for walking groups, and takes in a range of habitats including fresh water marshes, salt marshes, sand dunes, pine forests and coastal commons all supporting a spectacular array of flora and fauna. Set within the bay is Pembrey Country Park – 500 acres of landscaped woods and parkland leading down to the little harbour of Burry Port.

Three short coastal walks

Pendine to Morfa Bychan – under 1 mile – from the small resort of Pendine, over limestone cliffs, to the valley of Morfa Bychan. Great sea views west to Pembrokeshire and across to Gower.

St Anthony’s Well to Llansteffan under 1 mile – this section of the path skirts the old red sandstone cliffs and passes below the Anglo-Norman Llansteffan Castle, overlooking the River Tywi. 

Kidwelly Quay – 1 mile circular walk – the quay is a popular spot for birdwatchers, from where you have excellent views of the town. The adjacent Kymer’s Canal is one of the earliest in Wales.

Three long coastal walks

Marros Coast – 4 miles - the hidden gem of the Carmarthenshire coast, this beach is only accessible by strenuous walking. Low tide exposes the beach’s secret – a submerged `forest` of tree trunks preserved in a layer of peat.

Kidwelly Quay to Pembrey – 6 miles - an estuary-edge walk alongside the Gwendraeth which makes use of the Banc y Lord seawall into Pembrey Forest, a nature reserve managed by the Forestry Commission. Planted on sand dunes, it is mostly a Corsican pine forest, but with deciduous trees growing in parts.

Trefenty to Llansteffan – 7.5 miles - south of Trefenty Farm is an ancient ruined church, where there are medieval graves reputed to be of pilgrims. It is certainly worth visiting these carved gravestones depicting people at rest, but modern research suggest that they are actually of local medieval landowners.

Next time... in the fourth and final part of our series for group travel organisers we will look at the areas of Gower and Swansea Bay, and the South Wales coast and Severn Estuary.

Photo credits: © Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales

 

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