Pembrokeshire Central Coast: Milford Haven to St David's
Milford Haven to St David’s in 4 Days Walking Code: PCC5
This section is a real mixture from its beginnings in a part of Wales devoted to industry which soon changes to gentle cliffs, wooded valleys and pretty bays. The terrain then changes again to high rugged cliffs leading on through the ghostly past of coal mining, interspersed with coves and sandy beaches.
With higher average daily mileage, completing this section in 4 days walking is reasonably challenging and ideal for the fit walker who would enjoy the rugged sections along some wild and remote cliff tops.
|Day 1||Travel to Milford Haven for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Milford Haven to Dale (plus 4m and plus 3m at high tides)||10||16|
|Day 3||Dale to Marloes||8||13|
|Day 4||Marloes to Broad Haven||11||18|
|Day 5||Broad Haven to St David's||14||23|
|Day 6||Depart from St David's after breakfast|
Gentle, Rugged, Wild and Mild
The Dale Peninsula is a walk of contrasts starting in the gentle, pastoral and, in places, wooded shelter of the Milford Haven waterway and ending on the wild and treeless Atlantic coast with spectacular views of the rugged offshore islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm. Care must be taken to check the tidetables at Sandy Haven and Musselwick to avoid detours on roads.
The path then continues to change again as you reach strikingly red low cliffs and coastal slopes and cliff tops rich in wild flowers. In places the red of the Old Red Sandstone is brightly streaked with yellow algae. The pretty village of Solva is well worth a visit due to its situation on an old glacial water melt channel.
This section ends in the smallest city in Britain – St David’s and it’s beautiful cathedral. You can extend your day to suit as you can exit the coastal path at various locations round the peninsula to reach St David’s – make time to linger on the wild and rocky peninsular of St David’s Head which abounds with archaeology and has views across to Ramsey Island. Keep an eye out too for seals in the rocky coves below the path and gannets diving for fish out to sea; you may be lucky enough to see the grey dorsal fins of porpoises hunting for fish beneath the gannets.
This is not a technically difficult walk and should be easy to tackle for most reasonably fit people. The paths are good, and there are no major route finding challenges. This central sectoin includes a short urban section at the beginning, followed by cliftops and sandy beaches.
Terrain: A coastal path mainly through farmland and moorland on the cliff tops, with stretches along sandy beaches.
What’s it like underfoot? Generally good paths and tracks, although a few sections can get muddy after heavy rain.
How Much Up & Down? More than you'd think! Although you never reach more than 200m above sea level (and most of the time not more than 100m) there are many short steep sections. Most days involve ascents of 200-500m metres, although no section is very steep for very long.
Signposting: Good - the path is well waymarked.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward – good signposting, and generally well defined tracks.
Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing and waterproofs are essential, but don't forget you sunhat, sunblock and shorts!
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||A waterproof map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 15% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop, if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
| Packed Lunches
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight in to the day-to-day operation, and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
General travel information for the Pembrokeshire Coast route will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for information.
By Air: The nearest airports are Cardiff and Bristol – International airports are London, Birmingham and Manchester. You can then travel by public transport to Milford Haven.
By Public Transport:
By train from London (5-6 hours) via Newport.
By coach National Express from London or Birmingham to Steynton then bus (Provider:First Cymru 302) to Milford Haven (10 mins).
By Road: M4 to Swansea, A48 to Carmarthen, A40 to Milford Haven.
Leaving from St David’s:
By Public Transport: Bus to Haverfordwest then Newport for main city links.
By Road: A487 to Haverfordwest, A40 to Carmarthen, A48 and M4 for all directions.
To the west of the Marloes Peninsula are the islands of Skomer, Skokholm & Grassholm which are brought to life by the thousands of sea birds which breed on the sheer cliffs. All the islands can be visited by boat from Martin’s Haven and guided walks are available on Skomer and Skokholm.
St David's is the smallest city in Britain - granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II because of the presence of the cathedral, St David’s is in reality a small attractive village. The Cathedral has been a dominant presence since the 12th century and was a popular pilgrimage destination throughout the middle-ages and indeed remains so to this day attracting thousands of visitors every year. Adjacent to the cathedral stand the magnificent ruins of the medieval Bishops Palace. Boat trips can also be taken to Ramsey Island which is the most northerly of the Pembrokeshire islands and is a wildlife reserve managed by the RSPB.