Walking in Pembrokeshire
Whatever your motivation for visiting North Pembrokeshire, only by slowing down and taking time to explore its hidden gems will you begin to understand and appreciate what makes this such a special place: and there’s no better way to do that than on foot, away from the beaten track – if you know where to look!
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Britain. Its ancient forests teem with wild flowers, its coastline is rich in marine life and sea bird colonies and the Preselis are home to wild horses, red kites and buzzards and a multitude of flora and fauna. And man has walked in the Gwaun Valley, the mysterious Preseli Hills and the enticing North Pembrokeshire coastline for over 10,000 years and left his mark – ancient trackways, awe-inspiring megaliths, hills -top stone fortresses and Celtic and pilgrim crosses.
You can access the Pembrokeshire Coastal path directly from the hotel, with all the magnificent scenery that it brings, or you may prefer to take the opportunity to experience a guided walk in the hands of a local expert.
All of the walks below are independent of Fishguard Bay Hotel Limited and will be guided by Ian Pattinson who runs Discover Walking Pembrokeshire (www.discoverwalkingpembrokeshire.co.uk). He can be contacted through the website or by telephone (01239 821631) for more details or to make a booking.
The walks vary in length but all are achievable if you are of average fitness and if you have adequate footwear. A taste of what each walk covers is below.
Ancient PreseliOn this 7-mile route will follow the ancient trackways of your ancestors; stand in the stone circles and avenues of Neolithic man; pause by bronze age burials on the Mountain of the Dead; and look out over the coast and the plains below from within the ramparts of once mighty Iron Age hilltop forts. And the secrets of why these mighty bluestones were taken to Stonehenge will be revealed. But it is not the ghosts of our warrior ancestors that keep the local people off these hills at night .... it is the Tylwyth Teg, the fairy folk who lure the unsuspecting traveler into the underworld.
Gwaun Valley and CarningliOn this 8 mile walk you will discover why the Gwaun is a special place; carved out by glacial meltwater, its steep sides are, today, covered by ancient woodland and along its floor the river Gwaun gentle meanders its way to the sea. You will follow in the steps of St Brynach, a 6th Century Welsh Saint, who came to exorcise evil demons and you’ll learn why Carningli - Mountain of Angles – earned its name. Topped by a mighty Iron Age hillfort and extensive bronze and Iron Age settlement, Carningli commands inspiring views down over the coastal path and the Atlantic. But back in time the coast was very different .....
On this walk 4 mile walk you will understand why, in 1797 Britain was gripped by fear of a French Invasion. You will stand where the invasion fleet was first sighted; visit the secret cove where the invaders came ashore and hear stories of their demise. You will visit the headstone of Jemima Nicholas, Fishguard’s blacksmith heroine and learn of her story. And see the remains of the burned Welsh bible used as fuel for a French fire on that bitter February night before surrender amidst rumour of oncoming mighty British forces. The walk crosses a pilgrimage route to St Davids; reveals a hidden holy well and Celtic-cross stones embedded in a medieval church; and a unique hill-top cromlech with far reaching views of Strumble Head and its lighthouse.
This coastal walk will be approximately 5 miles in length but the location will vary depending upon the time of year and the weather conditions. Spring and summer flowers, early winter seal pups, early spring sea birds or just mile after stunning mile of breathtaking clifftop views and 650 million years of geology are guaranteed to impress even the most confirmed city dweller. You will learn where Wales first broke the surface of the sea and where it has travelled since and you’ll gain an insight into how the sea, ice and volcanic eruption has shaped what we see today. Dolphins and porpoise and the occasional whale might pop up to say hello. And are lights below the surface …..?
Children under 18 to be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Walking group size will be limited to 10.
Exact start points and timings will be notified at the time of booking.
To be paid directly to the guide in advance of the walk. Bank details will be provided at the time of booking.
£35 per couple (£25 for individuals) for a short walk (Invasion and Coastal Path).
£75 per couple (£50 for individuals) for a long walk (Preseli and Gwaun Valley).
Walkers will need transport to and from most Start location.