Hike Along The Stunning UK Coastline At This National Park

While there are many beautiful hiking trails throughout the U.K., one particular path in the south of Wales has gained notoriety as one of the best. Full of twists and turns alongside rugged seaside cliffs, this trail treats hikers to more than 50 beaches and sheltered coves, more than 40 Iron Age forts, cute fishing villages, Norman castles, churches, and even Neolithic tombs. So where exactly is this stunning U.K. coastline?

The Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales is one of the top coastal destinations in the world. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was officially recognized in 1952, and by 1970, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path became a national trail. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail runs 186 miles along the coastline from St. Dogmael's to Amroth, and there are tons of sites to see along the way. There are also plenty of shorter hikes along the coastline for those who don't want to commit to a 186-mile, multi-day adventure. Summer is the ideal time to explore this Welsh coast, as summer offers more daylight and better weather. In Wales, winter sees greater possibilities for high winds and poor visibility due to storms.

Tips for hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Hikers can expect to see an abundance of wildlife and gorgeous coastal views along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, and making the right preparations beforehand are important for an enjoyable experience. Three helpful tips to hiking the complete Pembrokeshire Coast Path are to first, consult the official guidebook to plan your trip; second, understand the coastal tides; and third, prepare yourself physically for a long-distance hike.

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path guidebook can help hikers with every aspect of the trek. From planning how many miles to walk daily to learning about the wildlife and historic sites along the way, the book is an excellent resource for keeping hikers safe and on track. Understanding the tides is also helpful for hikers as many sections of the route may be closed when tides are high, and some beautiful beaches and hidden coves are only accessible to explore when tides are low. And always remember, preparation is key for a successful long-distance hike. Hikers should be aerobically fit enough for a multi-day adventure. The best way to test capabilities is to practice shorter distances with the same gear required for a long excursion. Also, as an added tip, hikers along the wet Welsh coast may want to look into waterproofing their backpacks.

Shorter day hikes along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Not every outdoor enthusiast is keen to hike the entire Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Luckily, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is full of shorter adventures too. On the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority website, there are more than 200 circular walks listed, all ranging in different lengths and levels of difficulty. From a drop-down menu, hikers can select options based on many factors, like distance, duration, and walk type.

For a few easy hikes, try the Abereiddi to Blue Lagoon route (.4 miles) for stunning coastal views and to spot the remains of a slate quarry. The walk is steep but short and worth the effort. For hikers who'd like to venture out a little longer, try the Stack Rocks to St. Govan's (6.3 miles). This stone track offers stunning sea views, two detached limestone pillars packed with seabirds, and a chapel dedicated to St. Govan. Conversely, if you are searching for a much longer trekking adventure, the Wales Coast Path is a whopping 870 miles and includes the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Why not explore even more of the gorgeous coastal scenery of Wales?