Many hikers have discovered England, Scotland and Ireland, but hiking in Wales remains a less well known attraction. Wales is therefore still a relatively undiscovered hiking destination. Undeserved, as far as we are concerned, as Wales offers breathtaking views, unforgettable landscapes, fascinating historic buildings and romantic villages.
Hiking in Wales
Anyone looking for information on hiking in Wales will quickly find the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. This multi-day hike of over 300 kilometers follows part of the coastline of Pembrokeshire, a southwestern region of Wales. The walking route is part of the England and Wales National Trails and is well signposted. The trail also offers a hiking experience for people of all levels, from gentle hiking tours to challenging treks and is known for it’s varied and unique coastal landscapes and views.
Pembrokeshire in 20 photos
An iconic rock bridge, cuddly four-legged friends, wild flowers, romantic towns and imposing castles – these are just a few examples of what hikers come across in Pembrokeshire. This Welsh region is made up of dramatic landscapes, unusual buildings, inviting villages and a diverse flora and fauna. Let these images inspire you on an individual adventure along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
1. View over the coastline
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes you along some of the most beautiful areas of the Welsh coastline. The Pembrokeshire region is known for its winding coastline dotted with attractive bays, beaches and cliffs. Hikers on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path will therefore see these kinds of views regularly. The photo shows Bullslaughter Bay, an idyllic little bay on the south coast of Pembrokeshire.
2. One of the National Trails
As one of the UK’s National Trails, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is on a list of famous walking routes such as Hadrian’s Wall Path, the South West Coast Path and the Cotswold Way. The symbol of these trails is an acorn, which can be seen on the signage of the trail. The National Trails are generally well maintained and the routes are clearly marked with signs, like the one pictured above, to make the experience as comfortable as possible for hikers. Those who walk this route can therefore fully enjoy the beautiful views of the Welsh coastline!
3. Historical heritage
Pembrokeshire is not only blessed with fantastic natural areas, this part of Wales is also home to some remarkable historical heritage. One of the best known landmarks along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is this little church, built against a limestone cliff face. St. Govan’s Chapel dates back to the thirteenth century AD, although parts of the chapel may have been built as early as the sixth century. At that time, a monk settled in a cave where the building now stands. Legend has it that this monk, St. Govan, was buried under the altar of the church.
4. Wild flowers
In the spring and summer, the landscapes of Pembrokeshire are filled with colorful wildflowers. One of the most common varieties in this region is the English grass. These flowers thrive in a salty environment, filling the coastal areas of Wales. The flowers are in most cases pink or purplish but can also be white or red.
5. Threatening clouds
The weather in Wales will of course not always be sunny and windless, but we also find this threatening sky breathtakingly beautiful. Four people take a refreshing beach walk with St. Catherine’s Island, Tenby in the background. This rock formation is an island when the tide is in, but can be reached via land during low tide. The fort on this tidal island dates from the nineteenth century. Fans of the British BBC series Sherlock may recognize the structure. The fort served as a filming location for the popular series, in which it was supposed to depict a maximum security prison.
6. Dramatic rock formations
Unique rock formations and rock arches characterize the Pembrokeshire coastline. One of the most iconic examples of this can be seen in this photo. Just off the coast of Wales are the Elegig Stacks, two huge limestone cliffs standing upright in the water. This particular section of the coastline has been designated as a special protected area, as it is of great scientific value. Firstly, the rocks are important for geological research and special fossils have also been found here. In addition, it is the home of various shorebirds, including auks, petrels and cormorants.
7. ‘Wild’ animals in Pembrokeshire
Along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, walkers have the chance to encounter a variety of wildlife. The area is bustling with life, both on land and in the water. Many hikers are surprised to learn how many species of animals live in this region. Basking sharks, dolphins, seals, fin whales and bottlenose dolphins live in the water around this area. From the coast of Pembrokeshire you can sometimes even spot humpback whales and orcas! The land is the habitat for red foxes, badgers, field mice and deer. Bird watchers can also indulge themselves: puffins, short-eared owls, peregrine falcons and auks are some of the many bird species that can be seen along the natural coastal areas of Wales.
Hikers must of course be lucky to encounter these, sometimes rare, animal species. Fortunately, there are also a few common varieties that are guaranteed to be seen in Pembrokeshire. Sheep and cows are plentiful in this rural region of Wales!
8. Idyllic coastal town
One of the most photographed places in Pembrokshire is probably Tenby. It’s not hard to see why. The brightly colored houses, the lovely harbor full of boats and the inviting boulevard are the perfect ingredients for an envious postcard. However, the town has more to offer than this beautiful view. Tenby is surrounded by a massive city wall, which was built in the Middle Ages and is well preserved. In addition, the village has a castle, various souvenir shops and fine sandy beaches. What more could a hiker want?
9. The ultimate sandy beach
It will be difficult to find a beach in Wales, or perhaps anywhere in the UK, even more beautiful than the sandy beach at Barafundle Bay. Surrounded by cliffs, dunes and forests, visitors here find themselves on an island in the Mediterranean. Would you dare to take a dip here?
10. Creepy caves
This mysterious image of Church Doors Cove is a nice change from all the sunny, paradise photos. This bizarre natural phenomenon was created by the force of the waves. The sea water has carved a huge ‘door’ out of the sandstone cliffs. The nearby beach, from where visitors can admire this phenomenon up close, is only accessible when it is low tide.
11. Beautiful horses
We almost forgot about them in our list of ‘wild’ animals in Wales! These horses seem quite used to the landscape of panoramic views and steep cliffs. Horse riding is one of the best activities in Wales for those who want to explore the countryside in a different way. Experienced people can gallop through the surf on one of the beaches, for example. In turn, less experienced riders can enjoy a gentle ride through the hills and meadows.
12. Romantic evening light
We already had a photo of Tenby in the list, but this image of the nighttime view of the village could not be missed. The town’s lights reflect in the calm water, making the quaint village look even more charming. For all the couples planning to hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, it doesn’t get more romantic than this!
13. Color of the heather
Not just in spring and summer, but even in early fall, color can still be found along the Pembrokeshire coast. The heather blooms in August and September, giving the area an attractive purple glow. The versatility of nature in Pembrokeshire ensures that hikers are constantly amazed no matter when they visit!
14. No fear of heights
Have you ever been afraid of great heights? Although this photo is sure to get a lot of likes on Instagram, we prefer to stay a little further from the cliff edge and a little closer to the path. After all, the breathtaking views can also be admired from there!
15. Carew Castle
One of the most impressive historic sites in Wales is this stately castle. Carew Castle was built in the thirteenth century; a number of additions date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The castle has a number of architectural elements belonging to the Tudor style, such as the window frames. These were made from materials imported from the Cotswolds.
16. The Green Bridge of Wales
Perhaps the most famous image of Pembrokeshire is the Green Bridge of Wales. This natural rock arch was created – like the other striking rock formations along the Pembrokeshire coast – through a long process of wear and tear from the force of the wind and seawater. The Green Bridge is known as the most impressive rock arch in the UK and can be seen by walkers from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
17. Dream home in Pembrokeshire
Which lucky person lives in this beautiful spot? We can already imagine it: waking up to the sound of the rolling waves, taking a walk every evening with the setting sun and in the summer sunbathing on the beach in the backyard.
18. Panoramic views
As hiking enthusiasts, we can’t get enough of these kinds of views. So one more then, to unlearn it! This beautiful picture was taken at Flimston Bay.
19. Pembroke Castle
Anyone visiting Pembrokeshire cannot pass up this fascinating sight. Pembroke Castle is a large medieval castle and was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (1457-1509), who would later become King Henry VII of England. Anyone familiar with British history – or who has seen The Tudors – will understand that this was the father of Henry VIII.
Those who visit Pembroke Castle today will understand that this structure has a long history. The massive defensive work dates back to the eleventh century and played a role in various wars, invasions and occupations. In addition, it is the largest privately owned castle in Wales (in this case the Philipps family).
20. Walking in Wales
Hiking in Wales will always be accompanied by extraordinary views and breathtaking natural landscapes. In Pembrokeshire, the highlights of this country are bundled along an unforgettable walking route: the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The most beautiful bays and beaches, the most dramatic cliffs and rock formations, and the nicest coastal towns can be experienced on this hike.