Our favourite hikes: Abereiddy to Porthgain, Pembrokeshire

I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve done this hike, but no matter how many times we walk this stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, we never tire of the stunning views, quiet isolation, wildlife spotting opportunities, and the cosy pub where we make a pit stop half way round! 

  
Add in to the mix some fantastic accommodation, and water sports opportunities and it makes for a pretty perfect destination to spend a day, week, and well, who wouldn’t want to live somewhere like this?! 

We usually drive to Abereiddy beach to begin the walk. It’s a 10 minute drive from St David’s yet often, especially in Winter, almost deserted. I like to spend a while searching for sea glass on the beach, often with a seal or two bobbing in the bay watching me with curiosity. Then we head up to the Blue Lagoon – an old slate quarry which has been flooded by the sea. 

  

  
The Blue Lagoon gets its name from the vibrant blue colour of its water, turned a gleaming turquoise by the copper particles released by the quarrying process. 

  
In the summer the lagoon is often full of kayakers, children in dinghies and of course, coasteerers, after all, this is the very place where coasteering was invented! There are some old quarry buildings from which, if you have a head for heights, or craving some adrenaline, you can hurl yourself into the water below (n.b. Don’t try this at home?!). 

  
We back track a little and climb up to the cliff top from where expansive sweeping views out over the Atlantic literally take your breath away! We sometimes scramble out to a small watchtower on a semi-island surrounded on all sides by waves crashing into the cliffs far below. We’ve seen seals, porpoises and dolphins from here. 

  
Heading on to Porthgain, we pass the dramatic golden sand black rock beach of Traethllyfn, always quiet due to its remote location. The beach can be reached via a steep staircase, and care has to be taken to not get cut off by the tide. 

  
Next we pass more quarry buildings and tramway tracks before descending into the impossibly picturesque fishing village of Porthgain. 

   
 
The village is built around the large brick and stone quarry building structures, but nowadays the main industry is crab fishing (sadly most of this exported straight to Spain); and tourism. There are two great eating options here; the Sloop Inn, an extremely picturesque and cosy traditional pub serving hearty pub grub, some more sophisticated specials, and fresh local crab when in season. The other option is the Shed, which is much more upmarket than it sounds – expect gorgeous decor, fresh fish dishes and great coffees. There’s a small art gallery in the village, but I’ve never managed to visit! 

  
After refuelling, we take the path back over the fields to Abereiddy; less picturesque but much more direct. We’ve done the walk with our toddlers in backpacks, and without; and although if you get them out of the backpack you have to be really cautious of the cliff drops and other hazards, our girls love this walk! Good job really as we’ll be doing it with them many times in the future! 

So, on to the practicalities! The walk takes around 2 hours plus however long you spend in the pub! 

Here’s a link to a map of the car park at Abereiddy: 

Abereiddy map
You can reach the beach using the wonderful Puffin Shuttle bus: 

Pembrokeshire coast buses
If you want to stay close by, I’d highly recommend the lovely Ynys Barry holiday cottages / rooms: 

Ynys Barry website
For info on the history of the area, see this wonderful publication: 

http://www.uklandscapeaward.org/Entryfiles/1282835251Porthgain-english-version.pdf
And as much of the land covered on this walk is National Trust owned, see their website for more info and membership: 

National Trust Wales

  

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Our favourite hikes: Abereiddy to Porthgain, Pembrokeshire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s