At the end of August 2018 we arrived in Amroth to walk our first section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Amroth is a start point for the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail which was completed in 1970. The majority of the path is within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park an outstandingly beautiful area and Britain’s only coastal National Park.
The Park is famous for spectacular landscapes, pristine beaches, quaint harbours, hidden coves and magnificent cliff top walks, all of which we are looking forward to experiencing first hand on our walks.
There is some debate in the guides and within the coast walking community whether Amroth is the start or end point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Our preference is to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in a clockwise route so this is our start point.
This first section is a very easy going route of about 3 miles heading westwards as far as Saundersfoot Harbour. It’s a gentle introduction as our first “short walk on a long path”.
Arriving in Amroth we walked to the main road through the village. The footpath runs alongside the road with views over the pebble banks and wide sands of Amroth beach. There are a small number of shops and a few pubs, but our attention was drawn to a new steel fish shaped sculpture Bertie the Bass, installed earlier this summer on Amroth seafront.
The sculpture is filled with plastic litter to raise awareness of the plastics pollution issue and to publicise Pembrokeshire’s Clean Seas pledge to “turn the tide on plastic”. It’s a very important environmental message and good on the organisers for a great project.
As the tide was out we walked down over the pebbles onto Amroth’s impressive wide sandy beach, before we headed westwards towards Wisemans Bridge. Here there’s a pub, Wiseman’s Bridge Inn, which has a large outdoor seating area with great views across the bay. It’s early in the day so we decide to carry on and call in here for a drink on the return walk. Though when we returned later it wasn’t an entirely relaxing stop as the outdoor area was plagued by swarms of midges and we were constantly shielding our glasses or retrieving a few midges doing the backstroke in our drinks. We weren’t alone as the sight of others swatting at midges to protect their drinks was amusing.
We walked on and the path follows the top of the sea defence wall, over an old stone bridge and then joins a white railed pathway above the beach and rocks with views back across the bay and to Amroth.
This path follows the route of an old coal tram track , a relic of victorian industrial times used for moving coal from long gone local collieries to the harbour at Saundersfoot. It now provides a good level footpath for an easy walk along the coastline, and there’s a good view down onto numerous rock pools along the shoreline here.
The path passes through 2 old, low and dimly lit tunnels which were originally cut through rock headlands for the tram tracks. Emerging at the impressive Coppet Hall Beach there’s a great view across a lovely wide bay. There’s a water sports activity centre with great facilities here, also a highly rated Coast restaurant. We had a short break near the centre, overlooking the wide flat impressive golden sand beach to enjoy the view towards Tenby.
We continued past Coppet Hall and going through a third tunnel we reach The Strand in Saundersfoot. There are a few independent shops and the old chemist pub which looks like it has a lot of character and we note it for a future visit. We stop at a cake shop, Sue’s Pantry, where there’s a queue of people so it’s obviously very popular and we didn’t need much persuasion to buy a couple of slices of cake. We walked on through Saundersfoot’s busy main Street which has a range of cafes, tea rooms, a few pubs and gift shops which give the place a definite holiday feel.
A pathway runs above the beach and onto the harbour area which is being improved so it will be interesting to see how that progresses over time. There’s a small seafood shack in the harbour car park doing a great trade and we buy some fresh local crab sandwiches to takeaway for the return walk to Amroth and that stop off for a pint at the Wiseman’s Bridge Inn.
So our first short walk of just under six miles with 3 miles of coast path completed, we are on our way and just a further 183 Miles to go on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path!