August bank holiday weekend 2018 and we are 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 opened in 1970. The majority of the trail is within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park an outstandingly beautiful area and Britain’s only coastal National Park.
The Coast Path 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.
This first section, and our very first ‘Short walk on a long path’ is a very easy going ‘there and back’ route of 6 miles heading westwards as far as Saundersfoot Harbour and then return.
After parking in Amroth we walked along the main road through the village. The coast path route is 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, ideal amenities if you want to start your day with something to set you on your way. Our attention on this first stretch was drawn to a new steel fish shaped sculpture Bertie the Bass, installed earlier in the 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’s the Wiseman’s Bridge Inn, with a large outside terrace area and great views across the bay. It’s early in the day so we decide to carry on but to call in for a drink here on the return walk. 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 and the sight of others swatting at midges to protect their drinks was amusing.
We walked along as 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 for moving coal from long gone local collieries to the harbour at Saundersfoot. The tramway 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, sitting on a bench 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. We walked on through Saundersfoot’s busy main Street where there’s a range of cafes, tea rooms, a few pubs and gift shops which give the place a definite holiday feel.
A concrete pathway runs above the beach and around to the harbour area which is being redeveloped 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 so we treated ourselves to some fresh local crab sandwiches and eat these at the harbour side before making the return walk to Amroth. On the way back we stopped off for that welcome pint at Wiseman’s Bridge Inn.
So that’s our first short walk and 3 miles of Pembrokeshire’s coast path completed, we are on our way with just a further 183 Miles to go !