Returning to Pembrokeshire to walk the next section of the coast path from Tenby to Lydstep Haven was really enjoyable in fine early autumn weather. We started this walk within the town’s medieval walls, passing the stone tower which sits high above South Beach and along The Esplanade. The pavement footpath here provides a superb viewpoint of the fort on St. Catherine’s Island and South Beach.
From The Esplanade the path follows the route down onto South Beach, a mile long stretch of sand which merges seamlessly with Penally beach.
Reaching the end of Penally beach the path climbs up a slope to the headland. Once on the high level ground, it’s worthwhile taking a moment here to look back as there’s a sweeping view of the beach dunes and coast as far as St. Catherine’s Island.
The sandy path meanders through thick dune grass and leads across to the rocky outcrop landmark of Giltar Point
Continuing around the headland across the fields near the cliff tops there are impressive views. Looking ahead westwards the rugged cliff faces slope sharply to the sea.
Continuing on the path near Valleyfield Top we had our first encounter with a herd of cattle including a bull and a couple of calves that had gathered near a gate. Some of the cattle seemed quite unsettled and had reacted nervously to a couple of walkers and their dogs heading in our direction. After waiting a few minutes we proceeded with caution, Caroline leading the way!
The path continues across gently rolling fields to an area marked on the map as Proud Giltar where the views back to the path we had just walked, the cliffs and calm sea on a fine day are stunning.
A bit further on and the path descends and climbs quite steeply and it was here that we met a couple cycling on mountain bikes. They were pushing their bikes through this section and looked very tired and were struggling. They asked us if the path further on was suitable for bikes as the path from Lydstep had been tough going for them. We explained as soon as they reach a level section with trail access to a road they should head for the village of Lydstep. Apparently someone had told them the coast path was suitable for cycling. We felt really sorry for them and hoped they reached the village safely.
This section was definitely not suitable for cycling, one section of the path is near a cliff-top with steep sheer drops to a secluded picturesque unspoilt cove.
Lydstep Haven holiday park comes into view and the path proceeds down past the static caravans to the road alongside the wide shingle and sandy beach. It’s a very nice outlook from here and with great views across the bay. There are a number of benches on a verge alongside the access road and it’s a nice place to take some time for a relaxing break and appreciate the view of the bay and Caldey Island.
This walk was a really enjoyable hike across gently undulating terrain, with exceptionally fine early autumn weather and fantastic scenic views along the coast.
On this walk, including the return we covered 10 miles in just over 4 hours with a couple of breaks at an easy pace. That brings our total to 12 miles covered on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.