Walk 3 of this series continues with the coast path section between Tenby to Lydstep Haven, an enjoyable walk in fine early autumn weather. The walk started from Castle Hill, notable for the Victorian era monument to Prince Albert and follows the footpath at St. Julian’s Street with views from above the cliffs overlooking Castle Beach and St. Catherine’s Island with the Napoleonic era fort.
Continuing along past the Imperial Hotel and through an old stone archway onto South Parade, to the right is an impressive medieval stone tower. This part of the town is renowned for the impressive 13th century stone walls, towers and archways, which are grade 1 listed monuments classed as among the most important surviving medieval city walls in Britain. Tenby is known in the Welsh language as ‘Dinbych-y-Pysgod’ which translates as ‘the Fort of the fish’ and reflects the origins of the walled town which developed around the harbour in medieval times.
Turning towards The Esplanade, there’s another ivy clad stone tower and from the pavement footpath there are superb views from high above the South Beach.
Reaching the end of the road at The Esplanade the path leads down a series of ramp footways onto South Beach. This mile long stretch of sand, a very popular spot for summer holidaymakers, merges seamlessly with Penally beach. It’s a lovely easy going walk along the shoreline at the waters edge.
At the end of Penally beach the path climbs up to a headland and it’s worthwhile taking a moment here to pause and look back as it’s a quite stunning viewpoint of the coast across to St. Catherine’s Island.
A sandy path meanders through thick dune grass and leads across to the rocky outcrop landmark of Giltar Point.
Continuing across the fields near the cliff tops there are impressive views especially of the rugged cliff faces sloping to the sea. The Indian summer weather brought out the rich azure colours of the seawaters, a splendid contrast set against the pale stone cliff faces.
This is such a peaceful spot we sat here for a while just to savour the view across to Caldey and St. Margaret Islands and listening to the sound of the sea waves gently lapping the cliffs below.
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. Cattle on paths can present a danger especially if nervously protecting calves and there are numerous news stories of tragic incidents involving unsuspecting walkers. After waiting a few minutes for them to settle we proceeded with caution, Caroline fearlessly 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 obviously struggling. We chatted and advised them as soon as they reach a link path with access to a road they should head for the village of Lydstep as clifftops are not the place to be messing about on 2 wheels.
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. At the back of the beach are a number of benches along a verge and it’s a nice place to take a relaxing break and appreciate the view of the bay and Caldey Island.
This was a very enjoyable return walk of 10 miles from Tenby with open countryside along sections of clifftop and gently undulating terrain, with fine weather providing clear views of the scenic coastline.
The ‘point to point’ walk distance on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path was 5.3 miles, in 2 and a half hours at an easy pace including a break at the midpoint.
Join us again for the next stage of our walks on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.