Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 4. Manorbier to Lydstep Haven

This 7.5 mile circular walk started from Manorbier beach car park. We headed east along the coast path to Lydstep Point and Lydstep Haven, then visiting Church Doors at Skrinkle Haven, before returning to Manorbier.

We set off from the car park down the sandy track leading to the wide scenic beach. The track follows a freshwater stream flowing across a bed of pebbles as it meanders it’s way to the sea.

It’s a very picturesque setting, with the backdrop of the imposing Manorbier Castle standing on a hillside overlooking the bay.

9C3C87F6-D0A7-417D-9150-AC35B7F1EFFEFrom the beach the path climbs above the cliffs and when it levels out, there’s an impressive ancient burial capstone, known as a “King’s Quoit”, right alongside the path.

The path follows the contour of the hillside high above the cliffs and there’s a fine view across the lovely wide Manorbier Beach.

Continuing above the cliffs, upwards and inland, there’s a steep descent into a valley followed by a climb back to high ground. There are superb views of spectacular cliff scenery, the huge red sandstone rocks contrasting below the greenery of the slopes. The scenery was added to here with lots of seabirds and gulls on the rocks below, their calls echoing through the valley.

The path winds around the coastline with outstanding views of the secluded Presipe Beach and the huge, steep and dramatically ridged cliffs. A long set of steps lead down to the beach but we continued along the coast path route.

Reaching the boundary of a MOD facility takes the walk inland across fields before heading back towards the coast and the wonderfully named Skrinkle Haven.

Staying on the coast path along the cliff tops, towards Lydstep Point there’s a vantage point with a wonderful view across to Skrinkle Haven.

Towards Lydstep the path winds down a grassy cliffside (as the photo below) deep into a valley and then climbs 126 steps back up to high ground. Reaching the top I stopped here to take the photo of the track which meanders into the valley, but it also was a welcome chance of a much needed chance to catch our breaths!

Walking on above a rugged cove leads to a fantastic high plateau with a natural viewpoint that gives stunning views of the coastline and the dramatic Lydstep Caverns, in the cliffs below the land we had just walked.

Overlooking the Lydstep Caverns

This is one of my favourite viewpoints on the South Pembrokeshire coastline, overlooking the wonderful Lydstep Caverns.

Along the cliffs we could see a figure standing atop a huge rock face. This chap obviously had a head for heights, but from a distance it looked a precarious position.

We followed a path around the National Trust headland of Lydstep Point, which for some reason doesn’t seem to be part of the designated coast path route. It’s a very pleasant and interesting walk, as wild ponies graze on the grassy headland and more views of the spectacular cliff scenery.

We then walked down through woodland to the beachfront at Lydstep Haven to where we’d reached on walk 3, just to ensure we hadn’t left a gap in our Pembrokeshire Coast Path record! We then followed the coast path to return towards Skrinkle Haven, completing a loop of Lydstep Point.

Skrinkle Haven & Church Doors

To visit the bay, you need to descend a set of stone steps followed by three flights of metal stairwell, which lead down onto the rocky and boulder strewn bay.

It takes some footsure rock hopping to navigate your way across the boulders to the sandy beach. We made it, without incident, to the narrow band of sandy beach, no mean feat as the photo below gives an indication of the challenge to reach that point!

It’s definitely worth the effort though as getting as close as possible you’re able to fully appreciate the impressive scale and natural beauty of this huge rock archway.

Stepping our way across the boulders to the opposite side of the cove, we found the ‘secret’ passage in the rock face which gives access through to the adjoining secluded beach. Caroline actually ventured through to the other side, reappearing at the end of the beach by clambering over the rocks at the shore.

Making our way back up the 140 steps to the top, it’s a short walk inland to the Manorbier YHA Centre nearby. It has a cafe with seating both inside and outside and good washroom facilities too, an ideal place to take a short break.

We walked back along a section of the coast path, then taking a way-marked public path across fields and joining the country lane through Manorbier Village, to complete this walk back at the beach car park.

Route Recap

A 7.5 mile ‘double loop’ circular walk over 3 hours, taking in the exceptional coastal scenery between Manorbier and Lydstep Haven, with detours off the designated coast path to visit Lydstep Point, Church Doors and Manorbier YHA.

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