Pembrokeshire Coast Walk 5. Freshwater East to Manorbier

Walk 5 of our coast path series, covers the section between Trewent Holiday Park at Freshwater East heading back east to Manorbier Village.

This was a return to Trewent Park as we had stayed there a few times in the distant past over 15 years ago. It’s a nice holiday village and Freshwater East Bay is exactly as we remember from years past, a superb wide arc of sandy beach flanked on each side by sloping hillsides. Although we are not sure we had too many days like this all those years ago, super fine weather with hardly a cloud in a clear blue sky!

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Freshwater East Beach

This walk begins from a narrow wood footbridge near to Trewent Park, and the path  runs through the dunes behind the beach and then climbs uphill. The photo below was taken on the hillside with a great view of the series of headlands along the coastline which gradually “step” towards Manorbier in the distance.
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Continuing to climb uphill and through woodland, there’s a clearing with a viewpoint overlooking the beach and provides a fine view of the natural arc of the bay and the Trewent Point headland opposite.

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View of Freshwater East natural arc of bay

Continuing onwards and the wooded hillside gives way to open fields as this next section of path trails along the top of gently sloping cliffs and there are outstanding coastal views to Freshwater East in the far distance.

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View from path towards Freshwater East

There are occasional surprises too as the path skims near the edge in places, above some steep cliff sides with dramatic sheer rock features which contrast with the lovely turquoise hued waters.

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As the walk continues along the cliff tops, Swanlake Bay comes into view and with the backdrop of countless farm fields into the distance it’s stunning scenery of both coast and countryside.

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Swanlake Bay in the distance
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Coast path leads down to Swanlake Beach

We walked on to Swanlake Bay and headed down onto the deserted beach with the only sound being the waves gently breaking on to the shore.

Back on the path and there’s a climb across a sloping hillside (the track can be seen on the photo above) to reach a headland. Pausing here and taking in the view is enough to “stop you in your tracks” at the stunning scenery.

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Coast path view of Swanlake Bay with Freshwater East in distance

Walking onwards we reach another headland and Manorbier Bay comes into view, albeit obscured by a mid morning mist rolling in low over the sea for a dramatic effect. The path meanders downhill here, a sort of zigzag effect as it descends.

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Sea mist in Manorbier Bay

From this point onwards the path follows along the gentle sloping ground high above the rugged and rocky coastline.  There are open views on the approach to Manorbier Beach with fine views of the headland known as “Priest’s Nose” on the opposite side of the bay.

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Coastline between Swanlake Bay and Manorbier

We follow the path across the cliff side on a gentle incline until reaching the magnificent Manorbier Beach. It’s popular in summer for family holidays when the beach scene is perhaps as good as any in the med!

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From the beach we made our way up the hill past the castle to the village for the customary end of walk refreshments. The Beach Break Tearooms is a lovely quaint place with a fine range of food and drinks and a great place for a stop off at the end of a coast walk.

So a very enjoyable short easy going walk along a beautiful section of scenic coastline with some wonderful views along the way. A return walk just over 5 miles, with 2.5 miles covered on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

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