Our sixth walk of the Pembrokeshire Coast series starts at Freshwater East and heads westwards to reach Stackpole Quay.
We stayed locally at the Rosedene Guest House a lovely guest house in the hamlet of Hodgeston. It’s set in a peaceful, rural location and an ideal base from which to explore this part of South Pembrokeshire. It’s an easy drive from here through country lanes to Freshwater East, where parking is available off the beach road.
Our walk starts at the narrow wood footbridge opposite the Trewent Holiday Park. The official coast path runs behind the beach but it’s definitely worthwhile taking the opportunity of a stroll across Freshwater East beach, as the wide stretch of sands never fails to impress.
We rejoin the coast path and there’s a climb uphill to the headland known as Trewent Point, pausing halfway up the hill to enjoy the view across the bay.
At the headland we turn westwards on the path across undulating grassy cliff tops reaching Greenala Point. This is the site of an Iron Age hillfort and the defensive ‘tumps’ are still evident in the landscape along the cliff top terrain.
This vantage point offers stunning views of the dramatic cliffs and coastline to Stackpole Head in the distance. It’s definitely worth pausing a moment here to take in the spectacular views across the coast.
From here the path becomes more challenging with a number of steep descents then climbs and twists, but the reward is fine views along the way of the rocky coastline on the south side and the countryside landscape on the north side.
Signs appear at intervals advising “keep to the path” and “cliffs kill”, and it’s when you look back at the coast line just walked you can appreciate the scale of the spectacular rugged cliffs and the steep drops.
The next series of photos were taken at various stages and highlight the changing landscape with dramatic steep limestone cliffs and even a cliff top collapsed cave, as the path meanders on the way to Stackpole Quay.
The path descends and passes near the Stackpole Estate holiday cottages and a rocky bay before climbing to the crest of a small hill with a view back to the coastline just walked.
Walking down steps on the other side you reach the natural sheltered and quaint harbour of Stackpole Quay which looks like it could once have been a smugglers cove
This is a National Trust site and there’s a small cafe, The Boathouse Tearoom. As it’s an isolated location it’s good to know there’s also a washroom facility here. The Boathouse is in a great location tucked in the shadow of a wooded glade, overlooking the tiny harbour. The concrete slipway leads to the National Trust car park, which is a good option for those that want to drive and park nearby to visit Stackpole Head and Barafundle Bay.
The Boathouse Tearoom is an ideal place to grab hot or cold drinks and snacks. It has outdoor tables and seating in a courtyard and in summer there are picnic tables on the hardstanding area overlooking the Quay.
A visit to Stackpole Quay isn’t complete without taking the opportunity of a short walk to nearby Barafundle Bay. This spectacularly scenic bay is only accessable by foot and just a 15 minute walk from Stackpole Quay. Just head westwards from the tea rooms, up a flight of steps and then across the top of open fields to reach a stone wall archway. There is a super viewpoint to the left side of the archway, a stone ledge near the National Trust plaque gives a picture postcard view of this idyllic bay. Read more about walking around Barafundle Bay here
That’s as far as we go on the day and we retrace our steps back eastwards along the coast path returning to Trewent Park and a very nice lunch at The Longhouse Club.