Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 23. Porth Clais to Whitesands Beach

This walk starts at Porth Clais, following the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path along a truly spectacular 7 miles stretch of beautiful coastline as far as Whitesands Bay.

We had previously reached Porth Clais on Walk 22 so we rejoined the coast path at the old stone bridge. The narrow tidal inlet is sheltered by scenic hillsides on both sides, with an ancient harbour wall and some old lime kilns along the banks.

We set off on the trail which steadily rises to reach a headland with a superb view back across the harbour at the mouth of the inlet. It’s a very popular spot for kayaking enthusiasts as evidenced by the colourful kayaks stored along the harbour side.

The trail turns westwards and the coastal scenery is complemented by swathes of springtime wildflowers and gorse, adding a splash of colour to the landscape.

The path winds along the rugged coastline passing above a natural rock arch and further along a superb viewpoint across to an exposed headland of dramatic cliffs and a narrow cove.

The next couple of miles is an invigorating walk along open clifftops, with stunning views of the offshore rocky islets of Carreg Fran and Carreg Yr Esgob.

After passing the rugged bays at Porthlysgi and Porth Henllys, the path tracks around the peninsula at Pen Dal-aderyn which is the westernmost point of mainland Wales, with views over the southern tip of Ramsey Island.

Continuing Northwards a real highlight here is the stunning views across the fast flowing channel of Ramsey Sound to Ramsey Island. The island is a RSPB Nature Reserve, famed for the variety of seabirds and wildlife.

We were fortunate to watch a grey seal from this spot, as it enthusiastically bobbed and dived for food in the sea below us.

A stony track leads up and around Penmaen Melyn and Carn ar Wig, then the path levels out above the wonderfully scenic coastline.

Lovely views across the coast towards St. Justinians, which has to two lifeboat stations and is a launch point for boat trips out to Ramsey Island.

In a field set back and off a road above the coast path, are the ruins of a chapel which served pilgrims in the Middle Ages, another reminder of the rich Celtic christian history of this area.

Past St.Justinians the path follows alongside old stone walls which are splendidly covered in sea pinks and wildflower verges.

The natural colours of the flora contrasting with the grey, steep cliffs and blue waters of hidden coves below.

After rounding the headland of Point St. John, the view opens up on the approach to Whitesands Bay and ahead to the prominent landmark hill of Carn Llidi. The path terrain becomes more gentle, passing by a campsite field at Pencarnan Farm which offers campers a fantastic setting above the coast at Porthselau

Just a little further along is Whitesands Bay, undoubtedly one of the finest beaches in Pembrokeshire.

It’s a lovely walk as the path descends to the beachfront.

Whitesands is a popular spot for surfers, who flock to the area to catch the waves, and holidaymakers who come to enjoy the beach and stunning local scenery.

The view at Whitesands Beach
The view at Whitesands Beach

Our walk ends here at Whitesands Beach, with an ice cream and time to sit back and enjoy the view, of one of the finest beach scenes in Pembrokeshire.

Route Recap

Start ~ Porth Clais / Finish ~ Whitesands Beach. Distance of 6.8 miles ‘point to point’. Walk southwards along the same route for a total return walk of just under 14 miles.

Facilities ~

At Porth Clais is a National Trust car park, however spaces are limited, so arrive early to get a space. Charges apply from Easter to Autumn season. There’s a public toilet block, a kiosk offering refreshments and picnic benches set around the area for a pleasant rest stop before or after a walk.

At Whitesands there’s the Beachhouse Cafe, public toilets at the car park and usually a van selling ice creams near the beachfront.

21 thoughts on “Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 23. Porth Clais to Whitesands Beach

  1. Great to see the return to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path from the previous walk a while back. Great Postcard photographs as usual. Marvelous


  2. What a beautiful and amazing walk description. I want to come over from Australia and do it. It is certainly one of the most spectacular coastal walks on my bucket list. The little we did leaves us wanting more. Thanks for such an awesome post xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Joanna 🤗 you would love this walk, with lots of seabirds around this coast too, an opportunity to add to your superb, extraordinary 🦅 photography portfolio 😍. I’ll be available as a guide !


  3. Beautifully written account of these coastal paths…. great imagery, it’s almost as though I am actually there.
    I would love to see copies of all the walks in hardback on W H Smiths book shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

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