Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 24. Whitesands Bay to Porthgain Harbour.

This walk starts from the car park at Whitesands Bay, first heading around the wild and rugged peninsula of St. David’s Head, before continuing along the coastal path to Porthgain Harbour.

This route covers 10 miles of Pembrokeshire’s, possibly Wales, finest coastal scenery, so we were fortunate to have perfect weather to fully enjoy walking this section.

From the car park at Whitesands, the path steadily rises above the beach, passing a long outcrop of rock ‘Trwynhwrrdyn’, which separates Whitesands beach and the scenic small cove of Porth Lleuog.

The path passes above another secluded bay, Porth Melgan, then across heather covered slopes leading out onto St. David’s Head.

St. David’s Head

The wild and rugged St. David’s Head is definitely worthwhile exploring. The landscape is noticeably different, tracks meander across a heathland strewn with rocks and huge boulders, leading to the windswept point of the headland jutting into the Celtic Sea.

The path is indistinct with tracks leading through the rocks so you tend to wander and explore. Some paths may require a bit of rock hopping, but the reward is spectacular views across to Ramsey Island, while the bracing fresh sea air fills your lungs!

It’s usual to find wild ponies grazing peacefully here, sheltered amongst the boulders, adding to the scenery and otherworldly feel of this place.

This place is steeped in Celtic history too, the rocky headland the site of an Iron Age fort and there’s a magnificent neolithic burial chamber ‘Coetan Arthur’ dolmen or ‘Arthur’s Quoit’ . The monument dates from 4000BC. and the huge capstone measures six metres long.

St. David’s Head to Abereiddy Bay

Leaving St. David’s Head, the coast path meanders through a wonderful rocky heathland with colourful heathers and grassy mounds all around.

The coast ahead is remote and wild, the path crossing an undulating terrain above steep cliffs, and there are no accessible beaches for the next 8 miles.

But the coastal views are incredibly scenic as the path hugs the green slopes above dramatic cliffs.

The landscape changes too as in parts the ground is covered in lush vegetation, bracken, foxgloves and wildflowers.

The path begins to rise on some rocky sections, as the path trails steadily upwards above a spectacular cliff line.

The approach on the flanks of Carn Penberry is quite strenuous as the hill rises ahead of you.

It’s a steady climb until reaching a final, steep and rocky section. This certainly raises the heart rate as it’s a bit of exertion to reach the top.

But it’s worth the effort, as not only can you catch your breath but also appreciate stunning panoramic views up and down the coast, from a superb vantage point.

Looking back towards St. David’s Head
Looking ahead towards Abereiddy

Further along we descend then climb out of the picturesque and tranquil cove of Aber Pwll. As we passed by, a lone paddle boarder glided silently out on the water, having this beautiful place to himself to explore.

Ahead is Abereiddy Bay, a sheltered and popular beach. Abereiddy was once a major site for slate and stone quarrying, with many old ruins and remnants of that activity along the coast past the beach car park.

Before taking the path to the clifftop, a short detour leads to the ‘Blue Lagoon’ , passing the ruins of old workers cottages which were destroyed in the 19th Century by a great storm. This huge slate quarry, with massive steep sided cliffs, was abandoned in the early 1900’s.

Later, rocks separating the quarry from the sea were purposely breached to allow the huge chasm to fill with sea water. The slate rock gives the water its distinctive blue green hue.

It’s a very popular site for coasteering, high diving from old building ruins, paddle boards and kayaking. It’s perhaps a little too popular these days, and can be very busy, crowded and noisy on a nice day.

Back on the coast path it’s a pleasant walk for a couple of miles across fields, passing above Traeth Llyfn beach, on the way to Porthgain.

On the final approach to Porthgain, all around are the remnants of slate workings, tram tracks and old building ruins which indicate this was once a major hub of industrial activity, now long gone. It’s a stark contrast to the wild and unspoilt landscape of St. David’s Head at the start of this walk.

A long set of steps lead down to the harbour side at Porthgain. This was once a busy working harbour, exporting slate and stone around the world. The industrial past is still evident with a huge abandoned works on the harbour side.

These days Porthgain is a quaint harbour setting and village, a firm favourite with tourists and coast walkers. There’s a fine local pub, The Sloop Inn, also a restaurant / takeaway ‘The Shed’ on the harbour side, who serve possibly the finest fish and chips in Pembrokeshire!

Porthgain Harbour

A good enough reason to end this walk here and to enjoy what Porthgain has to offer.


Start ~ Whitesands Beach Car Park. / Finish ~ Porthgain Harbour Car Park.

Distance ~ 10.4 miles

Return to Start: Pembrokeshire Fflecsi bus service coastal buses

16 thoughts on “Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 24. Whitesands Bay to Porthgain Harbour.

  1. Your photos are so beautiful and so is the wonderfully rugged Wales coast. The colour of the water looks inviting for a quick and refreshing dip! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well another fantastic blog such beautiful photos, amazing scenery. A really enjoyable read, look forward to the next step of your journey 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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