Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 25. Porthgain to Abermawr.

This walk starts at Porthgain and follows the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path to Abermawr beach. The walk distance is 8.4 miles, ‘point to point’.

As Abermawr is quite an isolated place, the best option for this walk was to drive there first and park. A country lane leads from Melin Tregwynt to a ‘dead end’ above the beach, but there are a few parking spaces at a turning area and at the roadside. We then walked back to Tregwynt to catch the coastal bus service to Porthgain, to start this walk from the harbour.

Porthgain harbour is quite picturesque, the traditional harbour walls protecting the narrow inlet, as fishing boats and buoys bob peacefully on the gentle waters. On a previous visit, we watched a playful seal in the harbour waters, hitting the buoys with its nose and providing some entertainment.

The harbour at Porthgain

The walk begins with a climb on the northern hillside above the inlet, with a view back across the harbour which shows the scale of the slate, stone and brick works which once dominated this area.

The remnants of an industrial past loom above Porthgain harbour

Reaching the headland, high on the clifftops at each side of the inlet to Porthgain harbour are two distinctive, whitewashed stone pillars. These are old navigation markers used to guide ships into the harbour during its industrial heyday.

The old navigation pillars on the clifftops

The walk towards Trefin is on grassy clifftops, the path gently tracking above the rugged coastline, with dramatic granite like cliffs and rocky islets standing in contrast to the blue waters of the Celtic Sea.

Dramatic cliffs and ‘Ynys Fach’ island

On the approach to the inlet of Aber Draw, is a lone standing stone, high on the cliff top above the bay. Looking north across the coast, the stone lines up with the headlands of Trwyn Llwyd and further in the distance, Pen Castell-coch.

The standing stone near Trefin

The path trails above the coast, passing by a stone circle, which is not ancient but a more modern addition to the landscape, then descends into the pretty, rocky cove at Aber Draw.

Above Aber Draw

In the valley at the head of the cove, are the remains of Trefin Mill, which stand looking out on this tranquil, sheltered bay.

The millstones remain from the days when this was a working mill, apparently for 500 years up until the early 1900’s. The picturesque ruins are another reminder of busier times on this remote coastline over past centuries.

Ruins of Trefin Mill

From Trefin Mill, the path climbs back to the grassy clifftops and follows high above some impressive cliffs which can be fully appreciated when looking back.

Impressive line of rugged cliffs

The clifftop path meanders around a series of bays, Pwll Olfa, Pwll Llong and Pwll Whiting with a patchwork of farm fields on the landward side. Choughs can be seen along the coast here, the cliffs and short grass on the rocky headlands their favoured habitat, and their distinctive call and aerial acrobatics are a highlight on this walk.

Coastline between Trefin and Abercastle

The path tracks across fields above the cliffs, which means views are mostly out across the sea, but the prominent rocky headland of Pen Castell Coch juts defiantly into the bay.

Views of Ynys-y-Castell

Before the approach to Abercastle, a separate path is way-marked to the neolithic burial stones of Carreg Samson. The site is a short detour from the designated coast path route, but it’s definitely one worth taking time to explore. It’s just a quarter of a mile inland and after passing through a couple of gates, you see the magnificent dolmen ahead of you, set in isolated splendour in a field.

A sense of wonder at ancient Carreg Samson

Carreg Samson is a 5000 year old monument and these ancient stones always inspire a sense of wonder at the skill and ingenuity of the peoples who built these structures, the huge capstone balanced on just 3 upright stones.

Returning to the coast path, the path descends to Abercastle, a picturesque cove and fishing village, with a sand and shingle beach. It’s a more open bay than the sheltered coves we had passed earlier on this walk, and a popular spot with an array of small boats on the water, some kayakers, and a RIB launch taking some coasteering enthusiasts out along the cliffs.

The bay at Abercastle

After passing Abercastle, it’s a pleasant walk across clifftop fields towards Abermawr, the wide pebble and shingle beach with a swathe of sands at low tide.

Approach to Abermawr beach

The coast path descends downhill onto the wide, impressive pebbled storm bank at the back of Abermawr beach.

Views of Abermawr beach

It’s a splendidly scenic end to this walk, a secluded spot with seabirds at the shoreline and waves gently rolling onto the beach.

Abermawr Beach ~ a scenic end to this walk

Making our way to the far side of the beach, the coast path rises on the hillside above the bay, with access to the roadside where we had parked at the start of the day.

Until we lace up our boots again, thanks for reading.

Route Recap

Start ~ Porthgain Harbour / Finish ~ road above Abermawr Beach (Map here)

Distance ~ 8.4 miles, includes a half mile detour to Carreg Samson.

Highlights along the route – industrial heritage, superb coastal views, an ancient burial chamber, many pretty coves and a wonderful beach at the end.

8 thoughts on “Pembrokeshire Coast ~ Walk 25. Porthgain to Abermawr.

  1. Hi Rich, you never fail to amaze us with your outstanding narratives and photos, always something of interest along the way. We look forward to the next leg of your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fascinating mixture of wonderful scenery and historical information.
    Porthgain Harbour and adjacent buildings are reminicent of the Cornish Tin mine scenery.
    ” Dolmen ” – a new word .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Rich, These walks just get better and better! Some places I’d never heard of on this one too. What I really want to know though is, did you actually see any choughs? Looking forward to the next instalment!

    Liked by 1 person

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