The coastline of south-west Wales is without doubt some of the finest and most unspoilt in Europe. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path follows this remarkable line of cliffs and beaches for 186 miles (or 200 if you take in all the detours suggested by the guidebooks). Although there are no great mountains to climb on this route, the high point of the route is only 175m, the consistent presence of high cliff tops results in a large amount of ascent and descent as the path rises and falls to the shoreline; in total there is around 35,000 feet of ascent on the route.
As well as stunning cliffs, beaches, arches, caves and picturesque fishing villages, this coastline has a deep history to offer with Iron Age forts, Norman castles and Napoleonic defences. Almost all the trail lies within the National Park and well over half is in important conservation sites; this truly is a special landscape.
Beginning at the pleasant village of Amroth on the south coast of the Pembrokeshire peninsula, the trail climbs almost immediately on the way to Saundersfoot, which is entered, unusually, via a short, disused railway tunnel. From here, the trail skirts woodland and passes the impressive Monkstone Point before reaching the popular weekend escape of the fishing village at Tenby with its brightly painted row of houses. After rounding the castle, the trail takes to the beach for the first time on the way to Giltar point (watch out for red flags flying over the rifle range here) and a long section of peaceful limestone clifftop walking past Manorbier and on to Freshwater Bay, Stackpole Quay and the lovely Barafundle Bay. Just beyond here are some natural stone arches on the approach to Stackpole Head.