The Pembrokeshire Coast displays a greater variety of rocks and scenery than any equivalent area in Britain with over 250 miles of exposures.
The landscape is ancient with nearly all the rocks underlying its land surface formed before the end of the Carboniferous period some 290 million years ago.
The oldest date back 600 million years and can be found on the Treginnis Peninsula, south west of St Davids. Rocks younger than 290 million years old have been lost, largely as a result of weathering and marine erosion.
Broadly, in geological terms, the county can be divided into north and south. The rocks in the north are of Precambrian and Lower Palaeozoic age.
Many are made from sea floor sediments, although there are also some igneous rocks.
They were all laid down before the Caledonian mountain building period, which ended about 400 million years ago.
As a result they show a south west to north east grain. The folds and faults seen in the rocks of the north, as at Ceibwr Bay, were created by this event.
Rocks in South Pembrokeshire are younger with most belonging to the Upper ie later Palaeozoic Era.
The most common are Old Red Sandstone and Carboniferous Limestone formations, as well as coal measures of the South Pembrokeshire coalfield.
The majority are sedimentary but some igneous rocks can be found along the southern shore of St Bride’s Bay.
The folds and faults in the rocks of the south, like Cobbler’s Hole at St Ann’s Head, were created during a later period of mountain building called the Hercynian Orogeny.
Here the grain of structures is almost east west.
The diversity of the coastal landscape we see today is the result of geological processes and actions such as glaciation, river weathering and marine erosion on this wide variety of rock types.
Discover more about the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Walk the Path on Google Street View
You can view the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail on Google Street View.
Dogs on the Coast Path
Information on walking with your dog responsibly on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail.
North to south or south to north?
Most of the guides, are written as if one is walking from St Dogmael's to Amroth. The stiles and gates have numbers on with number one being near Pen ...
Beaches and Tides
The highest tides cover parts of the Coast Path for an hour or so. It is a long extra walk to go around these. It is best to just wait until the water...
Maintaining the Coast Path
In maintaining the Coast Path, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority aims to balance the quality of the walking the experience with the safe...
Wildlife along the Path
The cliffs, headlands, coastal slopes, heaths and dune grasslands through which the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail passes, support some of th...
History along the Path
When you walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail you are not just walking through a geographical landscape, you’re also taking a jour...