The cliffs, headlands, coastal slopes, heaths and dune grasslands through which the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail passes, support some of the finest habitats in the UK.
Influenced by the county’s mild oceanic climate and the prevailing southwesterly winds, the huge variety of habitats and species derives from a combination of the underlying geology, soil and aspect, as well as exposure to salt, winds and rainfall.
Cliffs and headlands exposed to salt laden winds are carpeted in spring with species such as thrift, sea campion, sea plantain and spring squill, joined by bluebells and foxgloves later in May.
Other common species include birdsfoot trefoil, kidney vetch and wild thyme, while grasses such as red fescue form a soft springy turf.
In some clifftop areas heather, gorse and bracken dominate, while in more sheltered areas lie the remnants of once extensive coastal woodlands, such as those at Dale and Borough Head.
The rocky cliffs of the mainland and the offshore islands support large colonies of nesting sea birds with some of national and international importance.
On the island of Grassholm, for example, there are around 32,000 nesting pairs of gannets with puffins and Manx shearwaters nesting in large numbers on Skomer and Skokholm.
The most familiar birds to be seen from the clifftops are razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and various species of gull, as well as shags, cormorants and the rarer choughs and peregrine falcons.
The tidal mudflats of areas such as Angle Bay and Pembroke River host many waders and duck.
Animals such as foxes, rabbits and squirrels can often be seen from the Path as well as innumerable badger setts.
Below the cliffs Atlantic grey seals breed in the sheltered coves in autumn, while dolphins and porpoises can be spotted in the coastal waters.
Discover more about the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Each section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path has a story to tell, and archaeology can help to unravel some of these tales.
Countryside and Landscape
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path winds its way across a variety of landscapes, from high cliff tops and secret coves to sweeping estuaries and wide sandy ...
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...
Geology on the Path
The Pembrokeshire Coast displays a greater variety of rocks and scenery than any equivalent area in Britain with over 250 miles of exposures.
Dogs on the Coast Path
Information on walking with your dog responsibly on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail.
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...
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...