This page gives an overview for those considering walking the whole Coast Path. To plan walks in specific stretches or to look at route planning in more detail look at the National Trail site.
Poppit to Amroth or Amroth to Poppit?
Most of the guides are written as if you are walking from Poppit to Amroth, the stiles and gates have numbers on them with number 1 being near Poppit. To walk this way gives a feeling of conformity. If swimming is important to you, the best beaches are in the last two-thirds of the walk. Although obviously the sun moves around during the day and the Path changes direction frequently, when walking from Poppit the sun and prevailing south west-wind will be mostly on your face.
Walking north to south may therefore increase exposure from the sun during the summer and from the wind in spring, autumn and winter. Please remember that even during March and October the sun's strength is magnified by the sea. Even on cool, cloudy days you can get burned on a two-hour walk, therefore sun protection is important.
When walking from north to south, the first day's walk from St Dogmaels to Newportis around 16 miles (26 km) and covers about 3,000 feet of ascent and descent. There are no refreshments or services close to the trail between the (seasonal-only) services of Poppit and Newport Sands. This is the most challenging section of the Coast Path and not a walk for the unfit. Novice walkers would be well advised to book accommodation in advance at Moylegrove and split this walk into two eight mile stretches.
If you are walking from Amroth to Poppit, the first day provides many opportunities for refreshment and accommodation. The 16 mile stretch from Amroth to Skrinkle is quite a challenging day in itself, with many steep hills, but there is a pub at least every four miles, some cafes, and the town of Tenby offers many options for an early overnight if body or equipment are suffering.
Walking from north to south means that one will almost inevitably have to cover at least eight miles on the roads around the Castlemartin Range. This is not too bad as the roads are fairly quiet with good views, but the Castlemartin coast is a treat to be included if possible. It is only possible to lawfully cross Range West as part of a walk guided by specially briefed leaders. Both the National Park Authority and Ramblers Association lead these walks.
These walks almost always go east to west which fits well with walking the Coast Path from south to north. To ensure that you cross the range, phone the National Park Authority (01646 624800) and book a place on the walk, then plan backwards to time your first day to suit. Visit our events listing to find out when these guided walks take place.