Easy access walk: 3.2 miles (5.1 km)
Character: wide tracks, reasonably level hard surface along disused railway, beaches, sea views, wooded valley.
Toilets: at Coppet Hall and Wisemans Bridge (closed from November to March), disabled access.
How to get there
Public transport: Service bus 351 (Tenby – Pendine), not wheelchair accessible, only stops at Saundersfoot and Wisemans Bridge
Own transport: South Pembrokeshire; half mile north-east of the village of Saundersfoot. Approach via the B4316 road. Parking on compacted stone surface at Coppet Hall (charge seasonal).
This walk starts from the beach car park at Coppet Hall and runs along the seafront, through two tunnels to Wisemans Bridge beach where it turns inland to run alongside the stream up the aptly named Pleasant Valley to finish at the old iron works at Stepaside.
The section from Coppet Hall to Wisemans Bridge is a cycleway. From Wisemans Bridge to Stepaside the path runs along a bridleway so you may encounter horse riders as well as cyclists on this part of the route.
Coppet Hall was known as Coalpit Hall in the 19th century when coal was shipped out from this beach. The Stepaside Ironworks processed ore dug from ‘patches’ on the sea cliffs between Saundersfoot and Amroth. The path runs along the old railway that was built to transport anthracite coal from Grove Colliery at Stepaside to the harbour at Saundersfoot.
Originally a horse-drawn dramway, the railway fell into disuse and closed in 1939. The beaches here were a used a training ground in 1943 for the D-Day landings. Look for blue tit, great tit, wren, greater-spotted woodpecker and chaffinch in the woods.
The start of walk is along a 2.8 metre wide Tarmac track on the immediate left as you enter the car park at Coppet Hall. Follow the track around to the right towards the coast to the first tunnel.
At the tunnel entrance there is a short descent of 1:14 for 2 metres, continue through the tunnel (length 18 metres) passing two benches to a second tunnel (length 101 metres). The path in the tunnel is 2 metres wide narrowing to 1.5 metres wide at the exit. The tunnel is unlit and the path surface is uneven in places.
Continue along the seafront, the path from here to the road at Wisemans Bridge has the character of a promenade with railings on the sea wall and the width varies from 1.6 to 3.5 metres.
Forty metres after the tunnel there is a short descent of 1:12 for 3 metres. Continue along the path to pass two more benches. There are two cross falls to the sea; 1:8 and 1:12 for a combined distance of 40 metres.
Pass another bench and the junction of a footpath leading to the woods to pass another two benches until you reach the road junction.
To access the toilets at Wisemans Bridge from the road junction, fork right along the minor road (no pavement) for 92 metres with descents of between 1:8 to 1:14. Retrace steps.
To continue the walk, fork left to follow the minor road past Step Cottage for 260 metres (no pavement), keeping to the left hand side of the road to avoid a cross fall of 1:8 until you reach the junction with the bridleway at Tramway Cottage.
Leave the road at the bend, uneven surface for 3 metres and continue straight on along the hard surfaced bridleway through the woods. You will pass a junction with a footpath to the left and 440 metres along the bridleway there is a bench.
At 123 metres from the bench there is a cross fall of up to 1:15 for 25 metres. Cross the bridge, passing another junction with a footpath to the left until you reach a gap next to a gate.
From here there is a compacted stone surface for 98 metres as the bridleway runs parallel to the road for a short distance before bearing left onto the entrance road to the old ironworks and car park. Retrace steps.
Find this Walk
Grid ref. SN139053
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