DISTANCE/DURATION: 4.9 miles (7.9 km) 3 hours.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: *Celtic Coaster 403, *Strumble Shuttle 404 (*seasonal, hail & ride).
CHARACTER: Rugged coast, cliff edge, fields and livestock, hills.
LOOK OUT FOR: Neolithic Burial Chamber, Coetan Arthur and Carn Llidi.
CAUTION: DOGS MUST BE KEPT ON LEADS at Upper Porthmawr, free range chickens in farmyard.
How many species will you see at one of Wales’s sunniest places?
The cliffs and waters around St David’s Head provide a rich variety of habitats for animal, plant and marine life.
The area is one of the sunniest in Wales, which encourages a profusion of wild flowers in spring and summer including sea campion, red campion, kidney vetch, oxeye daisy, bird’s foot trefoil and bluebell. Butterflies such as small pearl-bordered fritillary, grayling and common blue abound.
Maritime heath and grassland grow on higher slopes, with blackthorn, privet and bramble near the cliffs. Over grazed areas (much of the landward side is intensively farmed) spring squill, buckshorn plantain, vetch and thyme are the only plants able to grow well in the thin soil.
You may see peregrine falcon along the cliffs and the occasional gannet out to sea. Keep an eye open for dolphin and porpoise, too.
Around Whitesands, adders, easily recognisable by the bold interlocked diamond pattern on their back, are common – they love the grass near the dunes.
Look out for cowslips, marram grass and pyramidal orchids adding colour to the dunes.
Inland at Carn Llidi, the small field system of the Iron Age Celts is still visible when the bracken isn’t too high, and the remains of a cromlech, Coeton Arthur, overlook St David’s Head itself to the west.
Samantha Parsons from Cwm Clydach Ramblers has done this walk. She says: “The lasting impression I have of St David’s Head, is of the remains of the stone round houses there. I found that, even though I could’ve stepped into the houses over the (remains of) the walls, I felt compelled to go in through the door. With the sound of the sea all around, its a haunting place.”
Ian Meopham, West Sector Ranger for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has done this walk. He says: “A great walk to see choughs, gannets and porpoises. Look for the ancient Neolithic burial chamber of Coetan Arthur and the hill of Carn Llidi, overlooking St Davids Head.
“Spectacular views are offered out to the Bishops and Clerks from the headland. In spring theres a wonderful display of spring squill, and in autumn the heathland comes into bloom look for the heath-spotted orchid.”
Find this walk
Grid ref: SM723279
- Take great care when on the Coast Path
- Stay on the path and away from cliff edges
- Wear boots and warm, waterproof clothing
- Take extra care in windy and/or wet conditions
- Always supervise children and dogs
- Leave gates and property as you find them
Discover more about Walking in the Park
Choose from over 200 circular walks in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park including half day routes, gentle strolls, plus easy access walks.
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Well-controlled dogs are usually welcome members of any trip to the Pembrokeshire Coast.
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