Lets Go For A Hike
2023 Hiking trip to: South Wales, Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park and Coast Path
Let’s Go For a Hike!
Along the spectacular South Coast of Wales! Pembrokeshire~the secluded beaches and sandy coves, sweeping bays and craggy cliffs, and tidal estuaries that wind into steep sided valleys to woodland plateaus make this coastal footpath one of the finest in Britain!
We’ll spend 6 days (September 18-24, 2023) exploring the scenery of this splendid coastline; from our arrival in Cardiff to our delightful home base at the Ferry House Inn on the banks of the Cleddau Waterway and around the promontory “end of the land” that is Welsh Pembrokeshire!
Rooted in Celtic culture, this beautiful dramatic landscape tells it’s story in ruined medieval castles, ancient isolated churches, prehistoric earthworks and stone circles (The stones for Stonehenge came from here!).
Our wanderings on some of the most beautiful portions of this well known 180mile Coastal Footpath, given unique designation as a coastal national park in 1952, offer great opportunity to observe it’s wildlife; a plethora of seabirds (including razorbill and puffin!), Atlantic grey seals who arrive in early autumn to give birth to their white pups in isolated coves, and even the occasional dolphin or orca whale!
Dates~ September 18-24, 2023 (6 days, 6 nights)
Arrival/pickup ~ Cardiff, Wales airport or train station. You are welcome to arrive by plane or train to Cardiff. We will transport you from Cardiff to the Ferry House Inn.
Your home for the stay is the delightful family run Ferry House Inn overlooking the Cleddau Estuary and Hazelbeach! Expect delicious fresh home cooked food with local produce to be enjoyed with the panoramic views of the waterway. The Ferry House Inn has a local pub and a terraced riverside garden to be enjoyed and is situated right along the Coast Path!
Our Typical Day…
Enjoy breakfast served each morning at the inn. (available from 7:30am on weekdays, and 8:30am on weekends).
We will gather to overview the days plan and travel to our trailhead.
Trail terrain will be varied, underfoot and in difficulty, as the coast path descends to the sea and climbs to rocky cliffs for great views. In general, it is not overly demanding, can be slippery after/during rainfall, and the views are superb!
Expect September weather to include lows in the mid 50s°F and highs in midupper 60s°F. Perfect for hiking! Being somewhat open, wind can play a role. South Wales historically experiences 3-8 days of rain in the entire month of September.
We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch or stop at a local pub each day. The hikes will finish in mid-to-late afternoon and we’ll be transporting back to the inn to relax before dinner!
Some of the exciting regions we can explore…
~St Ann’s Head circuit– Protruding entirely into the mouth of the estuary, this circuit changes dramatically from the protected waterway to the open sea. This 6.5 mile loop undulates into deep valleys and up onto spectacular rugged sandstone cliffs.
It winds around this spit of land (nearly cut off to become an island) to the sands of Westdale Bay facing directly to the Atlantic Ocean and is attracive to surfers!
~The Angle Peninsula– This circular route with spectacular views includes many beautiful bays rich with sea life at changing tides!
One side of the peninsula is gentler along the shallow inlet of Angle Bay and out to the wooded edge of Angle Point.
The other side is rigorous as the cliff path negotiates the deep valleys that escort water run-off to the sea.
Striking chasms, sheer sided coves and natural arches along with a massive blowhole where the sea washes through a cave are some of the well earned rewards!
~Stackpole and the Lily Ponds
Exploring an outstanding stretch of limestone cliffs on the way to Broad Haven Beach, this loop+ begins on the coast path at Stackpole Quay. The scenery is breathtaking with blowholes and 100ft precipitous cliff walls dropping to sea caves below.
We can continue on the gentle paths through an old Stackpole estate taking in the lovely woodlands of the sheltered valleys, clifftop views, and beaches on route to the trio of narrow lagoon-like Lily Ponds and their Abundance of interesting wildlife!
~Boat trip to Ramsey Island
A Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB reserve), Ramsey Island is just off the tip of St David’s Peninsula.
The 3½ mile trail around the island on which the summits of Carn Ysgubor and Carn Llundain afford splendid views east to the mainland, south to Skomer Island and on the clearest of days, west to Ireland!
At nearly 400 ft (120m) in places, the western cliffs on the island are among the highest in Wales. They are home to ravens, peregrines and buzzards.
From mid-August into the Autumn the action turns to the beaches and caves here, where several hundred Atlantic grey seal pups are born!
A small shop provides access to refreshments.
A round-island boat trip is a great way to explore the island including those huge western cliffs and the white fluffy seal pups hauled up on the beaches and caves!
Marloe’s Sands and the Deer Park
Beautiful beaches backed by picturesque cliffs with great views to off shore islands are some of the highlights of this circuit of the trail. From Marloe Sands to Gateholm; composed of old red stone that is entirely different from surrounding rocks, and is only an island at high tide.
The Coast Path hugs the cliffs here, past Iron Age and 19th century defense structures known as Deer Park. The Atlantic grey seals choose coves around this peninsula to birth pups this time of year and can be seen and heard! The expanse of Musselwick Sands is our final beach which we’ll likely have to ourselves!
Our typical walking/hiking participant…
Providing you are in reasonably good physical condition, pack the necessary items, and enjoy meeting people, you’ll enjoy this trip and the walking/hiking. Our groups are generally a mix of couples, singles and sometimes families. Age seems to have no real relevance and guides are available for any concerns or questions throughout.
What you’ll need to bring…
Comfortable hiking boots, rain gear/poncho, a day pack, water receptacles and preferably hiking poles, are at the top of the needed list. The Coast Path can be quite open and you will want to consider a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Oh, and if you have binoculars, bring them too! We will provide a more detailed list of what to bring once you have signed up for the trip.
Meals, all except one dinner, are included in the trip package and will be provided including gratuities. The one dinner not included affords an opportunity to wander a village and choose to eat where you’d like! You will be responsible for the cost of any alcoholic beverages you choose each day and the associated gratuities. *Special dietary requests will be accommodated!
Included in the cost…
~We provide all transportation from Cardiff to the Inn and return, and to trail heads.
~Your accommodation/lodging for 6 nights
~Meals, all but one dinner, including tax and gratuities.
~Price per person is based on double occupancy (or more, as we can accommodate a group of 3 and 4) Single room requests, if available, are an additional $100/night.
~A non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person is due to hold your reservation at the time of booking, and the balance is due at least 120 days prior to the trip start date.
With written cancellation that is received 120 days before trip start date, your payment (less the initial deposit) will be refunded. Cancellations between 119 and 90 days will be refunded at 50% of your total payment (less the initial deposit). Cancellations made less than 90 days prior to start date will result in no refund unless you can refill your space, at which point financial exchange will happen between you and the replacement guest.
We are unable to refund monies for arriving late, or leaving the trip early.
~Costs not included in our trip package-
•Flights and/or trains to/from Cardiff.
•Travel prior to and after the trip dates.
We strongly encourage you to purchase trip insurance to cover your investment! You can contact Better Travel in Waitsfield, VT (802) 496-9900 for assistance with travel planning and to obtain travel insurance.
About Us, Your travel team
Brenda began her love affair with the out-of-doors in high school working for the Forest Service, making trails and maintaining hiking and campground areas. She went on to become a hiking guide in 1988 For New England Hiking Holidays, based in North Conway, NH. She created a much loved and well attended hike on the Big Island of Hawaii, guides hikes in New England, N.Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and in Europe; specifically England, Switzerland and Austria, Scotland and Ireland.
Dr.Trish Murray has spent the last 17 years as a physician in Conway, NH; but prior to this was a high school teacher. In her 20’s and 30’s she led wilderness canoe trips for teens and at one time owned a women’s outdoor adventure business for which she guided many of the trips. She has hiked and canoeed in numerous parts of the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Peru; and is SO excited to get out on the trails with a group again!
Elaine Swett is a native of New Hampshire who has spent most of her adult life as a Forest Ranger. You can find her out on the White Mountain National Forest managing the mineral collecting sites and teaching about her passion for the natural world. Her hobbies include traveling, canoeing, skiing and exploring areas of geological interest.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
~ Lao Tzu