Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail
Can I bring my dog with me on the National Trail?
YES - We have changed many stiles to gates and installed dog gates on some stiles however some stiles aren't dog friendly. The whole of the path is covered by the Dog, Fouling of Land Act - please clean up after your dog. Dogs should also be kept on a lead and special care taken in fields with livestock and exposed cliff paths. See the 'Planning a Trip' page.
Some beaches have restrictions or partial restrictions.
How can I find accommodation near the National Trail ?
On the 'Planning a Trip' page, under 'Map Settings' turn on the Accommodation list, this will put place markers on the map. Click on a marker for contact information.
How do I follow the Pembrokeshire Coast Path?
The Path is well signed at main access points, junctions with other paths or roads and other places where the route would not be obvious. Coast Path signs have the acorn waymark, common to all National Trails, and often the words ‘Coast Path’.
When is the best time of year to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path?
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path has something to offer all the year round and many people prefer to walk when it's cooler in spring or autumn, or even on exhilarating winter days. The best time depends very much on you, your interests (see below) and whether you enjoy the busy holiday season or would prefer to come during the quieter months. In summer it can be difficult to find accommodation especially for single nights, so you are advised to book well in advance.
Migrating birds - spring and autumn;
Breeding birds – spring and summer;
Wild flowers are at their best April to May;
Seal pups Autumn.
Will I be able to get refreshments?
The towns and villages along the coast have a good selection of pubs, cafes restaurants etc, some of these close in the winter.
There are some quite long sections without a sizeable village, food and water should be carried on these sections.
Can I ride my horse or bike on the Coast Path?
In most places - no - most of the Coast Path is only available to people on foot. This is because nearly all of it is a public footpath rather than a public bridleway. There is a bridleway section between Stack Rocks and St Govan’s. Parts of the Trail between Amroth and Saundersfoot are cycleway.
Is the path signed through the towns?
There are a number of ways that you can pass through the towns but the official route is signed with white acorn signs stuck on a brown background, (Rather inconspicuous)green and yellow acorn waymarks, stuck high up onto lamposts and street furniture. You will need to check your map carefully to make sure you leave the town on a road that leads onto the path.
Who owns the Path?
Most of the land that the Coast Path crosses is privately owned by many different individuals and estates. The Path itself is mostly a ‘right of way’ - this means that walkers have a legal right to walk across the land as long as you keep on the Path. Please respect the rights of the landowners and farmers and appreciate that your rights are to use the path.
What is the record for running the Coast Path, I want to beat it?
We do not keep a record book, but understand that the SAS were very fast. The Coast Path is managed for walkers, running makes broken bones and other injuries much more likely as there are many steep rough sections.
How long will it take me to walk the full route?
The official guidebook recommends a twelve day route (at around 15 miles each day). This is quite a challenging pace day after day, it is worth planning for at least some 10 mile days or spreading the walk over a series of visits.
Can I use the Trail for short walks?
Yes. There are many sections that make a good circular or 'there and back' walk. You can make use of the walker buses to walk one way and get the bus back. Elsewhere on the National Park website there are around 200 circular walks with free downloadable maps. Many of these routes are based on the Coast Path.
Which direction should I walk in?
Many people walk the route from St Dogmael's in the north to Amroth in the south. Most of the guidebooks are written this way. But there is no right or wrong way – plenty of people enjoy walking it in the other direction. Further information - in St Dogmaels to Amroth?
What equipment do I need?
Proper walking boots are recommended as the Trail is rough in places. Waterproofs are advised as weather can change rapidly. Sun block is advisable even on dull days. Plan on carrying around a litre of water.
Are there ‘baggage transfer’ or ‘self-guided' and 'guided' walks services?
Tony's Taxis, 01437 720931 offers baggage transfer between Fishguard and Little Haven.
Self-guided walks including baggage transfer:
Celtic Trails 01291 689 774
Encounter Walking Holidays – self guided walking packages 01208 871066
HF Holidays 0845 470 8558
Contours Walking Holidays 01629 5741829
Drover Holidays 01497 821134 www.droverholidays.co.uk
The Walking Holiday Company
OK - so how long is it really?
With all of the alternative routes for high tides, storm and firing ranges, the total maintained length is over 193 miles (312km). Depending on conditions and circumstances walkers will cover between 168 (270km) and 186 miles (300km) of the route. Once you have added on the walk to and from Trail to accommodation the figure is likely to be well over 200 miles (322km)
My mobile phone will get me out of trouble won’t it?
No it won’t!
Walkers are advised that the mobile phone signal is unreliable or nonexistent on much of the coast. Despite having three networks available to me I can’t even get enough signal for texts on half the length of the Coast Path, on about half of the rest the phone will ring but the signal won’t carry speech. We would encourage visitors to rely on their own equipment and skills.
These simple steps will avoid most problems:
1. Wear boots with a grip and ankle support.
2. Carry spare clothing and waterproofs regardless of what the weather man says.
3. Never mess with the tide unless you understand the sea.
4. Never climb cliffs without Proper climbing equipment and the training and skills to use it.
5. Carry water and some high energy food.
6. Match what you are setting out to do with your abilities; build up to a challenge rather than trying for it on the first day.
7. Always leave details of your proposed trip with a third party. Include where from / where to, time of departure and expected time of arrival, number of persons etc. So that if you fail to turn up at the expected time or they become concerned for any reason they can raise the alarm.
8. Do not be tempted to stand or sit on the cliff edge to admire the view; it may crumble under your weight.
9. You don’t really need a map to follow the Coast Path, but learning to use one is a useful skill that will help you know where is the best place to leave the Coast Path if you are in trouble (get the 1:25,000 Outdoor Leisure sheets 35 & 36). The new global positioning system gadgets do get a good signal on the Coast Path. Learn how to accurately identify the Grid Reference of your position which will assist the Emergency Services to locate you quicker than a vague generic description e.g. between Broad Haven and Newgale.
Consider using sticks to help on rough terrain particularly if you are a female over 45 years old: a two year analysis of accidents needing rescue shows that the most common injury is a suspected broken ankle. 3 times more women than men suffer bone injuries thus: Men under 45 - 2; men over 45 - 4: women under 45 - 4; women over 45 - 19.
The next most common call out for the cliff rescue/coastguard is to help people who have lost their dogs over the cliff. Use of a lead would prevent this problem!
If you get into trouble or are injured and require assistance on the Coast Path or beaches ring 999 and ask for COASTGUARD.
How do I get to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path by public transport?
To Amroth (the south end of the Trail) take a train to Kilgetty and then catch the 351 bus to Amroth (5km).
To St Dogmaels (the north end of the Trail) get a train to Haverfordwest then the 412 bus to Cardigan. Then take the 405 walker bus (Poppit Rocket) or walk to St Dogmaels 2.5km. The 405 also goes to Poppit – another 2km of road walking (no pavement).
(Also trains on the west spur meet the National Trail at Fishguard Harbour (Goodwick); on the west spur at Milford Haven; on the south spur at Pembroke Dock and at Tenby. For further detailed public transport information contact:
All of the train stations mentioned go through Whitland Station, it may be cheaper to get a return ticket to Whitland and singles to from the trail stations.)
Getting to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail by bus:
There are National Express bus services from London and Birmingham.