National Park

Pembrokeshire National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Established in 1952 and covering an area of 240 square miles (620 Square Kilometers), the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is known as one of Britain’s breathing spaces. It is the UK’s only true coastal National Park. It is a spectacular place with beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs and headlands, islands, wooded estuaries and the Preseli Mountains.

The National Park Authority managed Coast Path stretches from Amroth in the south east right around the coast to St.Dogmaels in the north. The total distance of the path is 186 miles (299km).

The Authority also manages Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, the reconstructed Iron Age Fort at Castell Henllys near Newport, Tourist Information centres in St.Davids and Newport and the visitor centre in Tenby. The Park Authority produces a number of leaflets and guides which are available direct or from Tourist Information Centres. Each year they produce a very useful Free newspaper called “Coast to Coast” which is widely available throughout the county. For a full list of National Park publications email. pcnp@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

The coastal area of the park is a mix of long sandy beaches, small secluded coves,rugged cliffs and spectacular headlands together with the islands of Skomer, Skokholm, Grassholm, Ramsey to the west and Caldey to the south east. The western islands are famous for their bird and wildlife. During spring ,the cliffs are ablaze with wild flowers and nesting sea birds abound. On the quieter sections of the coast, Atlantic grey seals come ashore to have their pups and these can often be seen on the rocks at the base of the cliffs. Dolphins are regularly sighted off Ramsey Island.

Wild Flowers in Pembrokeshire

Flowers growing wild in the National Park.

The inland sections of the Park are split into two:

The Preseli Mountains to the north of the County have as their highest point, Foel Cwmcerwyn at a height of 1758 feet (536m.). They are rounded mountains of ancient rocks and look and feel more like hills. On clear days, there are magnificent views towards Cardigan Bay to the north, the coastal plain, sea, north Devon and Lundy Island to the south and on very clear days the coast of Ireland to the west. It is an area of small villages and beautiful wooded valley’s such as the Gwaun near Fishguard and the Nevern near Newport. The Preseli’s provide excellent walking and riding country. The hills have outcrops of Spotted Dolerite or Bluestone which is unique in Britain. It is the stone from which Stonehenge in Wiltshire is made. There is debate as to how the Bluestone from the Preseli Mountains got to Stonehenge. Was it Neolithic man, or as some people think, the action of ancient glaciers during the ice age?

The upper reaches of the Milford Haven waterway is also known as the Daugleddau. This peaceful wooded area stretches from Carew inland as far as Caneston Bridge on the A40. It takes in a number of villages together with the castles at Carew and Picton. There are two mills in the area; the Tidal Mill at Carew and the mill at Blackpool Mill near Caneston Bridge. Both mills can be visited. At one time the area was doted with small mines producing anthracite coal. This coal was exported by water from villages such as Cresswell Quay, Lawrenny Quay, Landshipping, Hook and Llangwm. The mines are long gone and there is little evidence of their existance. For walkers, the long distance circular walk called the Landsker Borderlands walk skirts the eastern bank of the Daugleddau. Just outside the Park boundary at Martletwy lies Cwm Deri vineyard which is open to the public.

Official site: www.visitpembrokeshirecoast.com

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