Walk Distance: 2km
Walk Duration: 50 minutes (at toddler pace)
Ordnance Survey: OS Landranger 157 St. David’s & Haverford West; OS Explorer OL35 North Pembrokeshire
Suitable for: Good little walkers, older children, babies in carriers.
Walk Features: Blue lagoon, beautiful cliff top views, secluded beach, lots of butterflies in summer, beach fossils.
This circular walk from Abereiddy is a lovely way to explore a short stretch of the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coastal Path without committing to too long a walk. Roo found the initial climb from Abereiddy a bit steep but once up, the walk is flat and comparatively safe for little ones although you will still want to keep a good eye on them.
Abereiddy is a key centre for coasteering -a sport that originated locally and involves an exhilirating combination of ocean swimming, scrambling and cliff jumping to navigate the rugged coastline. It’s a fun spot to watch sea kayakers heading off and we particularly enjoyed watching cliff jumpers at the nearby Blue Lagoon – a part of the walk that can be done with a good pushchair!
The walk starts from the car park behind Abereiddy Beach. Facing the sea, head right through the car park towards the cliffs. At the bottom of the cliffs there are some old ruined slate quarry worker cottages – a local industry which until a hundred years ago, kept a small hamlet here employed. Sadly a typhoid epidemic and a bad storm that flooded the hamlet at Abereiddy forced its occupants to leave.
The stone from the ruined cottages at Abereiddy is being gradually relocated by the National Trust as with sea levels expected to rise significantly over the coming years, there is seen to be little point in preserving them in situ – a stark reminder of the changes we are facing from our maritime environment, no doubt exacerbated by global climate change.
From here, the walk heads left and away from the sea before quickly bending back around to join the main path by a gate along the edge of the hillside. There is a short cut of sorts that goes straight up the side but this is not an official route and is causing erosion of the hillside so is best avoided.
If you have time, then it is worth the short walk on the flat path in the direction of the sea which leads to the Blue Lagoon. A disused quarry that has been reclaimed by the sea, the slate of the cliffs of the Blue Lagoon give the water a surprising deep dusky blue colour. It’s a good spot for watching coasteering in action with a small stone beach to perch on for a picnic stop.
After a visit to the Blue Lagoon, retrace you steps toward Abereiddy and walk up the steep path just before the gate. The Pembroke Coast Path and Pothgain are signposted here.
After a short steep section you reach the top of the cliffs and can enjoy flat walking and lovely views across Abereiddy Beach. Although an alternative cliff-hugging path is marked on some OS Maps here, it is best to stick to the path that cuts across the cliff headland as the area has been subject to erosion and the cliff edges on this stretch are hazardous for little explorers.
The walk now takes you towards the edge of the cliffs on the opposite side and bends around to follow them along a new section of coast. The wide grassy path here is still a few overgrown meters away from the cliff edges meaning that littler walkers can be given more freedom to explore than on the average cliff top walk.
As you walk along the cliff-top here, Traeth Llyfn beach comes into view, hugging the cliff-base far below in a large secluded bay. With lots of rocks emerging from the water here it looked like a perfect spot for seals but we didn’t see any on this occasion.
When you reach the gate, you have the option of heading through and continuing on the Pembroke Coast Path towards Pothgain. This would also give you access to Traeth Llyfyn beach via a long steep set of metal stairs. The beach is a lovely peaceful spot to enjoy the coast away from other tourists but it often has a rip tide on its south side and strong undercurrents, which combined with its lack of life-guard make it unsuitable for swimming, particularly with children.
For those returning to Abereiddy the gate marks the turning point on the walk. Turn your back on the Pembroke Coast Path here and walk right along the fence line through the meadow. In summer this is brimming with butterflies and wild flowers! Continue on the path back inland and follow as it curves around to the right, taking in the great views.
Head through the gate and slowly downhill as the path leads you round the edge of a field. Continue as the path bends around and eventually leaves the field over a stile. There are some great views here back down to Abereiddy and the headland beyond.
Walk steadily downhill, gradually descending the hillside back towards Abereiddy. At the bottom, the path bends back towards the left by some gorse bushes before reaching ground level and again heading towards the sea. You will pass the toilet blocks before heading through a gate. Keep to the right, past the information boards and you will return to the car park and Abereiddy Beach and the end point of this walk.
Map of Route:
Free parking is available behind Abereiddy beach, although it can get full up quickly at weekends. To get there, use the map below or follow signs to Abereiddy and keep going to the road end.
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