Greentraveller's Guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Written by Paul Miles and Florence Fortnam
Artwork for Greentraveller's Guides by Tina Smith and Mark Edwards
Foreword by Tegryn Jones, Chief Executive - Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park turned 60 in 2012 and is still as breathtakingly beautiful as it was back in 1952.
That was the year the dramatic Pembrokeshire coastline earned its National Park status. But the spectacular rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and rocky shores of the now world-famous coastline are not all we have to offer. The diverse, protected landscape here in Pembrokeshire also features tranquil estuaries, ancient woodlands, dramatic hills, lush green valleys and fascinating historic sites.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is very much a living landscape; it’s a wonderful holiday destination but it’s also a special place for the people who live and work here. And work, for many communities in Pembrokeshire, is inextricably linked to tourism, providing much needed economic benefit.
We want to welcome visitors to enjoy and share in the beauty of the natural environment, to wonder at the many species of plants and animals that thrive here because of that environment, and to take part in some of the fantastic activities on offer; we want visitors to enjoy a complete National Park experience.
There is something for everyone, from lazing on golden sands, walking some of the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, soaking up the culture and heritage at historic sites and enjoying a host of activities from horse riding to coasteering.
We want to encourage locals and visitors to enjoy and benefit from all that the National Park has to offer, but to do so in a way that is sustainable. Sustainability is all about balance. Striking a balance between our superb natural environment and the way we live our lives, whether we are at home or on holiday. We want to ensure our activities do not damage or destroy the very parts of our world that we most value and rely upon.
This Greentraveller guide to sustainable tourism in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park gives you access to information to help you make environmentally informed decisions when choosing your holiday destination, accommodation, transport or activities.
It complements the work of the National Park Authority in its statutory duties to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Park and to encourage people to understand and enjoy it. The Authority also has a responsibility to support the social and economic needs of Park communities.
So I am extremely pleased that Greentraveller’s team of expert travel journalists have chosen to feature the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and I hope this guide will help you to experience what makes this place so special…and that it will encourage you to help us ensure it remains special for everyone, forever.
What our writers discovered in Pembrokeshire
Traditional towns and villages, ancient woodland and fascinating historic sites - the UK's only mainly coastal National Park has so much more to offer than merely a long list of beautiful Blue Flag beaches.
We've done all the hard work for you, uncovering many of the region's gems, including places serving local organic food, great cottages and eco lodges, plus exciting outdoor activities, from exploring the famous Pembrokeshire Coast Path to kayaking and coasteering around the Preseli Hills.
We also tell you how to avoid traffic congestion and cut your carbon footprint by moving around with the 'Coastal Cruiser' and 'Puffin Shuttle' buses.
Paul Miles visits Castell Henllys Iron Age fort in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, for some ancient Celtic fun...
A forward thinking local partnership that integrates public transport in the area has made it cheap, comfortable and hassle-free to travel car-free to some of the country's finest beaches.
Stay, Eat, See & Do
Our pick of places across the Pembrokeshire Coast
Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay
Blue = Places to eat
Yellow = Attractions
Purple = Activities
Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map
- The Park covers about 602 sq km (232.5 sq mi); one of the smallest UK National Parks and is the only Park in the UK that is mainly coastal
- The world-famous Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail is almost entirely within the National Park
- Pembrokeshire has more Blue Flag beaches than anywhere else in the UK
- There are 13 Special Areas of Conservation and 60 Sites of Special Scientific Interest
- There are 279 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 1242 listed buildings.
- Hollywood loves the Park: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Robin Hood (starring Russell Crowe) and Snow White and the Huntsman (out in June 2012) were all filmed here
Map of the Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales
Map supplied by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Main images: Greentraveller, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and © Crown Copyright (2012) Visit Wales.
This guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was funded by Welsh Government.