Best cottages for North Pembrokeshire Walking Holidays
Pembrokeshire has long been a walker’s paradise, with 186 miles of its staggering coastline being the coastal path, so it’s no surprise it’s the UK’s favourite destination for walking holidays. It’s the only coastal national park in the UK, meaning the hiking possibilities are endless! It also means that no matter where you are in the county, North Pembrokeshire has a spectacular walk just around the corner. We’ve chosen our favourite walks that are on the doorstep of some of our stunning cottages. For more cottage ideas, don’t forget to visit our cottages page, or let us lead you on the path to truly wonderful walking holidays!
Harmon Vale, Solva
Harmon Vale is a luxury 3-storey townhouse with fantastic sea views in Solva. The harbour village of Solva has long been home to sailors and pirates but is now a peaceful seaside spot right on the coastal path. This beautiful holiday home is perfect for a walking holiday for all the family, with five bedrooms, four contemporary bath/shower rooms.
From Solva, the small, nostalgic back streets lead directly on to the coast path. Head West on a 4-mile easy walk to St Davids, taking in one of the best-preserved iron age forts in Britain at Porth y Rhaw, just under halfway through your walk. This is a great walk for spotting sea birds, shipwrecks and perhaps a porpoise heading into St Bride’s Bay.
Alternatively, head East towards the popular surfing spot of Newgale. This 5-mile walk is a bit more strenuous due to the steep slopes dropping down to the pebbly stretch of shore at Newgale. But it’s absolutely worth it for the views out across both sides fo St Bride’s Bay on arrival. This stunning beach is a worthy destination on your walking holidays.
TOP TIP: If you don’t want to walk back again, there are coastal bus services which run from May to September and call at most coastal villages. The 404 Strumble Shuttle runs from Fishguard to St Davids, and the 400 Puffin Shuttle runs from St Davids to Marloes. For more information about coastal buses, click here.
When planning Pembrokeshire walking holidays, most people automatically gravitate towards the coast path. While this is a must, there are also lots of other fascinating areas of North Pembrokeshire to explore. One such area is the moorland that lies in the centre of the peninsula. Ysgol Fach (which means little school) is situated right on the edge of Tretio moorland, and only a mile from the Dowrog Common. This area of the peninsula has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its rare heathland and species of insect (the home of the small red damselfly, no less). It’s also incredibly beautiful and a really lovely, gentle way of seeing the cairns from a different angle. This is real Pembrokeshire, with ancient farmhouses still being farmed, a wealth of wildlife all around, and the river Alun meandering through its heartland.
Ysgol Fach is the perfect central location for your moorland exploration and is still only a few miles from Whitesands and St Davids itself. This beautifully converted old schoolhouse has been tastefully and vibrantly decorated, with every comfort considered. There are many, many fantastic details in this cosy little retreat for two, including a retro record player, a fully equipped kitchen and beautiful stained glass in the original windows. Light the wood-burning stove on cooler evenings before heading to your sleigh-style bed. You can even bring your furry friends with you to explore this ancient, mystical part of North Pembrokeshire. Perfect walking holidays await at Ysgol Fach!
TOP TIP: If you’d rather not drive when going out to dinner, why not book yourselves a taxi? St Davids boasts two excellent taxi companies. Call Morgan’s Taxis or St Davids Taxis and treat yourself to a post-hike drink or two!
No walking holiday would be complete without a visit to Abereiddy. This is an amazing example of the industry that once thrived in North Pembrokeshire; the small hamlet of Abereiddy was once bustling with a slate quarry, its buildings dotted around the clifftops, and workers houses and storehouses all around. Now, the slate quarry has been taken by the sea, and the minerals that were exposed during its mining has created the blue colour which gives this now drowned pool its name – the Blue Lagoon.
Sitting above this beachside hamlet, some 500 yards from the beach is Bwthyn Hir, a delightful, semi-detached, two-bedroom stone holiday cottage. This is the perfect spot for family walking holidays, with its twin room for the kids, a double for Mum and Dad, and its proximity to the beach, as well as being on one level…and those sunsets!
From Abereiddy, it’s merely a 40-minute walk north to the stunning port of Porthgain, where there are two highly esteemed eateries, The Shed Fish Bistro and The Sloop Inn. This is not a difficult walk to do with the kids and you get some of the most beautiful coastal views towards North Pembrokeshire and Strumble Head lighthouse. There is also the hidden beach of Traeth Llyfn halfway between Abereiddy and Porthgain where you can stop for a quick dip before dinner!
TOP TIP: If you don’t fancy eating out, why not get yourself a picnic to take on your walk? With so many breathtaking viewpoints, you won’t want to leave the path! St Davids Food and Wine have the perfect deli treats for your picnic hamper, such as freshly caught and stuffed crab rolls, as well as juicy olives, local Caerfai cheese and homemade scotch eggs. Why not try their sumptuous freshly made cakes paired with one of their fine wines for pudding?
Thousands of people flock to St Davids every summer, and for good reason – the smallest city in the UK offers a huge amount of things to see and do. From its famous cathedral to some of Wales’ finest restaurants, bars and artisan shops, this tiny place is packed with vibrancy.
The Nest is the ultimate romantic destination for two, tucked in the heart of St Davids. Cosy yet modern, this bolthole is complete with a wood-fired hot tub, ideal for a soak after a long day on the coast path, and even has an outdoor shower if you’ve tried some wild swimming on the way!
From The Nest, we would head up to the top of St Davids and follow the road for about a mile to the wonderful Caerfai beach, with easy access to the coast path. From here, walk the 3.5 miles to the harbour village of Solva to indulge in some a coffee and the Welsh staple, from Mamgu Welshcakes.
TOP TIP: Did you know that if you wanted to stay in more location, there’s no need to drag your luggage with you on your hike? Walkalongway.com make your walking holidays easy by collecting your luggage from one location and transferring it to your next destination for you, meaning all you have to do is walk, breathe in the sea air and take in the stunning views!
The Retreat is the perfect one-bedroom romantic bolthole, situated just off the main road and a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the city. It’s a cosy nest, with a log burner and lavish, comfy furnishings and light usable spaces. This is the perfect place to relax with your other half…and with the walks all around you, you’re going to appreciate this snug space all the more, if that’s possible!
A mere stone’s throw from the cottage is the path leading out to the coast and to St Non’s Chapel. This is reputedly the birthplace of our patron Saint David, and the chapel at this beautiful coastal viewpoint is a sacred place dedicated to his mother, St Non. From here you can join the coast path, where you can walk south towards St Davids’ ancient harbour of Porthclais. You can kayak from here, and have an ice cream from the lovely coffee kiosk as you check out the old lime kilns along the harbour. Head north of St Nons, and you come to the spectacular Caerfai bay, a favourite spot of ours at St Davids Escapes, a wild and beautiful beach surrounded by red stone cliffs and ancient hillforts. If you’re really feeling adventurous, why not head the 5-mile trek to Solva from here?