Follow the coastal trail from the Skomer bird reserve to the great cathedral of St David’s
A self-guided walking tour.
2018 dates: early May to mid-September, starting any day. Start dates outside this period are possible (from 1 April and until mid-October), but there is then less flexibility for shortening or modifying the walks as the coastal bus service only operates 2 days per week instead of 7 days. Accommodation in this area tends to be booked up well in advance at Bank Holiday weekends (Easter, late May/early June) and during the summer holiday period (late July and August).
Duration: 7 nights
Grade: Easy to moderate hiking. Some steep gradients. Routefinding straightforward. For explanation of grades see Grading and difficulty page.
Tour prices: See “Tour prices” below.
Tour code: K7.
K7: Night 1: Dale; 2, 3 Marloes; 4 Little Haven or Broad Haven; 5 Solva; 6, 7 St David’s.
- Day 2: 15km/9 miles/5 hours;
- Day 3 excursion to Skomer island with about 6km/4 miles walking, also some optional walking on the mainland;
- Day 4: 14km/9 miles/ 4.5 hours;
- Day 5: 18km/11 miles/5.5 hours;
- Day 6: 11km/7 miles/3.5 hours plus cathedral visit;
- Day 7 16km/10 miles/4.5 hours.
These distances can be reduced by using local buses for which we provide timetables. Distances and times may be increased if you visit all the archaeological sites we refer to!
Accommodation: In specially selected small guest houses (B&Bs); some nights with en-suite or private facilities, which can be guaranteed throughout the tour for a supplement.
Meals included: Breakfast each morning is included. Evening meals can be obtained locally without pre-booking. Packed/picnic lunches are obtainable locally from village shops or from your accommodation.
Baggage transfers: Each day that you walk on to new accommodation your baggage up to 20kg per person is moved on to the next night’s stop (included in tour price).
Maps and route notes: Hikers maps at 1:25,000 scale with route and accommodations marked, route notes (specially researched by and exclusive to The Discerning Traveller), local bus timetables, tide tables, other local information.
Extra nights: Prices of extra nights on application. Second nights in Marloes and St David’s are already included. For the delightful surroundings of a small fishing village and a good beach we suggest an extra night at Little Haven. For an opportunity to relax on the beach and possibly to visit Ramsey Island (important breeding ground for Atlantic grey seals) we suggest a third night in St David’s.
Train stations. Start of tour: Milford Haven, end of tour Haverfordwest. These two stations are on the same line, easily reached from London Paddington (or from Reading station, for shuttle train or bus from main London airports). It is normally necessary to change trains in Cardiff. Journey time from London is about 5.5 hours each way, from Reading 30 minutes less.
Getting from (and back to) the train stations. From Milford Haven train station to Dale travel by taxi or occasional bus; from St David’s to Haverfordwest by bus or (on Sundays) by taxi. Train, bus and taxi fares are not included in the tour price. We provide bus timetables and information on taxi services.
Nearest international airports. London Heathrow/Gatwick, Cardiff (there are direct trains from Cardiff to all Pembrokeshire stations), Bristol.
Tour code K7:
7 nights tour, ES or private facilities most nights): £640. SRS*: £140. STS**: £180.
- Extra nights: £60 per person per night, except at St David’s £70. Single room £80 per person per night, St David’s £90.
- Supplement for en-suite/private bathroom facilities every night. Please enquire. Most are already en-suite/private.
- SRS* = single room supplement (applicable when 3 or 5 persons book together).
- STS** = solo traveller supplement (applicable when booking is for one person only).
Prices quoted are per person on basis of two people in double or twin-bedded rooms. Included in the price are bed and breakfast each night, with baggage transfers, maps and route directions. ‘ES’ (en suite) facilities means that there is a private bathroom with shower or tub and toilet within the main door of your room. ‘Private facilities’ means that the private bathroom may be outside the main door of your room. When the booking is made for a party of 3 or 5 customers, a single room supplement is payable. When the booking is made for a single traveller, a solo traveller supplement is payable. Normally a maximum of one single room per booking.
We have designed this tour to appeal to those who enjoy both hiking and wildlife and would like the opportunity to walk along one of Britain’s finest coastlines for seabirds. In late spring the coastal cliffs are also carpeted with masses of wild flowers.
A highlight of the tour is the opportunity to spend a day on the Skomer Island National Nature Reserve, which is a breeding site for such birds as Manx shearwaters, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, puffins, and choughs. Skomer is closed on Mondays and the boat trip to the island is not possible in windy weather. Gannets breed in 10,000s at nearby Grassholm island (occasional boat trips possible, no landing) and can often be observed from the mainland cliffs.
With its wealth of iron-age promontory forts the Pembrokeshire coast will also be of particular interest to those who are interested in prehistoric archaeology. Skomer Island has abundant remains of prehistoric field systems dating back to the neolithic period.
The great Romanesque and Gothic cathedral of St David’s, set in a small village, has long been a destination for pilgrims, and makes a fitting climax for our walk.
The whole of our route is within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, one of three national parks in Wales, and the only coastal national park in Britain.
The crest of the coastal cliffs is closely followed by the Pembrokeshire Coast Path national long distance trail, making this coast easily accessible to hikers and walkers.
Route-finding is easy with our detailed route descriptions, and the days of 12 to 18km (8 to 11 miles) are not strenuous, although there are frequent steep gradients both up and down. The tour is suitable for reasonably fit walkers with little or no previous experience of hiking tours.
On the way you pass pretty fishing villages such as Little Haven and Solva, and there is an opportunity to climb to the rocky summit of Carn Llidi mountain, one of the finest viewpoints in Britain although only 200 metres above the sea.
This west-facing coast is known for its mild climate. There are a number of fine sandy beaches close to our route.
More images of this tour…How to Book
Other Discerning Traveller hiking tours
Discerning Traveller offers other coastal walking tours in Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and Dorset:
A 7-night walking tour along the North Pembrokeshire cliff-tops between Poppit Sands and St Davids. Steep rocky summits, coves frequented by Atlantic grey seals, tiny harbours and quaint pubs!
Cornwall’s long and dramatic coastline is a wonderland for hikers and walkers. We offer a choice of three different week-long self-guided tours along the cliff-top footpath taking in tiny fishing villages and remote sandy beaches.
The entire coastline of Dorset and East Devon is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our Jurassic Coast and Purbeck tours together cover the whole of the South West Coast Path National Trail between Exmouth and Poole.
[We particularly liked]
C and P Crawford
- The gorgeous scenery all along the coast
- The chance to go to Skomer [island bird reserve]
- The various options for side trips
- The Sunday bell ringings in the bell tower beside St David’s cathedral.
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