Rock Climbing and Abseiling

Climbing has been a popular sport in Pembrokeshire for many years, the flat-topped cliffs on the south coast near St Govans being one of the favourite spots for this challenging and demanding sport.

The coast from the south round to the north at St Davids offers some excellent and diverse climbing, ranging from bouldering and short slabs for beginners to steep and technical climbs up to E9 standard. There are sea-cliff climbs on sandstone, gabbro and volcanic cliffs from 10-metres to 90-metres high and in the south some steep cliff climbing can be experienced on spectacular limestone sea cliffs. Classic locations include Castlemartin cliffs, St Davids Head, Lydstep Head, St Govans and Porthclais. But climbers must be aware, there are climbing restrictions in some places, details of which can be obtained on www.thebmc.co.uk.

Climbing is very much on the menu at the Sealyham Activity Centre, near Letterston, just off the A40 trunk road between Haverfordwest and Fishguard, and there are some pretty spectacular rocks in the near vicinity at Treffgarne. The centre is based in an old mansion which was once the home of the Edwardes family, who became the Barons Kensington, one of whom developed the breed of badger-hunting dog still known as the Sealyham Terrier. The family also owned extensive properties in Kensington, London, where some of the street names have Pembrokeshire origins. Sealyham’s contact numbers are: 01348-840763 or enquiries@sealyham.com or www.sealyham.com.

Cardigan Bay Active, known as CBA, is another provider of climbing instruction and experience and abseiling in addition to a wide range of other water and coastal sports. Their portfolio also includes archery, bushcraft and technical tree-climbing, and they are based at Teifi Wharf on the river at Cardigan, contacts: 01239-612133 or cardiganbayactive.co.uk.

In South Pembrokeshire the Princes Trust-run Pembrokeshire Adventure Centre based at Cleddau Reach, Pembroke Dock, includes climbing among the many activities it provides for schools, colleges, youth groups, clubs and individuals from all parts of the UK. All profits from the centre are directly invested in tf-esteem and confidence. It is their proud boast that the adventure experience they offer young people could change their future for ever. Contacts: 01646-622013 or adventure@princes-trust.org.uk, or princes-trust.org.uk/adventure. There are other places where it is possible to have a scramble over isolated rocks. The Plumstone near Hayscastle is one, The Lion Rock and Maidens Castle at Treffgarne, and Carningli near Newport are others, but don’t go alone. The National Park Tourist Information Centres are: Oriel y Parc at St Davids, telephone 01437-720392 or info@orielyparc.co.uk or www.orielyparc.co.uk. Newport TIC in Long Street, telephone 01239-820912 or newportTIC@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk and Tenby TIC at South Parade, telephone 01834-845040 or tenbycentre@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.

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