The variety of walking opportunities in Pembrokeshire is boundless, with rolling hills, beautiful wooded valleys and estuaries and, of course, the 180-mile long Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Footpath, whch encircles the entire county from Amroth in the south-east to Poppit in the north-west.
The National Park, the only coastal one in the country, does not only cover the coastal strip, but there are two large inland enclaves, one in the north embracing the Preseli Hills and one in mid-Pembrokeshire covering a large area of the Daucleddau Estuary from Carew and Upton in the south to Canaston Bridge and Freystrop in the north.
The Coastal Footpath can be walked in stages, with the help of the several coastal shuttle services provided by the National Park Authority in collaboration with Pembrokeshire County Council, which can pick up and drop off the walkers at various bus stops and car parks to avoid long treks back to the car or campsite. These colourful little buses have jolly names like the Puffin Shuttle, the Poppit Rocket. the Strumble Shuttle and the Coastal Cruiser. Ramblers can tailor each walk to suit mobility and fancy, avoiding steep climbs and long stretches if they wish, or going for a lung-busting yomp of 15 or 20 miles. One of the many interesting walks is the 7.5-mile trek around the Llysyfran Reservoir, with its ups and downs and lakeside paths through beautiful scenery. The 100-foot high dam and the extensive reservoir are impressive sights and the walk takes one through woods and round inlets where the wildlife includes wildfowl and duck, woodland birds like nuthatch and tree creeper and colourful dragon flies and damsel flies in the marshy fringes. Llysyfran Reservoir and Country Park is owned by Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water) and offers all sorts of activities such as mountain biking, sailing and coarse fishing.
A five mile walk from Marloes to the Deerpark, offers views of St Brides Bay and the islands and the opportunity of seeing seals and choughs and maybe a peregrine falcon.
A walk along the shores of the Cleddau rivers is also very rewarding, with picturesque parkland scenery near Picton Castle, Slebech and Blackpool and the chance to see an active heronry and dozens of varieties of duck, waders and wildfowl. The legacies of past industries are everywhere and the views stunning.
The National Park Tourist Information Centres are: Oriel y Parc at St Davids, telephone 01437-720392 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Visitors are also recommended to pick up a copy of the National Park’s informative free-sheet newspaper Coast to Coast, which is available at all Tourist Information Centres and also in libraries, shops and supermarkets. It is a mine of information about the activities and facilities available in the National Park.