Best Winter Walks
It’s hard to beat a crisp winter day in Pembrokeshire, when you’re wrapped up warm and a peaceful stillness has descended across the frosty landscape. Those are the days for getting out and exploring our corner of west Wales. You’re spoilt for choice when staying at Bluestone – whether you fancy a coastal hike or a gentle meander, we’ve got 11 of our best winter walks (in our opinion!) from around the county designed to keep the whole family interested and entertained. Happily, most begin or end at a café or pub for some well-earned refreshments.
1. Stroll to Black Pool Mill
This walk makes the most of what’s on our doorstep and takes you through the resort and into the towering woods to the north west. Following the yellow marked trail – a woodland path alongside the peaceful Penglyn Brook - the route gently slopes all the way down to Black Pool Mill, the impressive four-storey mill that’s been restored to create Bluestone’s unique heritage dining experience. It’s the perfect place to pause and watch the wildlife on the banks of the Cleddau estuary, which is tidal until just upstream of the mill, perhaps enjoying a warming drink and an indulgent slice of cake from the restaurant.
Walk directions: From the village buggy park in the heart of the resort, follow the yellow nature trail signposts. Follow this route downhill until you reach Black Pool Mill. Follow the yellow trail in an anticlockwise direction back to the resort to complete the loop.
Walk distance/duration: Two miles (2.8km), starting from the village buggy park
2. The Knight’s Way to Narberth
This medium length walk begins right in the heart of Bluestone and finishes in the historic market town of Narberth. Taking you off resort and through leafy Canaston Wood, much of this walk is on newly upgraded multi-user paths and quiet country lanes – perfect for bikes too.
Once in Narberth, it’s worth making time to explore this beautiful town and its boutique shops, cafés, art galleries and museum. Bear in mind you’ll have to walk back the same way you came.
Walk directions: From the Bluestone village centre head to Knights Rest and follow the footpath into the woods and onto the main Knight’s Way track. Follow the track east, crossing the main A4075 road and into Canaston Woods. Continue for approximately 500m before veering left and following the path to join Valley Road. Follow this quiet country lane and the signs directing you to Narberth.
Walk distance/duration: 3.75 miles to Narberth, starting at the Village in Bluestone
There are numerous cafés and pubs in Narberth; Stopio does a fabulous all-day breakfast while Hwb has a range of tasty street food kitchens
3. Ty Canol and Pentre Ifan burial chamber
With Neolithic remains, a craggy hill with breathtaking views and a woodland nature reserve that’s home to rare lichen, this action-packed tour is great for the family. Starting at Pentre Ifan, a 5,000-year-old burial chamber surrounded by the towering Preseli Hills, the walk takes you through the atmospheric ancient woodland of Ty Canol wood before climbing to the high point at Carnedd Meibion-Owen, a craggy and characterful hill with spectacular views over Pembrokeshire.
Walk directions: Park on the road near Pentre Ifan and head straight to admire the burial chamber before coming back to the road and heading downwards. The footpath, off the road on the left, continues a steady descent through farmland and around Pentre Evan wood. Next, follow the trail deep into the enchanted woodland before cutting left and rising to the heart of Ty Canol. Continue ascending to Carnedd Meibion-Owen where it’s a short step back to the car park.
Walk distance/duration: Four miles (6.4km) loop; allow two hours
Distance from Bluestone: 23 miles which will take around 45 minutes via the B4313 and B4329
Parking on the road. No facilities although Newport is just a short drive away
4. The bleeding yew at Nevern
This pretty walk meanders through woodland and along the Nevern Valley in the footsteps on ancient pilgrims. Watch out for otters, salmon and brown trout in the river and fishing herons, dippers and wagtails.
Begin at Nevern Church and wander through the avenue of ancient yew trees looking out for the ‘bleeding yew’ whose seeping sap is blood red. Legend has it that the tree will only cease to bleed when a Welshman is once again lord of the castle on the hill.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Pilgrim’s Cross, which dates from the early 11th century and is one of only three of its kind found in Pembrokeshire (the others are at Carew and Penally). Pilgrims on their way to St Davids would have stopped here to pray.
Walk directions: Begin in the centre of Nevern and walk towards the churchyard, following the path along a small stream and across a stone bridge and up towards the castle. Rejoin the small road and on a sharp bend, take the path signposted for the Pilgrim’s Cross. Follow the River Nevern on your left until you come to a bridge crossing. You can stay on the north side of the river and continue all the way to Newport; otherwise cross the bridge and head towards Cockshut woods and across fields to come back to where you started.
Walk distance/duration: 2.3 miles (3.8 km); allow one hour 30 minutes
Distance from Bluestone: 22.5 miles which will take around 45 minutes to drive via the B4313 and the B4329
Parking on the road. The Trewern Arms pub in Nevern is worth a visit, as is Templebar café on the main A487 road
5. Manorbier coast and castle circular walk
This is a walk with valley views, spectacular coastline and one of the finest castles Pembrokeshire has to offer. The 12th century Manorbier castle, which is privately owned and open to visitors in the summer, boasts a fine gateway, a Great Hall and a vaulted chapel. The beach below the castle is popular with surfers while on the cliffs above you’ll find the King’s Quoit, a mesolithic burial chamber with a massive capstone standing on only two of its supporters.
If you have time and the tide is low, it's worth taking a detour down a steep path down to Presipe beach to get a better look at the fossil-rich red sandstone cliffs.
Walk directions: Begin at the Manorbier beach car park and head to the beach before veering left onto the coast path towards Tenby. Follow the path as far as Presipe and across the fields towards the MOD range. Once you reach the access road, turn left and head back towards Manorbier village and return to the beach.
Walk distance/duration: 3.4 miles (5.5 km); allow two hours
Distance from Bluestone: 14 miles which will take about half an hour to drive via the A4075 and B4318
There is parking and toilets at Manorbier beach and a shop and café in the village. The Manorbier YHA is also open for hot drinks, cakes and light snacks
6. Melin Tregwynt to Abermawr beach loop
Melin Tregwynt - a small, white-washed woollen mill with a restored water wheel nestled in a wooded valley – is a peaceful haven for walkers. The mill has been weaving from Welsh sheep’s wool since the 17th century and it’s been run by the same family for over 100 years, using traditional looms and methods.
Follow the path for a beautiful scenic walk through the National Trust woodland, via the secluded beaches of Abermawr and Aberbach, and back up through the valley. Enjoy an afternoon tea
with homemade welshcakes and bara brith back at the mill and take a peek at the working looms.
Walk directions: From Melin Tregwynt, walk down the road, over a stream and take a right. Almost immediately take a left at a house called Ty Newydd and follow the path all the way to the beach. Continue on the coast path by veering left, with the sea on your right, until you come to Abermawr beach. Turn inland and follow the path into Broom wood almost to the road, before taking a left back towards Melin Tregwynt.
Walk distance/duration: 2.5 miles (4km); allow one hour
Distance from Bluestone: 26 miles which will take around 42 minutes via the A40 and A487
Parking, toilets and food available at Melin Tregwynt
7. West Angle Bay circular walk
Beginning at West Angle Bay - a sandy beach fringed with rockpools to explore – this walk follows the red sandstone cliffs northwards to a viewpoint overlooking Thorne Island, home to a Victorian fort. It’s one of seven dating from the second half of the 19th century built to defend the Milford Haven, one of the world’s finest natural harbours, against invasion from France. As you continue along the path, you’ll come to Chapel Bay Fort, another of Palmerston’s follies. These days it’s a museum packed with equipment and old weaponry from the fort’s working days as a military installation.
The walk follows the coast around to Angle Bay, an expanse of mud and sand populated by wading birds like oystercatchers and curlews.
Walk directions: With West Angle beach straight ahead of you, take the coast path off to the right and follow it all the way round, keeping the Haven waterway on your left. Once you come to Angle Bay, continue following the path, past the Old Point House and along the access track towards the main village. From here, it’s a short walk through the village along the B4320 back to your starting point at West Angle Bay.
Walk distance/duration: 4 miles (6 km); allow one hour 30 minutes
Distance from Bluestone: 22 miles which will take around 40 minutes via the A4075 and the B4320
Parking and toilets at West Angle beach. The Wavecrest café does delicious food, as does the Old Point House right on the water’s edge
8. Lydstep caverns and Church Doors cove
Explore the mysterious caverns and see spectacular cliffs at this hidden beach which is only accessible at low tide. Expect to see blowholes, arches and caves. But even if the tides are too high, there’s still one of the best walks in Pembrokeshire to be had following the coast path round to Church Doors Cove - a great limestone arch between the sand of Skrinkle Haven and a rocky cove. Fulmars, razorbills and gulls (mostly herring) nest here, with the ever-present jackdaw. Seals may pup in the autumn in the caves and ponies graze the coastal heath.
Walk directions: If you’re driving through Lydstep from Tenby, turn left off the A4139 as the road bends right and follow the track to a car park above the caravan park. From here, join the coast path heading west and walk down a steep set of steps. At the bottom, you will see the narrow cove that leads to Lydstep Caverns. Otherwise, follow the path right as it rises up steeply and along the clifftops to Church Doors Cove. Return the same way you came.
Walk distance/duration: It’s a short walk down some steep steps to Lydstep Caverns and a further mile along to Church Doors; allow one hour 30 minutes
Distance from Bluestone: 14 miles which will take around 30 minutes via the A4075
Free parking at Lydstep. Stop at the Manorbier YHA for hot drinks, cakes and light snacks
9. Amroth to Saundersfoot
This is a short walk along a delightful stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast. The route takes you between the lovely villages of Amroth and Saundersfoot with pretty beaches, cliff tops and coastal views to boot. Along the way you'll pass the long sandy beach in Amroth and the rocky beach at Wiseman's Bridge. In Saundersfoot the walk finishes, passing another nice beach and the busy harbour.
To extend your walking in Amroth you can visit Amroth and Colby Woodland Garden, just to the north of the village. The National Trust owned property boasts one of the best collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in Wales, with bluebells and daffodils in spring, hydrangeas in summer and wonderful autumn colours.
Walking directions: From Amroth seafront, follow the coast path towards Saundersfoot up a steep set of steps and onto the clifftop path. Follow this all the way to Saundersfoot. At low tide, you can also walk on the beach. Return the same way you came.
Walk distance/duration: 2.5 miles each way; allow one hour
Distance from Bluestone: 10 miles which will take around 20 minutes via the A4115 and the A478
Parking and toilets in Amroth. There are plenty of pubs and cafés in Amroth and Saundersfoot. The Tramway in Saundersfoot does hearty portions and the Amroth Arms does a good Sunday lunch
10. Pleasant Valley loop
Following a disused colliery railway through woodland, this walk is steeped in history and is full of things to see. The wooded walk up the aptly named Pleasant Valley leads to the ruins of the Kilgetty Ironworks while the beach at Wiseman’s bridge was used as a practice location for the Normandy landings in 1944 under the watchful eyes of Churchill himself.
Walk directions: From Coppet Hall car park, follow the flat path away from Saundersfoot through the tunnels and towards Wiseman’s Bridge keeping the sea on your right. At Wiseman’s Bridge, take the path left that runs behind the public conveniences and follow it straight all the way to Stepaside. You will see the ironworks when you get to the caravan park. Follow the path which rises up above the ironworks and through woodland to join the quiet country lane at Sardis. Follow this road back down towards Wiseman’s Bridge and complete the loop.
Walk distance/duration: 3.5 miles (5.7km); allow 1 hour 30 minutes
Distance from Bluestone: 10 miles which will take around 20 minutes via the A4115 and the A478
Parking and toilets at Coppet Hall. The Kiosk café at Coppet Hall or the Wiseman’s Bridge Inn offer food and drink or visit Ash Farm near Sardis
11. Stackpole walled gardens and coastline
This walk explores the amazing landscape and parkland designed by the Cawdor family as a backdrop to their grand house, Stackpole Court, demolished in 1963. Now under the care of the National Trust, the Stackpole Estate is home to some of the most dramatic coastline and idyllic beaches anywhere in the UK. This gentle family-friendly walk takes in riverbank scenery and the lovely landscape in and around the estate’s Lodge Park and the six-acre walled garden.
A network of footpaths means you can choose your own route watching out for landmarks as you go. You’ll come across the summer house, designed to be an eye-catcher from the house, a walled garden with a stone seat shaded by ginko trees, and an ice house once used for preserving food and now used by bats. It’s only a short walk to the iconic Bosherston lily ponds which lead all the way to Broadhaven beach.
Walk directions: From the Stackpole walled garden, find the footpath to the north which leads to the top of the northernmost arm of the lily ponds. Staying on the west side of the lily pond, follow the wooded path along the water’s edge. You can make it a very short loop by returning on the road via the Stackpole Centre or continue round the ponds crossing over a long wooden bridge before taking a right back to the ‘middle’ pond and towards the Stackpole Centre.
Walk distance/duration: 4 miles (6 km); allow 1.5 hours
Distance from Bluestone: 16 miles which will take around 30 minutes via the A4075 and B4319
Parking at Stackpole walled garden. The garden café does great coffee and cakes and light lunches.