Walk 2 Tenby - Manorbier
Walk time: Roughly 3 hours.
Walk distance: Roughly 8 miles.
Difficulty: Moderate difficulty but comfortable for experienced walkers.
Distance from Bluestone: Tenby South Beach is a 26-minute drive from Bluestone.
Toilets: There are public toilets at Tenby and Manorbier.
Parking: There is paid parking in Tenby and at Manorbier Beach.
Food and drink: Tenby and Manorbier both have food options but there are none on route. So bring some snacks!
Welcome back to the next part of our Pembrokeshire Coast Path adventure! Last time out we took the first steps on our journey, starting in the village of Amroth, before heading over coast and through tunnels into Saundersfoot and through onto Tenby. This part of the journey sees us head off from tourist hotspot Tenby and head south-west to seaside village Manorbier.
We started this leg of the walk at Tenby South Beach at The Espanlade Hotel overlooking the waters. The yin to North Beach’s yang, South Beach is a long expanse of stretching sand backed onto raised dunes, as opposed to the enclosed sun trap that is North Beach. Awarded Blue Flag status in 2021, South Beach is plenty roomy for a relaxing family day out on the Tenby side, or for the more adventurous the eastern end is home to the surfers seeking a thrill.
Heading along the beach we headed up the climb to Giltar Point at the far end of the beach. Giltar Point is a popular spot for avid fishers at low tide where pollack, mackerel and bass can be caught. This is also a great spot to settle down for a picnic or a drink break despite it being early in your route, as the views overlooking Caldey Island are truly stunning. Keep an eye out for red flags however as this area is used as a MOD (Ministry of Defence) firing range and it cannot be crossed when the red flags are flying.
Caldey Island has been a popular stop for visitors for many years as one of Britain’s Holy Islands. Cistercian Monks call the island their home and welcome tourists to the Island every year. Boat trips can be boarded regularly from Tenby Harbour for a day of exploration discovering the lighthouse, museum, sandy beaches and more of Caldey Island.
From Giltar Point we made our way to Lydstep Beach. Access to the beach is only accessible by foot via the caravan park that sits behind the beach. The beach itself is quaint and pretty, with pebbles running parallel to the sands and framed by striking green tree filled cliffs at either end of the beach. The beach is also another of the many Blue Flag beaches in Pembrokeshire, being awarded its status in 2020. For thrill seekers, a number of marine activities such as windsurfing, sailing and water-skiing can be enjoyed here.
It's here that the route really comes to life and lives up to its name, with the path becoming ever more scenic as the coast opens itself up and reveals itself so its walkers. Exploring further reveals some of Pembrokeshire’s hidden gems.
First, the soaring and scenic Church Door Cove opens out into the wide ocean, inviting in curious explorers to discover its nooks and crannies. A marvel of the power of nature, the cove has been created by ocean waves and tides cutting into the headland and creating two sheer sandstone cliffs standing either side of a small and secluded sandy beach. This geological archway is what gives the hidden cove its name. With the tide in there’s not much to be scene beyond some rocky outcropping, however when the tide recedes the golden sands emerge out of the waters. Access to the cove is reached via the coast path before descending down a set of concrete steps followed by a steel staircase down onto the beach. It takes some getting to, but the richest rewards are rarely the easiest obtained!
Twinned with Church Door Cove is another lesser seen Pembrokeshire gem, Skrinkle Haven Beach. Separated from the cove by limestone headland, the beach is still accessible by foot when the tide is out from the cove. The geology of the area attracts more than just curious visitors, as the limestone and red sandstone that makes up the cliffs, caves and chasms of the area are studied and explored by keen geologists.
As we near Manorbier geology makes way for history as one of Pembrokeshire’s many neolithic monuments appears from out of the ground. King’s Quoit sits on highland overlooking Manorbier Bay, painting a dramatic view of the ancient tomb peering out to sweeping seas.
From here we descended down for the final part of this leg of the journey. Heading down from the ancient dolmen, we made our way into Manorbier Bay. The beach received the Green Coast Award for Environmental Excellence in 2021 and is a popular surf spot. Overlooking the beach is the towering figure of Manorbier Castle. The castle has stood since the Norman era and is now open for day visitors to explore its walls and grounds!
In just 3 hours we’ve covered tourist hotspots, hidden gems, natural wonders and ancient history and we’re only on the second leg of the journey! Keep an eye out for our next steps, as we forge on deeper into the Pembrokeshire Coast Path!
Next up Manorbier to Bosherston…