Walk 4 - Bosherston to Freshwater West
Distance: 10 miles.
Distance from Bluestone: 29 min (16.3 mi) to Bosherston starting point.
Toilets: There are toilets at the starting point of Bosherston and at the end point of Freshwater West.
Parking: National Trust Car Park at Bosherston.
Food and drink: This is a rural walk with little along the way so be sure to pack a picnic and plenty of water.
NOTE: The walk does pass through the Castle Martin firing range, so be sure to check the following website to make sure that the route it open: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/castlemartin-firing-notice--2
Welcome back to walk number four of our expedition across the Pembrokeshire National Coast Path! This leg of our journey took in some of the most stunning scenic beauty to date, with spectacular views, dramatic coast and golden sands, as we embarked on the 10-mile trek from Bosherston to Freshwater West.
Make sure to take time to explore the beauty of Bosherston. The lily ponds are at their blooming best in June and July; however, the woodland and lake are teeming with wildlife all year round. Dragonflies, swallows and house martins flit around the waters, whilst lush green woodland encapsulates the waters.
From Bosherston it’s a trip down the dunes to Broad Haven South beach. Soft and sandy, with wide-open space to enjoy, Broad Haven South is a great spot on a sunny day to stop for a break and to take in some stunning seaside scenery. If heading down onto the beach, be mindful of the strong currents that swell around the beach, but that’s not to say the sea can’t be enjoyed from a distance. The iconic Church Rock juts out of waters around 150 yards offshore, making for a dramatic view against the backdrop of the horizon. On the west side of the beach at low tide there are small caves and springs to explore, with the clean stream from the lily ponds also emptying out here, creating a calmer spot for young ones to splash about in.
Taking the cliff top route overlooking the beach will treat you to some spectacular coastal views, with rock formations, crags and caves painting a dramatic picture along the coast. Following the route over the Trevallen Downs will bring you to a sentry gate that marks the start of the Castle Martin firing range. It’s important to check ahead of time that this route will be open, as the area is managed by the MOD (Ministry of Defence) and is inaccessible when live exercises are taking place.
Heading through the open firing range will take you along a narrow inlet path, long ago thought to be the site of a smuggler’s cove. Here you’ll find some of Pembrokeshire’s most epic scenery, and down a steep flight of steps scaling the cliffside, one of its hidden gems, St. Govan’s Chapel. The tiny hermit’s cell is built right into the cliff on the water’s edge. Not only is the chapel unique in its own right, but also the views from its windows and doorstep are some of the most epic found anywhere along the coastline. Housing its own slice of history, St. Govan is said to have lived here in the 13th century after being chased by pirates, settling into this little crack of rock where the chapel was built. According to legend, the pirates stole the silver bell which once rang in the bell tower - but angels built a new one in the stone which only St. Govan can ring.
Moving on from St. Govan’s, the trail leads you along the road and to a marvel of the power and beauty of nature. Still astride the cliffs, here you’ll look out over the Green Bridge of Wales. Spectacular hardly does the natural 80ft arch justice when describing the Green Bridge. Carves by ocean waves over many years, the arch was formed by sea erosion slicing into limestone caverns, that eventually met and opened into the sea. One day, the arch will crash into the sea, mirroring its sister sight the Elegug Rocks; a former arch that battered by time and water fell into the ocean. Take the time to tick this sight of sheer natural beauty off your bucket list when exploring the Coast Path.
If looking for a shorter, scenic walk we may advise ending the trail here, however, for the intrepid among you there’s the chance to push on to the true final stop of this journey.
Heading on from the Green Bridge will see you descend onto the wild beach of Freshwater West. Known as a surfer’s paradise, the best waves in the county can be found here but we only advise experienced surfers to try and catch them. Wide and sandy, backing on to sweeping dunes, Freshwater West is plenty spacious for exploring and playing.
Home to a touch of glamour, scenes from Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe were shot here, as well as acting as the site for the final resting place of Dobby the Elf from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Rest a while before taking on the next leg of the path…
Next up: Freshwater West to Angle