Barafundle Bay Waves Pembrokeshire


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The Pembrokeshire National Park

The UK’s only Coastal National Park

In 1952, this wonderful place became a national park ­– the first park in the UK to consist entirely of wild, maritime landscapes. Plans for a Pembrokeshire Coast Path were underway within a year and the path, a National Trail, formally opened in 1970. It’s been a tremendous success, proving that conservationists, walkers and landowners can get along peacefully and paving the way for even bigger and better things.

The coast path has always been special, but now that it’s part of the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, it’s better than ever. Walks can be long or short, linear or circular, steep or flat, and may lead you across gleaming sands or over clifftops with views to make the heart skip.

The flora and fauna of Pembrokeshire

In spring, you can explore woodlands carpeted with bluebells or meadows bursting with native species including cowslips, harebells and campions. In summer, butterflies dance through arches of honeysuckle and over clouds of thrift and gorse.

And if, come autumn or winter, you feel like an outdoorsy break, the coast is the perfect place to blow the cobwebs away. You’ll find plenty of pubs and other cosy retreats within range when you’re ready to rest up and thaw out.

The national park is fantastic for wildlife-watching, too. From the first little bursts of warm weather in spring, the clifftops are alive with crickets and ladybirds. Overhead, seabirds wheel, screech and soar. Every year, puffins and Manx shearwaters return to the island of CaldeyGrassholmSkokholmSkomer and Ramsey to nest, while rabbits graze companionably and seals snooze in the sun. And occasionally, half-hidden by the waves, a pod of dolphins will come frolicking by.