Bore Da (Boh-ray Dah) - Good Day Wales!

Itinerary for 2 Days Hiking the Spectacular North Pembrokeshire Coast

Day 1

An 11.3 mile circular walk from St. David’s via the atmospheric St. Non’s Chapel, past pretty Porthclais Harbour with a stop for refreshments at St. Justinians before returning to St. David’s via the stunning Blue Flag beach of Whitesands Bay.  

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

When I walk, I like to try and use all my five senses to enjoy the journey.  Sometimes, it works really well – sometimes, it is much more of an effort.  This walk made it a pleasurably effortless exercise.  

To start with – listening mindfully yielded many relaxing sounds.  Apart from the steady pendulum tread of our hiking sandals on the sun baked path (it was way too hot for boots today!), you could hear screaming gulls overhead, grasshoppers in the heather, and busy bees going about their daily grind.  Tuning into the constant and soothing backdrop of the waves of a very calm sea completed the harmony.

There was plenty to keep your eyes occupied too.  The intense sun today really heightened and brightened nature’s colour palette.  The sea was an intense blue/green and vivid purple heather and yellow gorse lined the coast path.  

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

An occasional waft of scent from the wild honeysuckle that popped up frequently was an added bonus.  Stopping for a mint choc chip ice cream at the small refreshment kiosk at St. Justinians gave the opportunity to fully indulge the remaining senses.

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path from St. David's to Whitesands Beach - Waypoints

St. Non’s Chapel

Starting from the centre of St. David’s, you quickly reach the atmospheric St. Non’s Chapel. perched on the cliffside looking out to sea. The pretty stained glass windows are worth popping inside to see.

North Pembrokeshire Coast St. Non's Chapel
North Pembrokeshire Coast St. Non's Chapel

Porthclais Harbour

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path Porthclais Harbour
Porthclais Harbour

National Trust owned and very picturesque Porthclais Harbour is a popular spot for launching kayaks and small boats.

St. Justinians

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path St. Justinians Refreshment Stand
Stop for an Ice Cream - at St. Justinians

Whitesands Beach

The final segment of the walk brings you to the enticing expanse of Whitesands Beach.  Even on a boiling hot day like today – in the school Summer holiday season – it would have been easy to find yourself a space to lay down your towel, rest for a while and take a cool dip in the sea.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

Wild honeysuckle grows in many places along the North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path at this time of year (late July).

If you look carefully, you can also spot bright blue campanulas (harebells) dotted in – somewhat against the odds – amongst all the gorse and heather.

North Pembrokeshire Coast Honeysuckle
Enjoy the scent of Wild Honeysuckle
North Pembrokeshire Coast Campanula Harebell
North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path Wild Honeysuckle

Fauna

Harbour Porpoises, seals and a several huge jellyfish (visible in the clear blue sea even from the dizzy heights of the coastal path) provided interest en route.  They are great to stand and watch for a while – but annoyingly very difficult to photograph from a distance away on the top of the cliff path.

Sheep graze this coastline too – balancing deftly on the cliff edges.

North Pembrokeshire Coast Sheep
Should have gone to Specsavers?!

Foodie Firsts

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path Welsh Shortbread
Aberffraw Shortbread - Britain's Oldest Biscuit

I don’t eat biscuits.  Well – that is, I don’t eat biscuits unless I am on holiday, which makes them a real treat.

Is there a better way to start your day than with one of the delicious Aberffraw shortbread biscuits kindly provided by the Twr y Felin Hotel to accompany our early morning cup of tea?

Handmade in Wales and said to be Britain’s oldest biscuit, they melt in the mouth and are, quite simply, drop dead delicious.

I tried laverbread on my last trip to Wales – in Gower.  I didn’t really like it.  I tried it again this morning – in our hotel – a crispy, roasted version.  Just SO much better!

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - Laverbread Rosti
Laverbread Rosti

What could be better than finishing the day with an ice cold cider?  Cool River Cider  (Sharp’s Brewery) is fresh, crisp, very apply and decidedly moreish – perfect for a blisteringly hot Summer’s day.  Best enjoyed under the shade of a sun brolly and they have lots at the friendly and very welcoming Cross Hotel in the centre of St. David’s.

North Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - St. David's Cross Hotel
Enjoy a Cool River Cider in the shade at the St. David's Cross Hotel

Tips for Future Travellers

There is a tap next to the small refreshment stand at St. Justinians where you can refill your water bottle(s) with cool, clean drinking water.  Good to know on a hot Summer day.

We walked from Whitesands Beach back to St. David’s at the end of our hike, but you can easily take the bus up the hill and save yourself some time – and effort – if you prefer.  Read more on this post.