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Bore Da (Boh-ray Dah) - Good Day Wales!
Itinerary for 2 Days Hiking the Spectacular North Pembrokeshire Coast
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.
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.
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 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.
National Trust owned and very picturesque Porthclais Harbour is a popular spot for launching kayaks and small boats.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.