Wales’ Pembrokeshire Coast National Park: Magnificent for Hiking and Camping

There isn’t really an overabundance of national parks in Britain, but let’s just say that while there may not be a lot of quantity, there’s certainly some quality. One of the most scenic is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the gorgeous country of Wales. This magnificent park was created back in 1952 and is approximately 240 square miles in size.

Some of the other national parks in Britain have beaches, but this park is the only one that can truly be called a coastal area. This is because it stretches along the lovely south-western coastline of Wales. There are several uninhabited islands close to the shore of the park, including Skokholm and Skomer Islands, which were given their names hundreds of years ago by the Vikings.

[Photo By welshicons]

They were regular visitors to the area between the 700s and 900s. People used to live and farm on the charming islands for centuries up until the 1900s. However, the only one that’s still inhabited now is the island of Caldey. The best way to explore the offshore islands is by getting onboard one of the park’s boat buses. These leave from the pretty port of St. Justinian. You may be able to see seals, dolphins, whales, and seabirds while heading to the islands.

Some part of the park is also located inland and you’ll find the impressive Preseli Mountains in this area. These mountains are famous as this is where the bluestones came from when Stonehenge was created many years ago. Whoever built Stonehenge must have been quite advanced because the historic site is located about 250 miles from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Another scenic area of the park is the Daugleddau Estuary, which is called the secret waterway by local Welsh residents. The banks of the estuary are lined with ancient coal mines as well as some fascinating ruins of old Norman castles. There’s definitely a lot of water and beaches in and around the park which makes it an ideal location for water-based activities.

However there are also many great areas for hiking which allow you to explore the park’s cliffs, bays, beaches and headlands. There are also numerous picturesque seaside villages to check out. In total, there are about 620 miles of hiking trails to enjoy. Some of these are relatively short and take about an hour to complete while others are quite a bit longer. In addition, 186 miles of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail runs through the park. Many of the trails can be accessed by local bus services.

This ancient coastline has been around long before history was ever recorded. This means there are several ancient sites to visit as well as those that are more modern. These include burial mounds, hill forts, churches, and castles. You’ll even find some old World War II airfields. These were located here because of the park’s strategic location. The birthplace of St. David is also believed to have been here and St David’s was used as a pilgrimage center back in the Middle Ages.

You can reach the park by train from several towns, such as Haverfordwest, Fishguard, and Pembroke Dock. The bus service in the area is first rate and they connect all of the communities in the local area 6 days a week. The park is at its busiest during the summer since the beaches and boating are popular when the weather’s warmer. However, the park’s open all year long and there’s always something going on in the region at all times of the year.

There are numerous campgrounds and caravan parks inside of the park and camping is an ideal way to explore the beautiful countryside and historic attractions that Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has to offer.

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