Solva - The Gribin coastal walk

Solva Harbour, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, Pembrokeshire SA62 6

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Limestone was delivered to these lime kilns on flat-bottomed boats © National Trust/ Andrew Tuddenham

Limestone was delivered to these lime kilns on flat-bottomed boats

Solva is dominated by the Gribin headland © Andrew Tuddenham

Solva is dominated by the Gribin headland

See if you can spot a chough by its distinctive bouncy flight © Annie Haycock

See if you can spot a chough by its distinctive bouncy flight

Route overview

Solva is at the centre of 8 miles (12.8km) of unspoilt coastal scenery stretching from Newgale in the east to St David’s in the west. The Gribin is a rocky headland guarding the entrance to Solva Harbour, giving spectacular views along the coast and across St Bride’s Bay.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route map for Solva - The Gribin coastal walk, Pembrokeshire
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Solva Harbour car park, grid ref: SM805243

  1. Cross the footbridge at the rear of the car park (with the harbour on your right), turn left and then right to follow the path up the Gribin, over the tunnel. Solva Harbour is a sheltered tidal harbour, now popular with small boat owners. Historically the village used to depend on the sea and the harbour, before the road came. The original Smalls Lighthouse was towed out from here.

  2. Follow the path to the lime kilns, taking time to explore them if the tide is out. The route then continues past the lime kilns, the path widening into a more substantial trackway as it climbs to reach the Gribin Point.

    Show/HideLime kilns

    Look out for the old lime kilns at point 2 on the walk route. Limestone was heated here to create quicklime for putting on the fields and making whitewash. Limestone was delivered in flat-bottomed boats that were unloaded onto carts at low tide.

    Limestone was delivered to these lime kilns on flat-bottomed boats © National Trust/ Andrew Tuddenham
  3. On the summit of the Gribin, explore the Iron Age fort and settlement, and enjoy the magnificent sea views.

    Show/HideThe Gribin

    The Iron Age fort on the Gribin was built in a strong defensive position. There are many like this along the coast, built with their backs to the sea to guard from attack from the land. We periodically cut the scrub and grass to protect and reveal this historic site.

    Solva is dominated by the Gribin headland © Andrew Tuddenham
  4. Follow the coast path down the steep side of the Gribin to reach the Gwadn. This pebble beach and the valley behind it were created by meltwater at the end of the last Ice Age.

    Show/HideChough

    Look out for chough. Sixty pairs of chough breed around the Pembrokeshire coast. Listen out for their distinctive keeow call, and watch for their swooping bouncy flight on square-cut wings.

    See if you can spot a chough by its distinctive bouncy flight © Annie Haycock
  5. Follow the path up the valley behind the beach. The path crosses the valley floor at its upper end, with stepping stones across the stream, before zig-zagging steeply over the ridge behind the sewage works, leading back down to Solva through the woods.

End: Solva Harbour car park, grid ref: SM805243

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 1 mile (1.5km)
  • Time: 40 minutes, or more to enjoy the views and beach
  • OS Map: Landranger 157; Explorer OL35
  • Terrain:

    The track climbs gently up from Solva, follows the ridge and descends steeply to the Gwadn. The route involves steps, some narrow paths, steep gradients and stepping stones across a stream. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads, as livestock graze in the surrounding fields. No dog bins, so please take dog litter home.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: Solva is on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

    By bike: National Cycle Network Route 4, the Celtic Trail, passes 1 mile (1.6km) north of Solva village. Local cycle routes link to Solva village itself

    By bus: Hourly bus service between Haverfordwest railway station and St Davids: number 411. Puffin Shuttle Bus, 400/315 St David's-Milford Haven, also runs along this route. For timetables visit the Pembrokeshire Greenways website

    By train: Haverfordwest station 15 miles (24.1km)

    By car: Solva is on the A487 between Haverfordwest (13 miles/20.9km) and St David's (3 miles/4.8km)

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