Stackpole wildlife walk

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire, SA71 5DQ

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Stackpole Head, the arch © Pembrokeshire Photography

Stackpole Head, the arch

Water lilies in the Bosherston Lakes © Lisa Whitfield

Water lilies in the Bosherston Lakes

Stackpole - the Eastern Arm and Eight Arch Bridge © Mike May

Stackpole - the Eastern Arm and Eight Arch Bridge

Route overview

This walk takes in some of the finest wildlife habitats in Pembrokeshire: limestone cliffs with breeding seabirds, beaches, dunes and freshwater lakes.

Route details

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

Map showing the route of a wildlife walk at Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Car park at Stackpole Quay, grid ref: SR990958

  1. From Stackpole Quay car park, follow the coast path to Barafundle. Pause at the top of the steps to look down on Stackpole Quay, and at the change from limestone to old Red sandstone to your left.

  2. When you reach Barafundle, go down the steps to the sands. Cross the beach, and climb the steps through the woodland on the far side.

  3. Follow the coast path towards Stackpole Head, pausing on your way to admire Lattice Windows, the natural stone arches below you. On Stackpole Head in spring and summer look for breeding seabirds on the ledges.

    Show/HideStackpole Head

    This headland and arch - which you reach in section 3 of the walk - mark the most spectacular point along the coastline. The ledges are packed with guillemots in early summer. One day the arch will collapse, leaving an offshore stack.

    Stackpole Head, the arch © Pembrokeshire Photography
  4. Continue along the coast path, with the expanse of Stackpole Warrens grassland on your right. In spring and summer this is rich in wild flowers and butterflies.

  5. Several possible routes take you down to the shore of the Bosherston Lakes. Aim for the lake outlet at the back of Broadhaven Beach. The narrow fringing reedbed is a great place for birdwatching breeding birds in summer, bitterns and water rails in winter.

  6. Cross the tiny stone bridge over the spillway and follow the Western Arm path towards Bosherston. You can pause in Bosherston for refreshments; otherwise, stay on the path.

  7. Cross the Bosherston Causeway, climb over the limestone bluff and cross the Central Causeway. These are the famous lily ponds. Look for water lilies from June to September. Follow the path down to the Grassy Bridge.

    Show/HideBosherston Lily Ponds

    These shallow lakes are famous for their water lilies in summer, but important for their beds of rare stonewort below the surface. Twenty four species of dragonfly have been recorded at Stackpole.These man-made lakes were created as part of Stackpole Court's designed landscape.

    Water lilies in the Bosherston Lakes © Lisa Whitfield
  8. Don't cross the Grassy Bridge, but turn left and follow the Eastern Arm footpath up to the Eight Arch Bridge.

    Show/Hide Eight Arch Bridge

    The Eight Arch Bridge was built in 1797 to connect the Court to Stackpole Quay. You can see the terrace of the former Stackpole Court further up the lake; walk there if you've time. The bridge is the best place to look for otters.

    Stackpole - the Eastern Arm and Eight Arch Bridge © Mike May
  9. Cross the Eight Arch Bridge, and follow the Deer Park track back to Stackpole Quay. Finish your walk at the Boathouse Tea-room with some well-deserved refreshments.

End: Car park at Stackpole Quay, grid ref: SR990958

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 6 miles (9km)
  • Time: 4 hours
  • OS Map: Landranger 158
  • Terrain:

    Beach, grassy clifftop, lakeside paths, long flights of steps up from Stackpole Quay and to Barafundle Bay. Dogs on leads are welcome.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: Pembrokeshire Tourist Route to Stackpole Village; see Sustrans website

    By bus: 387 Coastal Cruiser from Pembroke, stops at Stackpole Quay car park. See Traveline-Cymru website for other options

    By train: Nearest station Pembroke 6 miles (9.6km), see Traveline-Cymru website for details

    By car: B4319 from Pembroke, follow signs for Stackpole Village. Brown tourist sign for Stackpole Quay from coast road between Stackpole and Freshwater East


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