Porthgain to Abereiddi coastal walk
Enjoy some of Pembrokeshire’s finest coastal scenery while exploring its industrial past. The tiny fishing port of Porthgain used to export road stone all over the UK, while Abereiddi’s famous Blue Lagoon was once an old slate quarry. Ynys Barri (or Barry Island) is also home to a fantastic array of wildlife.
Porthgain, grid ref: SM816325
Walk along the south side of Porthgain Harbour below the brick hoppers. To reach the coast path, climb some steps next to a white building. Take time to explore the granite quarry workings.
Ty Mawr is the building in the foreground here; it was once Porthgain's brick-making shed. Huge red brick hoppers provide a dramatic backdrop to the tiny harbour. Granite road stone was crushed and stored in them before being loaded into boats and transported across the UK. Today it's a pretty village best known for its pub, cafés and galleries, but bricks were made here until 1912, and granite road stone from the nearby coastal quarry was exported in boats to all parts of the UK until 1931.
At a sharp left bend in the path at a field corner, the tower above Abereiddi comes into view. Continue on the coast path along a section of very dramatic, high cliffs.
Chough may be seen swirling up above the cliffs on sea breezes, all along the Pembrokeshire coast, at any time of year. They're part of the crow family but have bright red beaks and legs. Look offshore for seabirds like gannet and, if you're very lucky, pods of porpoise.
Steps from here lead down to the tiny beach at Traeth Llyfn. Secluded and remote, the shore is completely covered by the highest tides. There can also be nasty rip currents so it's not good for swimming, just paddling and sandcastle building.
Ynys Barri is a rugged coastal outcrop of hard volcanic rocks framed by a marshy valley which was carved in the last Ice Age. It offers super panoramas to Strumble Head with its lighthouse in the northeast and the peaks of Pen Beri and Carn Llidi (on St David's Head) to the southwest.
The coast path continues over open grassland to Abereiddi. Great care should be taken as you approach the Blue Lagoon. The views are spectacular but the cliff edge is sudden. The Blue Lagoon is a great place for diving and coasteering. The path skirts along the cliffs before zig-zagging down towards Abereiddi beach. Catch the Strumble Shuttle bus to Porthgain, St David's or Fishguard, or continue walking inland for a circular route back to your start point.
Walk towards the car park and toilets. Follow the yellow footpath arrows up a short slope and pick up a broad grassy footpath leading inland. From here you get lovely views up the valley towards Llanrhian; this was carved by glacial meltwater during the last Ice Age. It actually continues for 2 miles (3.2km) out to sea along the sea bed.
Cross a stile, cut across the corner of the field and head over another stile by a pile of rocks. Follow a wide track eastwards to Barry Island Farm.
Take this track down to the road and cross to the other side, climbing some slate steps into a field.
Walk straight across the field and go over a stile and along a hedge to a kissing gate. Follow this route back to Porthgain.
Porthgain, grid ref: SM816325
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