Solva - The Gribin coastal walk
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.
Solva Harbour car park, grid ref: SM805243 NB National Trust members park for free in this non-NT car park. Please show your membership card.
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.
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.
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.
On the summit of the Gribin, explore the Iron Age fort and settlement, and enjoy the magnificent sea views.
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.
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.
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.
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. Watch your step, it can be slippery and muddy underfoot.
Solva Harbour car park, grid ref: SM805243
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