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Pembrokeshire, Castlemartin Ranges East. Walking with Wheels

Hiking Route · United Kingdom
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  • Next stop South America
    / Next stop South America
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Castlemartin Ranges
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / The Green Bridge of Wales in 2015
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Stack Rocks (Creigiau Elegig)
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Stack Rocks guillemot colony
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • /
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Wales Coast Path
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / A view from the Wales Coast Path
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Well wrapped up
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Targets
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Huntsman's Leap
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / A popular climbing area
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / Rescuing a climber
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / St Govan's Chapel
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
  • / St Govan's Chapel
    Photo: John Cuthbertson, Disabled Ramblers
m 50 40 30 20 10 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
This is a ramble for people on mobility scooters. A bracing ramble along a section of the Wales Coast Path.  Great views of the Green Bridge of Wales, Stack Rocks, bird colony and rock climbers.
moderate
Distance 12.1 km
3:05 h
42 m
47 m
49 m
8 m

Pembrokeshire is a lovely County, nowhere more so than the Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park. This ramble takes us along as section of the Wales Coast path from Stack rocks to St Govan’s Head along the seaward edge of Castlemartin Range East. The area is only open to the public when not needed by the MOD – that’s most weekends, holidays and some evenings.

It is an exposed location, so be prepared for any combination of weather. As you will see in the photos, the weather was kind to us (if a little chilly), giving great views all along the coast and way out to sea.

The use of the area by the MOD goes back to the 1940s and now is the premier site for tank training with live artillery firing on targets on land and at sea. This means that the land has been protected from farming ‘improvements’ resulting in many important species being protected. The site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is regularly monitored by Natural Resources Wales to ensure it is kept in as good a condition as possible. Sheep graze the area, helping to keep the land in good order.

The path to the right of the car park leads to the viewing area to see the Green Bridge of Wales.  This natural arch might not last much longer as storms tend to cause parts of it to fall off. Access for the less able might not be possible.

Turning left at the car park, and passing through a gate, the Stacks come into view. These two detached pillars of limestone are home to a large number of seabirds, especially in the spring when every available space is occupied by guillemots, fulmar, razorbill, kittiwake, herring gulls and black-backed gulls.  

The path is mainly flat and of compacted gravel though some parts are on grass. Most wheelchairs and scooters should have little difficulty. To the right the cliffs are cut into in dramatic ways, none more so that ‘Huntsman’s Leap’, a narrow, sheer sided zawn. According to legend a huntsman leapt across the gap and, looking back, died of fright when he saw what he had just done.

The limestone cliffs are one of the best areas in the world for rock climbing on sea cliffs, and there were plenty of rock climbers to watch and admire. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and while we were there one climber took a bit of a tumble and was helicoptered off to hospital during our lunch stop. We were assured he was not badly injured.

The descent down the steep steps to the restored St Govan’s Chapel was not possible for most of our members; the photos here might give you a bit of an idea what it was like. St Govan was a hermit and legend has it that he landed here while escaping from pirates. The cliffs magically opened up to allow him to hide. He lived in a cave in a fissure in the rocks and died in 586 having been born in Ireland. The Chapel was built in the 13 century and was restored fairly recently.

Author’s recommendation

Try to choose a fine, clear day to enjoy the far-reaching views out to sea.
Profile picture of John Cuthbertson
Author
John Cuthbertson 
Update: January 06, 2022
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
49 m
Lowest point
8 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

An important artillery range, it is only open to the public when no firing is taking place. See the Firing Notices: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/castlemartin-firing-notice--2

 Changes and cancellations to firing/road closure times can happen without notice. For daily updates please phone 01646 662367 from 8.15am.

Stay on or close to the path. Do not touch or approach any items which might be connected with the military as it might just be live.

The route is exposed to the weather so please bring appropriate clothing.

Tips and hints

If there were to be a problem with a scooter, it could be collected from the car park at St Govan's Head.

Start

Castlemartin Stack Rocks car park. What3Words: wired.humid.replays (41 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SR 92525 94621
DD
51.612097, -4.997967
DMS
51°36'43.5"N 4°59'52.7"W
UTM
30U 361662 5719786
w3w 
///landlords.medium.helping

Destination

St Govan's Head. What3Words: dragons.decreased.shred

Turn-by-turn directions

From Stack Rocks car park, turn east or left (when viewing the sea) and take the obvious path. The route is met by roads at two points. Gates need to be opened and closed, otherwise continue straight ahead.

Next comes a car park. Go through this and continue ahead. Soon the path splits. Take the right fork and soon St Govan's Head is reached.  Return the same way.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Costal Cruiser busses 387 and 388 go to Stack Rocks car park.

Great Western Rail go to Pembroke Dock then 387 or 388 to Stack Rocks

Check timetables to ensure transport is running.

Getting there

From Pembroke take the B3419 to Merrion. Just before Warren, with its church spire, turn left on Ermigate Lane. Continue to the end where you will find the car park.

Parking

Car parks at Stack Rocks and St Govan's Head

Coordinates

OS Grid
SR 92525 94621
DD
51.612097, -4.997967
DMS
51°36'43.5"N 4°59'52.7"W
UTM
30U 361662 5719786
w3w 
///landlords.medium.helping
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendations for this region:

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Equipment

Suitable for large mobility scooters. 

Accompanying walkers should find this to be a gentle stroll but there will be muddy puddles after rain.


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
12.1 km
Duration
3:05 h
Ascent
42 m
Descent
47 m
Highest point
49 m
Lowest point
8 m
Public-transport-friendly Accessibility Out and back Scenic Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights Flora and fauna Dog-friendly Suitable for strollers Healthy climate

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