Day 1: From the PCP starting monument in north St. Dogmaels, hike 15 miles to Tycanol Farm Camping (caravancampingsites.co.uk/pembrokeshire/tycanolfarm.htm) near Newport.
Day 2: 13 miles to Fishguard (Hamilton Lodge; hamiltonbackpackers.co.uk/).
Day 3: 19 miles to Trefin (Old School Hostel, a 1-mile detour; theoldschoolhostel.co.uk/).
Day 4: 11 miles to Whitesands Bay (St. Davids YHA; yha.org.uk/hostel/st-davids).
Day 5: 12 miles to Nine Wells Caravan Park (ninewellscamping.com/) near Solva.
Day 6: 12 miles to Little Haven (Atlantic View B&B; atlantic-view.co.uk/).
Day 7: 14 miles to Westdale Bay (cross peninsula neck to Dale for lodging).
WALES COAST PATH TRIP PLANNER
GET THERE Fly to Manchester, England. All trail towns are accessible via rail and bus: traveline-cymru.org.uk.
SEASON Spring through fall. Summer is best; pack for rain and cold anytime.
WHERE TO STAY Save money by camping at near-trail caravan parks (first-come, first-serve; about $15-$20/night). Hostels and B&Bs let you go lighter and offer a respite if bad weather sets in ($70/night and up, reserve three months in advance for July and August). Expect to pay cash at most places. Favorite stops: Hamilton Lodge in Fishguard (hamiltonbackpackers.co.uk/); Cae Du (.3 mile off the trail near Rhoslefain; 01654 711234); Pwll Deri (on trail just south of Strumble Head Lighthouse; http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/pwll-deri). Note: Youth Hostel Association lodges have a 3-for-4 WCP deal—stay three nights and get the fourth night free.
MAPS AND GUIDES WCP maps 41-54 for Aberystwyth to Porthmadog; maps 62-73 for St. Dogmaels to Dale (free; walescoastpath.gov.uk). One (Isle of Anglesey) of six official WCP Guidebooks is available (northerneyebooks.com); Pembrokeshire Coast Path—Trail Guide by Brian John ($20; aurumpress.co.uk).
BEST PUBS Aberystwyth’s Scholars Pub (trip 1, day 1); Trefin’s Ship Inn (trip 2, day 3); Porthgain’s The Sloop Inn (trip 2, day 4)
Mapped by Barney Mann
Day 1 to 7 PCP ACTIVE LOG072959
Distance: 98.82 mi
Total Time: 6d 7:30:04
Speed: 0.7 mph
Pace: 1:31:58 / mi
Active Time: none
Speed: 0.7 mph
Pace: 1:31:58 / mi
Points of Interest
Location: 52.089105, -4.682180
08-JUL-12 8:19:30AM St Dogmaels north end, sea side, start of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, one of 15 National Trail, and now a 187-mile part of the 870-mile Wales Coast Path). There is a monument and a mosaic tile with a foot in the center to mark the PCP start. The PCT is well marked. They have added some, not a lot, of Wales Coast Path medallions to it. Today is billed as a hard day, but with great rewards. Carry enough water for the whole day to Newport.
Location: 52.113328, -4.725180
08-JUL-12 9:57:07AM First PCP climbing. Once it could be said that "the PCT is mad for stiles." Wales outdoor author Roger Thomas. In an effort to make the trail more accessible to all, over 400 stiles have been replace by gates in the last 20 years.
Location: 52.108951, -4.733451
08-JUL-12 10:18:46AM PCP high point. Must be a fantastic view when the fog lifts and the visibility is more than 100 feet.
Location: 52.106901, -4.734974
08-JUL-12 10:26:29AM Stile with warning sign showing person falling off a cliff. This may be the actual high point.
Location: 52.086909, -4.753234
08-JUL-12 11:36:26AM Bridge over stream.
Location: 51.901969, -5.286987
11-JUL-12 4:36:06PM YHA. It was 1.2 miles by road, even though it looked much closer as the crow flies. There is no direct line path from the beach even though my track shows one (a hard to get rid of artifact of merging tracks).
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