Fireside winter walks

Winter in Pembrokeshire might not be your first choice for a short break at the darkest time of year, but be assured it’s worth the journey.

The breath-taking views take on a whole new character, dancing in and out of shadow as the clouds race across big open skies.

You’ll enjoy brisk walks, fresh, fresh air, and even on the wildest, windiest, wettest days you will have places to explore. And at the end of the day, there’s the sheer joy of knowing that you will retreat inside, your face glowing, to good food, warm drinks and fireside conversations that nurture your soul.

Here are six of the best. Enjoy!

1. Carningli, Newport

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: 2½ hours
  • Fireside: The Golden Lion or Llys Meddyg
  • Click here for Carningli map

There are few sea to summit walks in Wales as accessible as Carningli in Newport. In the space of a morning you can paddle in the sea at Newport’s Parrog and then walk 1138ft up the mountain (and back) all before lunchtime.

The walk is regularly tackled by locals of all ages and the views are breathtaking - so go for it!

When you get back to Newport you have a choice of two cracking fireside retreats. Llys Meddyg, with its roaring fire in their cosy basement bar, or the equally warming Golden Lion pub next door. Both offer exceptional menus if you’ve worked up an appetite.

2. Angle Peninsula

  • Distance: 3.7miles
  • Time: 2½ hours
  • Fireside: The Old Point House
  • Click here for Angle map

This gentle half-day circular walk starts at West Angle Bay car park, following the Pembrokeshire Coast Path as it meanders along the coastline back to Angle. You’ll walk along cliff tops, through woodland and across fields until you sweep round into East Angle Bay and the Old Point House pub – your lunch stop or fireside warmer.

Once you’ve enjoyed the Point’s hospitality, and providing the high tide hasn’t trapped you in the pub for an extra hour, you can walk back to West Angle along the road, walking the full length of the village.

3. St Davids

  • Distance: 2.6 miles
  • Time: 1¼ hours
  • Fireside: The Farmers Arms
  • Click here for St Davids map

There’s something really pleasing about being able to walk out of a city and down to the sea, without having to jump in a car. The rugged cliffs at St Non’s will greet you with the days weather and it’s a lovely walk round to Porthclais harbour where you may see some brave souls taking a winter coasteer or kayak. 

After a walk across the fields back into the city head for The Farmers Arms. It’s a real local, with a cosy bar and fire room that everyone seems to pack into in the winter. It won’t take you long to get drawn into a conversation, where you’ll learn a thing or two about St Davids for sure.

4. Rosebush

  • Distance: 6.2 miles
  • Time: 2½ -3 hours
  • Fireside: Tafarn Sinc
  • Click here for Rosebush map

This exhilarating circular walk takes you from the heart of Rosebush through the remains of the Bellstone Slate Quarry to a recreational forestry area, Pantmaenog Forest, for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.

Forestry roads gentle lift you up to the ‘Golden Road’ on the Preseli Ridge and a short climb gets you to the highest peak in Pembrokeshire – Foel Cwmcerwyn – at 1757ft. On a good day you can see the whole of Pembrokeshire, North Wales, Gower and even Ireland!

Dropping back down into Rosebush a trip to Tafarn Sinc will round off your day beautifully, with a wood burning stove, unique bar and the Welsh language in full flow.

5. Tenby

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 1½ hours
  • Fireside: The Quay Rooms

Tenby is a really pretty town and well worth a walk in winter, especially if the rain is intermittent. Start at North beach and walk through the harbour, around Castle Hill and then down onto South beach and all the way across to Giltar Point and back. You’ll always have Tenby in your sights so you can dash back if the weather turns.

A hot chocolate reward, or something stronger, awaits you (and your dog) beside a roaring fire in the Quay Rooms, a cosy café below the Plantagenet House restaurant. You have to walk down a cobbled alley to get to it and feel like you are finding a real hidden gem, which of course you are. The house holds a Flemish Chimney circa 10th century and has oodles of character. Well worth a walk round.

6. Stackpole Circular, Stackpole Quay

  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Fireside: Stackpole Inn
  • Click here for Stackpole map

This is a wonderful circular walk, taking in some of the best natural attractions in South Pembrokeshire: Barafundle beach, Stackpole Head, Broadhaven beach, Bosherston lily ponds and the 8-arch bridge. If you do only one walk this winter do this one.

When you’re finished head to the Stackpole Inn where a wood burning stove in the top bar awaits winter walkers (and their dogs). Warm yourself by the fire with a hot drink, light lunch or something special from their award-winning restaurant. If you can’t tear yourself away bed and breakfast is also available.

Read more about walking, or winter breaks in Pembrokeshire.

WEATHER
 I have just had one of the best weekends ever, it was fantastic to experience coasteering. I have never laughed so much in my life! 
Louise, Bristol
St Davids Cathedral

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