Strumble is on the North West tip of Pembrokeshire, west of Fishguard. The area is known as the Pencaer Peninsula, although it isn’t actually a peninsula. Bordered on two sides by the sea and on the inland side by a line of low hills, it does give the feeling of being cut off.
The focus for Pencaer is Strumble Lighthouse, perched on a tiny island just off the coast and reached by a small suspension bridge. The Lighthouse is automated now so there isn’t any access onto the island.
The Strumble Shuttle traverses points on the coast between St Davids and Fishguard making walking this stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path really easy. The service runs early and late allowing you to be dropped off at one point in the morning and picked up again later in the afternoon.
The nearest train station is in Fishguard, which now has 7 services a day.
Stena Ferries operate a car and passenger ferry with two sailings a day out of Fishguard Harbour to Rosslare in Ireland.
Carregwastad Point, a few miles east of Strumble Lighthouse along the Coast Path, is where a force of 1,200 French soldiers landed in 1797, the last time the British mainland was invaded.
A 100ft long Last Invasion tapestry commemorating the event can be seen in the old town hall in Fishguard. Sewn in a ‘Bayeux’ tapestry style it’s a humorous and interesting account of the ill fated invasion. Many of the scenes on the tapestry relate to incidents on the Pencaer Peninsula.
An old coast guard lookout nearby has been repaired and serves as a wildlife lookout. Strumble is one of the best places in Wales to see migrating seabirds as they follow the coast up and down the west of Britain. Because Strumble sticks out so far into The Irish Sea, the birds are concentrated and close to shore.
Viewing is particularly good soon after dawn in the autumn after a stormy period of weather when the birds resume their journeys after congregating in safe havens like Milford Haven.
There are regular sightings of great and Arctic skuas, dainty storm and Leach’s petrels, several species of tern, Sabine’s gulls, great and sooty shearwaters, soft-plumage petrel, little shearwater and Wilson’s petrel.
Strumble Head is not just about seabirds. Wildfowl, especially that dark sea duck the common scoter and waders like oystercatchers and curlew also pass.
Dolphin & porpoise watching is also popular here. A local group called Sea Trust hold several surveys here every year.
Coast Path walking around Strumble is fantastic but can be quite taxing. A good circular walk starts at the historic hamlet of Llanwnda with its tiny church and Neolithic burial chamber.
Follow a track directly west to the minor road going towards Strumble lighthouse and continue to Trenewydd Farm on the road. Almost past Trenewydd is a footpath that takes you partly through the farm buildings and directly south on a rough track.
Just below a small hill called Garn Folch, follow another track due west again to another minor road. Turn left up hill and right to the top of Garn Fawr, an Iron Age hill fort and fine viewpoint. Continue due west down steep ground towards a collection of cottages and the youth hostel at Pwll Deri.
The rest of the walk is along the coast path to Carregwastad Point where you turn inland to return to Llanwnda. The coastal scenery here is some of the best in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Melin Tregwynt, a traditional Welsh woollen mill is nearby. Their products have a distinctively modern twist and are sold in lots of high-class department shops around the world. There’s a shop and cafe and a chance to see the weaving.
Food and Drink
The nearest places to eat are in Goodwick and at Mathry. A cafe at Melin Tregwynt is nearby too.
Accommodation around Strumble itself is limited. There is a camping and touring caravan site near the lighthouse and a smart youth hostel at Pwll Deri with some of the most stunning views anywhere in Pembrokeshire. There are also a few self-catering cottages dotted around including one with no electricity!
A television programme called ‘A Pembrokeshire Farm’ followed Griff Rhys-Jones renovation of an old farmhouse on the Pencaer peninsula. The house is now available as a self-catering rental.
Hotels, guesthouses, inns and B&Bs can be found in Goodwick. There’s a holiday park with self-catering static caravans in Fishguard.
Why not make a weekend of it and spend 48 hours in Fishguard; it will give you plenty of time to explore the area.