A couple of weekends ago I managed to find some time to explore part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park trail for a bit of coastal path trail running. With the last coastal path trail running route that I ran having been part of the Strumble Head circular, I was keen to try something else with improved weather!
Here is a small preview of a section of the trail going past an alcove and beach.
I started my run at Newgale Beach and planned to run somewhere around 35 kilometers in total. Following the coastal cliffs all the way along, this got me to a little bit further past St David’s to Porthclais Harbour. At this point I turned back and did the same path as a return.
The total distance ran was 35.06 km with an elevation of 1,044m.
The Terrain and Sights
The terrain is what you would typically expect for a coastal path here. Lots of high, sheer cliff, rolling green hills off to your side from neighbouring farms that border the coast, and sporadic alcoves and beaches etched into the coast. (Some of which were not easily accessible due to the sheer cliffs and/or tides).
There were also a number of interesting streams and waterfalls making their way down the landscape and joining the sea. Another great part of this route are the harbours you run through, such as at Solva and Porthclais.
The coastal path trail running was quite tough on this route. There are a lot of ups and downs to go through over the total distance. From Newgale the initial 5km out included quite a lot of elevation gains and losses. You feel like a bit of a yo-yo, but the views are absolutely worth it, as the elevation differences give you an excellent variety of perspectives to enjoy the coastline from.
There were some really fun downhills sections to run on sections of hill that curled back inland, leading you down to various stoney coves or beaches (uphills to tackle on the way back). Here is a short video clip showing a small part of one of my enjoyable descents:
Some more views along some of the cliffs and looking down to small coves or beaches
I am lucky to be able to reach this coast line with a fairly easy 12km run, or a short drive west from where I live. I’ll be back again soon, especially with better weather on the horizon. The next time I tackle this part of the coast I’ll most likely try and connect the section of coast between St David’s and Strumble Head.
A start from Porthclais going up and around the coast toward Strumble Head would be spectacular.
Coastal path trail running is some of my favourite. I’m really enjoying these that we have in West Wales. Some of my other favourites I’ve run so far include:
- Near Sagres, Portugal
- Near Dover, England
- Around Cape Town, Pringle Bay, and Kirstenbosch Gardens in South Africa
Here are a few bonus photos from some of my favourite above mentioned coastal path trail running and exploration excursions:
Have you run any interesting coastal trails where you live or have stayed?
Out of both interest and to add to my own ‘want to run’ list, I would love to see some of your favourite or recommended coastal trails.