On a cold and rainy December late afternoon, I ran a small section of the Strumble Head Circular coastal trail.
I’m always on a mission to explore and catalog various trail running locations that are within close proximity to where I live. To find and decide on Strumble Head, I loaded up my Alltrails app, and searched for nearby trails.
Strumble Head is about 25 minutes away from where I live. It is too far to run there unless I plan for a much longer outing. So on this occasion I took the car out for a short drive up northward, and parked nearby the lighthouse – a literal shining beacon that helped guide me in, even with the mist and patches of rain.
Strumble Head itself is a location within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It is at the top end or head of the area, and has a few small islands scattered around it – Ynys Meicel, Ynys Onnen and Carreg Onnen.
Strumble Head Terrain
The run itself was quite technical in my opinion. Probably a lot to do with the high winds and wet rocks and mud everywhere.
There was a decent amount of elevation for the distance ran. There was a total of 312m of elevation from what my Garmin Forerunner 245 and Strava tell me.
The coastal trail heads right past the lighthouse and follows the cliff edges along the coast. This makes for some spectacular views over the coast and sea. Even if the weather is dreary like it was for me, you do get some dramatic views of the cliffs.
I ran just 8.2km along the coastal path – out as far as I could, then back again to the lighthouse. Unfortunately, with the fading light I could not explore too far.
I ran cautiously, going slowly to avoid slipping on the wet rocks and mud. To add to this, there were high winds which coupled with running unfamiliar cliff edges heed caution. One wrong foot could have resulted in a fall. Falling on this route is going to be a bad time for anyone. You’re almost guaranteed to hit a rock, (or worst case go over the edge).
Strumble Head Scenery
As mentioned before the scenery here is amazing. Coastal paths always have a lot to offer in the regard (in my opinion).
On the return leg of my run I was lucky enough to have the sun peek through a small hole in the overcast clouds, just as it was setting on the horizon.
I’ll definitely be returning to run the entirety of this coastal path in this new year. I can imagine how spectacular it will be in Spring and Summer time.
5 thoughts on “Strumble Head Circular Coastal Path, Pembrokeshire”
Even on a cold and rainy December afternoon, that scenery looks amazing! It somehow reminds me of the wild coastline around parts of Cape Town.
Did you take your hiking poles with you?
And you are right, that’s quite a lot of elevation for 16k. Nice!
Looking forward to seeing your update in Spring and Summer! 😊
Thanks for dropping by! You know what, you’re right. The rocks and mountain side remind me of the area overlooking Gordon’s Bay 😎
Unfortunately my hiking poles were still packed away when I did this trail back in December. They would have been perfect.
I didn’t manage 16, but just 8k in total. It was getting dark so I did 4k out and 4k back again. Next time I’ll try take half a day to go all the way down the coast as far as I can go 👍🏻
I’m so glad you are finding new running locations in the new area that you now live, Sean. What a great mission of finding, exploring and cataloging various trail running locations that are nearby. Which means using your car for much shorter trips.
The views from the Stumble Head coastal path are so amazing. Even on an overcast day. I can imagine how slippery the rocks would get. That would be dreadful if someone were to go over the edge. I have never done a coastal trail. This is something I would love to do. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by and reading! Using the car less is great for the environment and for reducing the friction involved in just getting out and exercising. Double win!
Your posts are always chock full of photos and interesting insights, so I would absolutely love to see a coastal path adventure post on your blog.