The Castlemartin route is on part of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, a 186 mile trail stretching from St Dogmaels in the North to Amroth in the South. This is a unique route in Pembrokeshire as it crosses the Castlemartin Ministry of Defense firing range and because of this, it is closed when the tanks are firing! The path is usually open at weekends and Bank Holidays but please check the live firing times on 01646 662367 before starting this route. If you see red flags flying or red lights are displayed DO NOT ENTER, the range is live!
So what can you expect to see on this route? Plenty. It is a stunning section of coastline so dont forget your camera. Begin the journey at the Stack Rocks car park and it's the Green Bridge of Wales that you first see. It's one of Pembrokeshire's most famous geological features, formed by the sea cutting through a narrow headland. Stack Rocks are two limestone pillars that used to look like the Green Bridge, now collasped, they are home to hundreds of guillemots, razorbills and other seas brids during spring and summer.
The remains of Iron Age forts built over 2000 years ago can also be seen along this route. These forts would have looked out over a wooded valley but raising sea levels swamped them to form the Bristol Channel as we know it today. This part of the coastline is also steeped in legend. Huntsman's leap, a narrow steep-sided inlet formed by erosion along a fault line in the cliff, carries the legend of a huntsman who urged his horse to jump over the chasm. He landed safely but then looked back and dropped dead from shock when he saw what he had jumped over!
St Govan's Chapel has its origins in the 6th century, with the chapel you see today dating from the 13th century. The hermitage is built in to the face of the cliff and reached by a stone flight of steps. You must take the opportunity to go down to the chapel but as you do count the steps down. Legend has it that when you count them on the way back up the number is never the same!
When you make it to the car park you have reached your destination. If you have packed a picnic head down to the golden sandy beach of Broad Haven south for a well earned break before the return journey or continue a little further along the lanes to Bosherston where a wonderful cream tea can be had in the garden at Ye Olde Worlde cafe.
The bridleway has a stony surface and it is possible to explore the area between the path and the cliffs but on foot. The path follows the cliffs that have sheer drops. For your safety please keep to the path at all times. The path is a popular shared path so please expect to encounter other cyclists and walkers.
Mode: Cycling and walking
Length: 6.3miles (10.1km) one way
Bike hire: Bierspool Cycles, London Road, Pembroke Dock, Tel: 01646 681039 Sales, repairs and service
Attractions: Green Bridge of Wales, Stack Rocks, Iron Age forts, Huntsmans Leap, St Govan's Chapel .
For a bit more of a challenge try the NEW longer route through the tank range ( please check to make sure its open to the public) The 9.3mile (15.6km) circular route takes you from St. Govan`s Via Bosheston and Stack Rocks back to St Govan`s.
ID: 192 Revised: 3/8/2012