How Difficult is the Pembrokeshire Coast Path?
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path covers 186 miles and has a cumulative ascent/descent of 35,000 ft. which is said to be the equivalent of climbing Everest! However, don't let these figures put you off walking the Coast Path. At Macs Adventure, we have several different itineraries and there is something to suit everyone who is interested in the PCP.
All our itineraries run south to north. The south sections are considered easier than the north so tackling the trail this way means you can ease yourself into the hike and build up your walking fitness as you go. So by the time you get to the more difficult sections you will be better prepared and be in a nice walking rhythm. If you are looking for a challenge, and would like to cover the full trail, we have two possible itineraries for you, a 15 day or a 16 day trip. Both itineraries are the same level of strenuous (moderate-strenuous, 4 out of 6 on our grading scale), however the latter involves an extra day of walking to visit the beautiful village of Tenby. If you are planning on completing the whole trail in one go, we recommend being an experienced and fit walker. If you are a beginner then we recommend committing to a fitness regime beforehand to make sure you are fit enough to take on the tour, and to be able to enjoy it as much as possible. Don't forget, if you are nervous about taking on several days of walking one after the other, you can add rest days wherever you would like. Just ask your Destination specialists for advice on the best places to spend a free day.
If you don't think you can tackle the whole Path in one go, or you simply don't have the time, we offer week long itineraries covering the South, Central and North sections. The South and Central itineraries are graded moderate (3 out of 6 on our scale), and the North section is graded moderate-strenuous like the complete itineraries. So if you are looking for a challenge but only have a week, go for the North section which is very undulating and more rugged and wild.
The terrain of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is not technical and therefore accessible to all walkers. However, the steep sections can become slippery/muddy during or after poor weather (unfortunately not unheard of in Wales!), therefore sturdy walking boots with good grip and a steady foot are recommended for this trip. You might also find walking poles helpful. It should also be mentioned that much of the trail is on cliff-top paths, so it is best suited to walkers with a head for heights.
The Pembrokeshire coast area has an excellent bus service which can be of great help to shorten or skip sections. If you are struggling with a section, or the weather is not conducive to a pleasant hike, check your trip materials for information on nearby buses. Even if you don't use it, which most people don't, knowing the option is there should you need it can give you the confidence boost you need to take on the challenge of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.
Overall, while the trail is challenging, it is within most people's reach given the proper thought and preparation. The sense of achievement, along with the fantastic scenery and towns along the way, are well worth the effort! So what are you waiting for? Browse our PCP itineraries here or contact one of our Destination Specialists to find out more.