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Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes

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Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes
Author: HappyHiker, Published: 11 Jan 2019 Walk Rating:star1 Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshirestar1 Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshirestar1 Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshirestar1 Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshirestar1 Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire, Stackpole
Walk Type: Coastal
Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire boot Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire
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0004_black_low_cloud Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, PembrokeshireToday's weather
15 °C, Overcast, Wind: 4 mph W
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0002_sunny_intervals Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire 0002_sunny_intervals Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire 0001_sunny Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire 0002_sunny_intervals Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire 0002_sunny_intervals Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire

A 6 mile circular walk from Stackpole Quay in Pembrokeshire. This is a relatively easy but lovely, varied walk through Pembrokeshire’s Stackpole Estate, which provides for some spectacular cliff-top scenery, fabulous sandy beaches and a wander alongside the famous Bosherston Lily Ponds. The significant history of the Stackpole Estate began in the 1700s when the Campbell family inherited the estate through marriage. They built the Stackpole Court mansion (since demolished), the tiny Stackpole Quay harbour to provide for their love of sailing and, by damming three valleys, created the 100 acres of Bosherston Lakes. The lakes are more generally known as Bosherston Lily Ponds, on account of the water lilies which carpet the surface in early summer. There is also chance to visit the small village of Bosherston, which has a pleasant pub for refreshments and St Michael and All Angels church, with its unusual asymmetrical tower.

The walk includes a few climbs and descents from the cliffs, with several relatively flat sections in between. It follows a mixture of coastal paths along cliff tops (so take particular care with children and dogs) plus inland paths alongside the lakes. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, simple gates, bridges and long flights of steps. There are several stretches where you may be sharing the cliffs with livestock. Dogs are welcome on the walk but will need to be on leads for large stretches of the route – follow local signage. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the National Trust car park at Stackpole Quay. The car park is free for National Trust members or £5 per day for non-members (correct Jan 2019). Approximate post code SA71 5LS.

Walk Sections

Start to Stackpole Quay
Start to Stackpole Quay

Start point: 51.625 lat, -4.9032 long
End point: 51.6243 lat, -4.9013 long

From the National Trust car park, head back towards their shop and take the path to its right, following the fingerpost for Barafundle and passing the cafe and toilets. The path takes you down to Stackpole Quay (pictured).

Stackpole Quay to Barafundle Beach
Stackpole Quay to Barafundle Beach

Start point: 51.6243 lat, -4.9013 long
End point: 51.6187 lat, -4.9045 long

From Stackpole Quay, follow the path for Barafundle which is signposted (starting just to the right of the beach). Climb the path to the very top of all the steps. The path then opens out on to the cliff tops and it is a case of following as close as is safe to the cliff edge, keeping the sea on your left. There are quite a number of paths here, some of which cut corners away from the cliff edge. However, unless you want to shorten the walk, avoid the short-cuts, as you will miss some of the best coastal scenery. You will arrive at an archway which is the entry to fantastic Barafundle Beach. Drop down the steps to it and walk along the rear of the beach (the very dry sand suggests the tide would not normally be a problem).

Barafundle Beach to Broad Haven Beach
Barafundle Beach to Broad Haven Beach

Start point: 51.6187 lat, -4.9045 long
End point: 51.6095 lat, -4.9185 long

At the far end of the beach, bear right up another set of steps, to resume the coast path. After a short stint through the trees, you will be back on open ground once more. Stay with the coastal cliff top as it leads you around the spectacular cliff-top landscape, including Stackpole Head and Saddle Point. Continue until you reach the large Broad Haven Beach where the route turns inland.

Broad Haven Beach to Lily Ponds
Broad Haven Beach to Lily Ponds

Start point: 51.6095 lat, -4.9185 long
End point: 51.6128 lat, -4.9252 long

Follow the path heading inland, go through a kissing gate and continue on the path to the right of a stone wall. You will arrive at a three-way fingerpost (with the lakes visible ahead). Turn left then quickly right to follow a public footpath fingerpost. The path takes you through the trees, alongside one of the Bosherston Lily Ponds (which is on your right).

Bosherston Lakes or Lily Ponds as they are also known, have long been famous for their spectacular display of waterlilies and their resident otters. They are supplied by springs fed by a natural underground reservoir, and the water escapes the same way during dry spells.

Lily Ponds to Eight Arch Bridge
Lily Ponds to Eight Arch Bridge

Start point: 51.6128 lat, -4.9252 long
End point: 51.6227 lat, -4.9242 long

Just after passing a brick-built building on the left, the path splits. To visit the village of Bosherston, turn left (no more than 200 yards and returning the same way). To continue the walk, turn right across the footbridge. Further along, you can bear right to a viewpoint overlooking the lake and continue to rejoin the path. Soon, another long footbridge leads you across the second of the lakes’ arms.

On reaching a fingerpost with Middle Arm written down the post, turn right (following the direction of the Broadhaven fingerpost). After a short distance, you will reach another fingerpost with Grassy Bridge written down the post. This time, ignore the right turn to Broadhaven and continue ahead, following the obvious path running parallel with the lakeshore. The next landmark is the Eight Arch Bridge, so called for obvious reasons. This can be seen some distance in advance.

Eight Arch Bridge to End
Eight Arch Bridge to End

Start point: 51.6227 lat, -4.9242 long
End point: 51.6253 lat, -4.9034 long

Here, pointing to the left is a fingerpost for the Walled Garden (a working garden which teaches horticulture rather than a classic tourist attraction), should you wish to visit. This is just short of half a mile from the bridge. However, the route continues by crossing the bridge. Once over it, follow the broad clear track ahead back to the car park, going straight over a crossroads of tracks and through a walkers’ gate along the way.

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network Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2019 by iFootpath and the author happyhiker2019 and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 Comments for: "Stackpole Quay and Bosherston Lakes"

A beautiful walk taking in the breathtaking Barafundle Bay - surely one of the best in Wales! Walk is well directed and despite a few uphill sections is not too difficult.

By garethwidlak on 28 Mar 2019

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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