South-west Wales boasts epic sea views and colourful seaside towns, but extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels caused by climate change are threatening the coastline. Peter’s seaside route takes you on a tour of Pembrokeshire – stopping off at some of the world’s loveliest beaches along the way.
If you’re travelling by train, you can start this journey at Saundersfoot train station – right next to Saundersfoot village. From here you travel across the Pembrokeshire coastal path, across beautiful rolling hills until you drop down into the town of Tenby.
This is one of Wales’ most famous seaside towns – and you’ll soon see why. (But it does mean you’ll need to prepare for tourists in the height of the season.) If you have the time, it’s definitely recommended to stop off here and have a look around – the medieval town walls are a must-see. After this, there are some big climbs, which are expected near the coast, so nothing that should shake an experienced rider.
The roads here are pretty flat and quiet – as with many routes in this part of Wales and of course, incredibly beautiful. The lanes don’t get much traffic but you’ll still need to watch out. You’ll travel towards Freshwater East beach – a great place to take a break and grab some lunch on the shore, and where there’s a loo if you need it. Just watch out for that incoming tide!
At around mile 27 you’ll start on the road towards the world-famous Freshwater West beach – the highlight of the day. As you approach this, which is a really popular destination for surfers, you drop down into a stunning stretch of road with sand dunes either side.
Making your way up to Pembroke (where you can catch the train home from Pembroke Dock station) you’ll pass Pembroke Castle – the birthplace of Henry VIII – which is a final attraction before the route ends.
about the rider
Peter Gostelow is always happy when exploring new places on two wheels. Back before apps and GPS trackers, Peter relied on paper maps to clock up over 100,000km on the road - cycling from Japan to England and England to South Africa.
beauty in the balance
· Almost 25% of Wales’ coastline is affected by coastal erosion – some at rates higher than 0.1m/year.
· The intensity of climate change causes extreme weather conditions in West Wales and warming seas have clear impact on marine life.
· 200,000 properties in Wales are directly at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.