Last year we hiked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Amroth to St. Dogmaels. On our 13th and 14th day, we found ourselves in the area of Trefin, Strumble, Fishguard, and Newport. Read all about my experiences about hiking from Fishguard to Newport on this stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. And I share practical tips about this section and what you’ll see on the way along the Wales Coast Path.
Trefin to Goodwick and Fishguard to Newport –
Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Day 13 & 14
Pembrokeshire Coast Path Day 13: Trefin to Goodwick
The previous day, we hiked from St. Davids to Trefin and stayed at a lovely B&B, right in the center of the village.
As we had our lovely Wales Rarebit breakfast, we made plans for the day. We planned to hike from Trefin to Goodwick today.
I dreaded this day in our itinerary, as it would be our longest and most strenuous hike thus far.
It would be nearly 30 km, whereas the furthest we hiked during our Pembrokeshire Coast Path walk, was around the 22km mark. And this stretch would have some serious ascends and descends.
I was not looking forward to today. Especially not as rain was streaming against the windows.
I’ve read that some of the trail was over rocks and it would be a very hard day, especially in pouring rain. As the weather forecast didn’t predict any relief from the rain, we made the split second decision not to hike today.
No, no hiking today. We decided to take the bus to Goodwick and see if we could check into our hotel already.
We found shelter in the little bus stop in Trefin and waited for the Strumble Shuttle to arrive. This bus went quite far inland but eventually went all the way out the Strumble head and the lighthouse. Through the fogged up windows, I looked at the rain streaming down. The rocky hills around us confirmed this was a good decision. Today was not the day to hike this stretch.
As winds were sweeping in from across the sea, we decided to stay put and not disembark at the Strumble lighthouse. Straight to Goodwick please!
Staying in Goodwick or Fishguard?
Goodwick and Fishguard are two villages closely together. Goodwick seemed to me to be a town solely focusing on the Stena Line ferries to Ireland. From Goodwick, it is one long stretch to the other end of town, where the hilly, more rural village of Fishguard begins.
We arrived on the weekend of the Goodwick/Fishguard marathon, and the only hotel available was the Seaview Hotel on the far end of Goodwick. The hotel was basic, with a good breakfast and fair is fair: a sea view. But I would not stay here again. After seeing the lovely village of Fishguard, I’d definitely recommend staying there in a local B & B if possible.
Things to do in Fishguard
As we had a whole (unexpected) day to kill in Goodwick/Fishguard, we left our bags at the hotel and set out again. We couldn’t check in just yet, so we braved the stormy weather. We killed some time by checking out the things to do in Fishguard.
- Walk around the harbor in Goodwick and check out the Ocean’s Lab
- Take the Coastal Path from Goodwick to Fishguard with lovely views of both harbors
- Visit Fishguard Fort and check out the impressive cannons on display
- Enjoy the culinary treats that Fishguard has to offer
We basically spend all day doing the last thing. Once we walked the scenic route from Goodwick to Fishguard, we were soaked and found ourselves in the center of Fishguard. We stumbled into the Gourmet Pig and spent a couple of hours around lunchtime browsing the shop, tasting hams, and cheeses.
We kicked back, browsed the internet while enjoying local cheese and just had a bit of rest. After check-in time, we took a nap and let the dreadful weather pass us by.
In the evening, we wanted to have dinner at Rose & Crown in Goodwick, but it was packed to the brim. So we returned to Fishguard and found a table at the Royal Oak pub. We had the best burgers of our whole trip there and stayed for another pint.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path Day 14: Hiking Fishguard to Newport
The next day, the rain resided and we packed our bags again after breakfast. Time to do some walking!
We picked up the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Fishguard and walked all the way to our hotel in Newport. No buses today!
We did bypassing Ynys Dinas, taking the direct route from Pwllgwaelod to Cwm-yr-Eglwys but more on that later!
Quick Facts and Data for walking from Fishguard to Newport:
- Date: Saturday 8th June
- Start time: 9.30 am
- Finish time: 6 pm
- Distance walked: 22 km (13.7 miles)
- Best resource: I highly recommend the Pembrokeshire Coast Path book by Manthorpe and McCrohan
Walking through Fishguard
The Pembrokeshire coast path goes from Goodwick to Fishguard around the residential area, arriving at Lower Fishguard. As we walked this part yesterday, we decided to skip it and walk straight through Fishguard and pick up the trail at the harbour.
The morning started a bit grey but the colorful houses still stood out. We marveled at the great difference in the tide and navigated the little cobblestoned streets. We were surprised to find the coastal path following quite a busy main road. But luckily, the path quickly turned to the grassland below and we were able to visit the Castle Point.
Wind gushed in from across the water and I had trouble keeping my footing and not being blown off the higher cliff. We saw the ferry depart to Ireland and checked out the amazing cannons on display!
As we had a long day of walking ahead of us, we returned to the path and followed it towards Newport.
Fishguard Bay Resort
From the fort, the path was quite narrow, with thick vegetation on either side but quite straight forward. Although the walk was not difficult, it seemed we did not make any progress at all!
As the ferry to Ireland had long past us, we were still looking out on Fishguard bay and the town of Goodwick. This part seemed to last a long time and the strong wind wasn’t making it enjoyable.
It took us nearly 2 hours to reach Fishguard camping ground which is supposed to be a good camping option in Fishguard but not quite in the town! They do have lovely camping options, so check them out here.
But the place looked magnificent! We walked right up to the campground so you can’t miss it if you follow the path. Several caravans are overlooking the water and they have these amazing pods looking out on the sea!
It was a perfect first rest stop and we refilled our water bottles and I used the restroom facilities. Of course, I asked first, but it was no problem.
As we were nearly finishing our Pembrokeshire Coast Path walk, we were getting used to the ups and downs that is the coastal path. The vegetation was thick and the path winded down, going through a tiny valley and then making us walk back up again.
We rounded a couple of cliffs and rocky outcrops, until we heard voices in the distance. Being out on the path all by ourselves, we were surprised to find such excitement and proof of humans.
But as it turned out, a couple of beach goers just left the pebbled beach of Aber Bach and we found ourselves all alone on this lovely part of the coastal path.
We settled in for a stop at the peaceful memorial garden for a soldier, Cadet Harry M Whitworth. While sitting there, we enjoyed the lovely views across the beach. But I was getting quite hungry by now.
Getting to Pwllgwaelod Beach
I had checked the map before we left Fishguard and I knew the Old Sailors would make for a perfect lunch spot. We took snacks and water, but not a solid lunch and by now, I was famished!
But first, we had to get there. The path was lined with nearly petrified scrubs and then we walked alongside big fields. We had to get over some fences which indicated some sheep and not long until we could smell them and were navigating around their droppings.
All of a sudden, a young couple with 2 small children and their grandparents, popped out from our right. Where did they come from?
They were clearly not equipped for hiking, as they walked in their flip flops, pushing a pram and guiding the young children by their hands. As they were moving even slower than us, we wanted to overtake them but this happened to be the most steep part of the section. I felt like I crawled on hands and feet over steep rocks to pass them.
I was quite angry that they didn’t choose a flat surface to just stand on the side of the path and let us pass as they could clearly see we were moving faster than they were. But instead, we had to maneuver around them and they only gave way on the toughest part of the trail!
But, I soon brushed off my anger, because if it meant that day-trippers were here, we must be close to civilization! In the wink of an eye, we passed more fields, archways of prickly bushes with barnacles and soon I spotted Pwllgwaelod Beach!
The Old Sailors
And that means we’re close to the Old Sailors! Food! Rest!
But first we had to ascend a steep series of stairs. But with my eye on the price down below, I managed quite quickly to get down the stairs! The warm and welcoming buzz of a restaurant/sea-side dinner slash pub was waiting for us.
We managed to get a table and I was delighted to see the family we passed early show up unharmed but being turned away for sitting next to us as it was a child-free zone!
We could really take a break.
Because I was so hungry and the Old Sailors was such a well-deserved rest-stop for lunch, I have very vivid memories about the food. It tasted sooo good! I convinced my boyfriend to pick the daily special and he was very happy with his plate full of food.
But I decided to go another direction and ordered the Ploughmen’s Lunch. I did not know what to expect, but the dish pleasantly surprised me as I found a whole platter of yummy goodness to fill my stomach!
The Old Sailors is a must-stop in my book if you’re walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path!
Dinas Island and Pen Y Fan
Before we set out today, I knew that I would have a hard time walking from Fishguard to Newport. I also knew that adding the route around the Dinas Island and conquering Pen Y Fan would push it too much as when I read there was a detour to bypass it, I knew I’d want to take it.
Measuring 142 meters (466ft), Pen Y Fan is the overlook point of Dinas Island, probably worth the extra miles to follow the path. But I just knew it was too much for me and I was dead set on walking to Newport and not taking a bus today.
So we skipped it. Later we met up with a solo hiker who did conquer the peak and she showed amazing 360 degrees views from the viewpoint that has a plaque.
Bypassing Dinas Island
Instead, we walked behind the Old Sailors and followed a flat path, bypassing the peninsula completely. This was a weird path, after all that climbing and going down, the path was flat and lined with trees and bushes but also with a lot of garbage. It was clearly a path many people take that don’t consider nature!
Overall, It took us maybe 15 minutes and then we arrived at Cwm-yr-Eglwys.
The historic sight of Cwm-yr-Eglwys aka Church Valley
The path opened up and before we knew it, we found the historic sight of Church Valley. It is easy to see why it has this name, as the ruins of the church overlook the bay and the sea.
Roaming the ground for a little bit, trying to decipher the text on the tombstones, we returned to the coastal path and continued our walk to Newport.
We walked through the village, nearly parallel to someone’s property which made us question if we’re still on the right path. But as always with the Pembrokeshire coast path, it isn’t long until the familiar red-white marker pops up and you’re assured you’re going into the right direction.
The path altered between grassland and stoney path, then sand again. The cliffs were never far and the drop seemed terrifying. The landscape is dramatic and impressive and the path guides you alongside it, sometimes quite close!
We reached the pebble beach of Aberfforest and crossed the stream. By now, I was checking my watch and distance walked to see how far it still would be. I was getting quite tired.
Hiking to Newport Bay
We had another beach in front of us, and I was nearly giving up hope. Again we had to go all the way down and you could see where the path would go all the way up again.
From time to time, I was getting desperate with all the variations in altitude. Yes, I knew it was going to be this way! But when you just about recovered from climbing up, and you see you have to drop all the way to sea level again. And then climb back up again….
It seems so futile and I just wanted to get to the end. I must admit, I am a terrible walker. I obviously bit off more than I could chew with the Pembrokeshire coast path. Usually, during the day, I was ok, but by the time it was 4pm and we’d been walking for the majority of the day and we still had 1 to 2 hours more to go, I was getting moody and desperate.
Anyways, Newport Bay was lovely. But as soon as we reached sea level again, I threw my bag to the ground, ditched my hiking poles and just had a big sobbing session on the bench overlooking the beach. I was just too tired to enjoy myself.
Arriving in Newport
But as usual, after a bit of rest and some encouraging words from my boyfriend. And the realisation that there really is no other way to get out of the situation than to hike myself, I got up, strapped on my backpack, camera, took my hiking poles and off we went again.
Luckily for me, for the last time up for the day. Once we reached the top of the rocks again, we could see Newport in the distance. Djeez, it was still far out. But luckily, the path was easy, with flat lands around us and gradually, we walked down to the coastal town again.
Luckily, the tide was low, so we could walk across the wet sand and reach Newport. Our stop for today. Turned out, Newport is quite a stretched out town and of course, it seemed forever to navigate the streets.
Walking on the paved road, in civilization with cars passing you buy, trying to hold your walking poles as you’re too tired to put them away is quite an adjustment after a day of being out in nature with just the views and wind as your companion.
No wonder I was grumpy as f*ck walking through Newport. I was even more triggered in my foul mood by the charming look of the old town of Newport. It even had a castle, cute souvenir shops, and loads of other shopping opportunities. Normally, that would make a person happy. But I was just aggravated by my own tiredness, and I was upset that I couldn’t enjoy this lovely town as I was too tired.
Where to stay in Newport?
Finally, we arrived at the Golden Lion Hotel in Newport. After getting out of my stinky and sweaty clothes, I sunk into the fresh fluffy pillows and had a snack. I immediately felt better. When I finally peeled myself off the bed and got into the shower, I was a whole different person!
The Golden Lion Hotel in Newport
It seemed luck was at our side, because we were able to grab one of the last tables for the early evening dinner session at the Golden Lion Hotel. As I was still famished, it all coincided perfectly.
I felt all refreshed and confident again so I did something I normally don’t do. I went with the recommendation from the waitress. Maybe because she felt sorry for us and squeezed us into the reservation roaster and I wanted to reward it. Or maybe because I felt like a different person. I went with the recommendation of a roasted leg of chicken.
It seemed today was quite a culinary day because this meal was also delicious. My boyfriend enviously eyed my plate, but I devoured it all.
As the live music kicked in at the pub and the next round of people were waiting, we decided to retreat to our room and rest. Because the music seeped through the building, we quite enjoyed the show from our room. As we were so tired, we slept through it regardless.
You might be able to tell, I highly recommend The Golden Lion in Newport. As a matter of fact, before we even left, we contemplated on returning there, just so we could enjoy the pub, the hotel room, and the food once more! Yup, that is how good we found it.
As Newport is quite a popular vacation destination and caters to holidaymakers and tourists, options of hotels, inns, and holiday rentals are numerous in Newport. I guess you can’t go wrong in Newport, so check out other options here.
For more Pembrokeshire Coast Path accommodations suggestions, check my guide here.
Tips for hiking from Fishguard to Newport
Although this report of this section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path starts to read like a culinary journey, I also have some practical tips to share about this part of the hike.
- One of the very few days that we didn’t use the bus service. But if you need to, the T5 runs between Fishguard and Haverfordwest, and the 405 (Poppit Rocket) runs between Fishguard and Newport.
- Eat enough and bring enough water. You can find restroom facilities at Fishguard Bay Resort, Pwllgwaelod Beach, and Cwm-yr-Eglwys. Although the last one was closed when we visited. You can easily fill up your water bottles but it is always good to bring a LifeStraw Drink bottle and/or water bladder.
- My Black Diamond trekking poles with adjustable height were invaluable today. If you prefer the same trekking poles as me, but with cork handles, then check the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Poles here. My boyfriend uses the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z trekking poles which are 1 size but can be folded and are ultra-lightweight.
Shorter walks between Fishguard and Newport
It would be harder to do a circular route on this stretch but if you don’t want to walk the full 22 km (and then some) as we did, I recommend the following parts:
- Walk through Fishguard and explore the harbor. Make it out to the Fishguard Fort and check out the guns. You can then return the same route as you came.
- Dinas Island would be the perfect circular walk as you can park your car at Pwllgwaelod Beach or get there with the 405 bus (in Summer) and walk around the peninsula, take in the views, explore this historic sight of Cwm yr Eglwys and then return (or vice versa). It would take you roughly 1 to 2 hours. Add in another 1,5 hours if you include lunch at the Old Sailors.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
This blog is part of my Pembrokeshire Coast Path series. I will write about my experiences hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. This was our last week of walking. Feel free to check out the other stretches below:
Hiking Pembrokeshire Coast Path in video
What is it like to hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales? We walked the full Coastal Path from Amroth to St.Dogmaels in springtime and I recorded a video of each hiking day. Check out a compilation of the best, the most beautiful, and the worst moments on the trail!
Find more video’s about my travels on YouTube. Make sure to follow me to get a notification when I upload new videos.
Are you planning to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? Have you been to Goodwick or Fishguard or walked to Newport along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.