Author Topic: South west vs Pembroke coast path  (Read 872 times)

itchy_feet

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South west vs Pembroke coast path
« on: 13:44:07, 23/03/21 »
Hi, I am new to this forum and getting excited about planning a big trip .
Can anyone who's done both of these give me pros / cons between the two and how they compare generally ? Given the SWCP is so long I'd probably only do the most south westerly bit  - having said that time would be flexible so open minded about how long to walk for exactly.
Interested in how difficult they are, how remote and lonely , and how the scenery compares, oh and how easy to find B &Bs enroute
Thanks




gunwharfman

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #1 on: 16:20:11, 23/03/21 »
I've done neither, I live near the sea so such walks would be of little interest to me but if I did start to think of either I'd choose, based on how easy is to get get to and fro from where I live. I end up considering this option a lot when I'm thinking of a particular hike.

If I remember correctly a contributor to the Walking Forum gave us lots of information about the Pembroke walk, I think his name was Kerkuu? It was a few years ago but I still remember reading it and looking at his photos.

harland

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #2 on: 16:54:33, 23/03/21 »
I have walked both from end to end. I can't say how to recommend one from the other as it is quite a personal thing.
I loved the SWCP in 2007, I was lucky with the weather and despite carrying a tent I managed to find single B&B/YHA accommodation every night without booking ahead apart from a couple of places where I was advised there may be a problem. Happily look up where if you wish. The main reason for walking the SWCP was to revisit all those places I was taken to on holiday as a child. Although quite testing in places as it is a bit "undulating" - the ascent from end to end is equivalent to climbing Everest 4 times from sea level. A very friendly walk as there are quite a lot of holidaymakers interested in what you are doing.
I walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in 2015, perhaps not as interesting all the way but having said that there are some wonderful views and a few beaches that wouldn't look out of place in the Caribbean. I booked all the accommodation this time in advance.
Which one would I choose to walk again - the SWCP although I would have to take a bit longer to walk it nowadays!

Jac

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #3 on: 18:16:56, 23/03/21 »
I too have walk both though in sections rather than one hit.
I wouldn't consider either to be remote or lonely as the distances between habitation are not long and both are tourist areas. However, as most tourists don't walk far once away from a carpark the paths are not overcrowded.
Neither path is difficult though SWCP has a few more high, exposed and narrow parts
The uppy down bits of the SWCP are definitely more strenuous than the PCP and there are a lot of uppy down bits.
Beaches are better on the PCP but there is more stunning cliff scenery on the SCWP (IMO)


Being much shorter a fortnight is enough to complete the PCP which might give you more feeling of satisfaction.
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

Perranwell

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #4 on: 16:36:01, 24/03/21 »
I've done both--the SWP in sections over time. I loved them equally. In many ways they're similar. Geographically they aren't far from each other after all. I don't find the going on those paths easy, simply because it can be a challenge going up and down so often for so little as-the-crow-flies advancement. On the Yorkshire Coast, once you're up you stay up for a while by comparison.

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The difference in the two paths for me was that Pembrokeshire's much more thinly populated--and you don't have to traverse big towns such as Torquay, Plymouth, Newquay, etc. (There's a bunch of oil refineries at Milford Haven, though.) I also found the people in Pembrokeshire to be some of the friendliest I've come across in the UK, so drinking in the pubs was a pleasure.

itchy_feet

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #5 on: 11:33:35, 25/03/21 »
Hi all,
Thank you so much for all the useful info you have posted - it's really helping.
I'm still deciding (Libra!) but am leaning towards the SWCP, or rather a chunk of it. Mainly because I am lucky enough to be being given quite a long time away from work, so there's the opportunity to carry on for longer if I wanted. Plus the little bits of it I have done before I have loved.
There are two things giving me a bit of doubt though. One is confidence I'd be up to it. Did a long of long distance walking 20-30 years ago, but what with raising a family work etc I havne't done so for a while. Do you think a reasonably active mid 50's could train up for it, in a few months ? I won't be carrying my stuff as had a back accident, so that will help.
The other thing, is accommodation availability. I had a look on bookings.com and it seems booked up way in advance. Which is really annoying as I'd rather just book a day or two ahead as I go. I know one of you said you didn't have a problem finding it as you went along, so I am wondering if this is the Covid effect, or maybe it's just the smaller B&Bs aren't on there. Any tips ?
perranwell: I did think about the Yorks coast, but I did it ages ago and remember it quite well
harland: I saw your list of B&Bs somewhere, I will gladly use it thank you !



harland

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #6 on: 12:10:29, 25/03/21 »
Try:-
Accommodation Finder - South West Coast Path
I don't know about the "Covid" effect but I am sure that many will be booking staycations this year as going abroad seems to be getting more unlikely by the minute although October onwards may be better.

Perranwell

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #7 on: 12:27:07, 25/03/21 »
I think booking as one goes could be difficult this year, as (I live in Cornwall) the word is that demand's massive for the post-lockdown period.


One suggestion might be to try to book in advance around the Penzance/St Ives area for several-day blocks. The bus services round Penwith and Mount's Bay are very good, so it would be easy to bus out and back from the path to a base.


As far as difficulty goes, the north coast of Penwith can be very tough going, as the path is so uneven and rocky. The Lizard is much easier, particularly on the west side, so I recommend that stretch as a good one to begin on and get into one's stride. In my experience, it shouldn't take many days to shake off unfitness, so long as one eases oneself in sensibly.


I don't know which bits you've done before, but the part from Hartland Point down to the Camel estuary can be very rigorous, though also sensationally beautiful. From Padstow down to Hayle is easier going, in my opinion, and another good stretch to run oneself in on. The south coast is generally less tough too.

Good luck.

itchy_feet

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #8 on: 12:51:50, 25/03/21 »
Thanks both ! good news is I tried a few at random from the accommodation link - they're just not on bookings.com, so there is hope. Need to get organised though given what you're saying.
Take on board your point about the hard and easy bits. So I will plan to start on one of the less hard sections and work up to the harder ones.. . obvious really I just needed someone to say it ! I don't mind about doing end to end, or in order or anything like that... I just want to do some beautiful hiking and take lots of (bad?) photos and enjoy myself (which probably means going slowly compared to 90% of people on this forum)

ninthace

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #9 on: 12:56:27, 25/03/21 »
If you start the SWCP almost anywhere on the north coast, you will run out of "less hard bits" fairly quickly!   :)
Solvitur Ambulando

Jac

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Re: South west vs Pembroke coast path
« Reply #10 on: 14:24:17, 25/03/21 »
Sorry I can't help much with accommodation suggestions as we wild camped most of it. In larger towns I'm sure you'll find something without booking but in season, especially with the current 'staycation' situation, going on spec may prove difficult in villages.
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

 

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