Today’s four-legged model on the dog walk is Betty the daug. She’s tiny but she’s feisty! Betty is a Dachshund/Pug cross and her fabulous little pins can walk a good distance. She is not built for high climbs, large boulders to cross and any deep puddles, but wow this little lady has stamina. Diminutive our Betty maybe but she’s full of personality. Today we take her for a happy stroll by the seaside, with doggy treats galore.
As a haven for dog walkers, Pembrokeshire has so much to offer. The coastal path at 186 miles of heaven, is a wonder in itself. You can hike and take more involved walks with clifftop views and rugged terrain. But what if you are holidaying with your canine pal who is of the vertically challenged variety, or maybe rocking a sliver snout? Where is best for a beautiful, pleasurable and not too challenging stroll?
We suggest this perfect walk, just over a mile, very easy and really beautiful.
You’ll experience beautiful beaches, cliff-side walkways, tunnels, great pubs, lovely cafes and a glorious harbour. All for minimum exertion.
Begin your walk at Wiseman’s Bridge, just along the coast from Tenby. The seaside hamlet is between Saundersfoot and Amroth. Parking is easy, directly at the beach. There are toilets available. You could even slip in a quick pint at the lovely pub on the beach, named Wiseman’s Bridge Inn, just to fortify yourself. It’s perfectly situated to enjoy a vista of the beach and known for being really friendly. Ideally, it’s a favourite with the dog walking community and has gorgeous views.
There are tables on the beach and a great terrace area which is perfect on a sunny day.
We recommend a quick play on the sand, there will be plenty of doggy playmates having a great time. Betty was loving it! It’s fun to explore the rock pools when the tide is out (check our tide times feature). You can settle on a large rock to drink in the views of a truly beautiful seascape for half an hour.
Just keep the Frisbee or Powerball flying to keep your marauding mutt happy!
Above the beach, with a lush cliffside as background, you’ll find a raised walkway. It’s perfectly flat and so suitable for our Betty and her tiny trotters, and anyone who prefers a walk without any climbs. This was the route of an old railway, built in 1835, that brought iron from the Stepaside Ironworks to Saundersfoot Harbour.
The real excitement arrives when you come to the first of three tunnels leading through the cliffside.
The first one is a real buzz! It’s long, fairly dark and atmospheric at its centre. You can just see the light at the end of the tunnel, to coin a phrase. Conveniently, in May 2021 the entire tunnel was resurfaced using shredded, embedded reclaimed tire rubber. It’s great to walk on, slightly springy, smooth and very safe. It’s an adventure!
Once out in the sunshine again, you’ll arrive at the expansive Coppet Hall Beach, in the bay between Wisemans Bridge and Saundersfoot. The area belongs to the Hean Castle Estate. They have developed an outstanding public area and contemporary new building, called Coppet Hall Beach Centre.
Reassuringly, as well as amazing views across Carmarthen Bay, it has admirable green credentials, including a sedum roof. With shower facilities, family changing areas, water sports retail, the popular Kiosk Café, toilets and landscaped car parking, the development has been well thought out.
There is an attractive “sunken garden” area behind the main building with benches and tables.
Kiosk sells hot drinks, including very decent coffee, light snacks and refreshments. Their excellent sandwiches are made using local produce. Available also are dog treats and toys by Green and Wild and Frozzy Frozen Dog Yogurts. (Betty was particularly chuffed with her Frozzys doggy-yog and she made short work of it.)
On the top floor of the building is Coast. This wonderful restaurant has Michelin starred Chef Fred Clapperton at its helm and is exceptional. We’ll be featuring Coast in another post, but for now check out their website and dream of dining here. www.coastsaundersfoot.co.uk
As you walk down on to the beach, signs direct dog walkers to the right. To the left, the beach is dog free from 10am-5pm from 1st May to 30th September. This is to ensure the beach can be enjoyed by all, and beach games can be played freely by families. At low tide, the beach is huge with soft, golden sand, shelving gently. There is a pebble wash up zone and rock pools to explore. You can make your way towards Saundersfoot, coming up the slipway right into this pretty and popular resort.
Saundersfoot is compact and lovely, with some unique and quirky shops, good eateries and a full working harbour. It has a welcoming and really friendly atmosphere. Everything is a short stroll through the village. Moreover, a new area under construction called Ocean Square, and well-sited overlooking the harbour, now offers further shopping and dining opportunities.
Make your way along the bustling main street, past the parking area in front of The Captain’s Table and along to the harbour wall. You’ll be able to look down on bobbing yachts, cruisers and sailing vessels, and even the fishing fleet. You may see the harbour teams bring in the catch.
Many of them are family businesses working this harbour for generations.
Following a £10m investment funded by the Welsh government, Saundersfoot Harbour, as well as the pretty village itself, is looking mightily impressive. You’ll see the National Events Deck, which when completely finished will offer a capacity for up to 2500 spectators to enjoy arts, music and sporting events.
Also planned to sit alongside this first-class events space are a contemporary three-masted Schooner, which will act as a stage for performances, outdoor cinema, high ropes climbing and retail.
All in all, it’s going to be a very good place to enjoy with family and friends.
Another admirable new building at the far corner of the harbour has also recently opened. The distinctive Marine Excellence Centre houses the Harbour Office, a café, watersports centre and chandlery.
On the upper floor will be a restaurant for 80 guests, with an outdoor terrace boasting views that will span Carmarthen Bay, the Harbour and beaches.
We can’t wait to see if the food will be as stunning as the view!
In the meantime, newly opened on the ground floor you’ll find a top-notch café called Harbour Bites with tables and chairs right on the harbourside. With charming little Glen Beach just to the side of the Marine Centre down a ramp, you are welcome with a dog anytime at this beach.
And you are most certainly welcome with a dog to Harbour Bites which has its own “Doggo Menu”.
The café itself is very cool inside with a modern industrial vibe and really lovely staff. We just had great coffee and enjoyed the warm welcome, but Naomi, Ella and the team are true dog lovers and the four-legged customers are as welcome as the humans.
Enjoying coffee in the sunshine while watching a group of paddle-boarders preparing to go out from Reef Water Sports next door, with a bustling harbour in front of you. It is sheer contentment.
Enjoy a very satisfying mooch about and a little potter around the shops on the way back, passing through the village true. We purchased outstanding fudge and chocolates (Calvados with apple cream in dark chocolate, oh wow!) from Emporium, cream soda and bubble gum cupcakes from Sue’s Pantry, and a divine Penderyn Whisky from the Village Wine Shop. Plus, you’ll appreciate the leisurely saunter from Saundersfoot back through another two shorter tunnels through the cliffs to Coppets Hall Beach and back to the car.
Yes, without doubt, Wisemans Bridge to Saundersfoot is a walk of sheer happiness.
Don’t just take our word for it….Betty agreed heartily x