Cycle Pembrokeshire

|Name like '%Havens%'|Route like '%Havens%'

Havens Trail

Overview
Information

    A really picturesque and interesting trail which starts and finishes at Haverfordwest. On route you pass the lofty tower of Roch Castle before arriving at the attractive St Brides Bay Heritage Coast havens, once the centre of a thriving coal mining enterprise. Some old relics of this era are still visible for you to see. The coal measures, some of which are exposed in cliffs, have not been worked since 1905 and it is estimated that there is still a reserve of 230 million tons of unexploited anthracite buried under the sea just off the coast.

    The sandy beaches along the Trail are hemmed in by high cliffs and on route you get to see spectacular coastal views right out to the islands on the northern and southern ends of St Brides Bay

     

    Fact File
    Highlights

    Superb coastal views, a castle, relics of a historic coal mining era and rich arrays of wild flowers and birds

    Grade: Active Trail Grading Statement

    Distance

    22.5 miles (36 kms)

    Time 4.5  hours plus additional time for stops
    Start/Finish County Hall, Haverfordwest (Grid Ref SM956155, Sat Nav SA61 1TP). County Hall can be seen from Salutation Square Roundabout, Haverfordwest and the entrance is signed. The car park is available (free) for users of the Trail at weekends. Other nearby car parks are available on weekdays (charges apply) and all have cycle paths (on the road side) that connect to the start of the Trail
    Nearest Station

    Haverfordwest  1/4 mile (a cycle path leads to the start of the Trail)

    Terrain The Trail runs along dedicated traffic free paths and reasonably quiet country roads. It is hilly in places, particularly on the coastal section
    Elevation

    Total climb (sum of all uphill sections) - 515 metres

    Refreshments

    Haverfordwest, Nolton Haven, Broad Haven, Little Haven

    Toilets Haverfordwest, Nolton Haven, Broad Haven, Little Haven

     

    Trail Directions (distances in miles)

    0.0        Start. Turn left out of County Hall following the cycle path. Cross on the traffic lights to the path fronting the County Hotel, then cross the junction adjacent to the pedestrian over-bridge. After about 150 yards, cross the 3 (side by side) access lanes and continue through the bollards onto the semi-pedestrianised street that crosses the river on the Old Bridge. Once over the bridge, turn right at the roundabout and follow this road towards a ‘T’ junction. Bear left just before the junction onto the cycle path and after a few yards cross 3 adjacent carriageways using the traffic signals (the 3rd crossing bears to the right). Once across, turn left and follow the cycle path. At the roundabout cross the two minor spur roads and continue on the path. At the next roundabout cross the minor spur road and keep going on the path signed Pelcomb, Keeston & Camrose which runs alongside the A487 road

    2.1       Cross a side road (signposted Camrose) and after a short distance very carefully cross the A487 road and continue along the path on the other side to a point about 1/4 mile beyond Pelcomb Cross

    3.4       At the end of the path, continue along the very quiet road past the Camrose Community Centre. Then join the path alongside the A487 road once again and continue over the brow of the hill (opposite the filling station). Before reaching the bottom of the hill, the path crosses road again so take great care and follow the path down on the other side for a short distance until it links with a quiet lane. Turn right following a sign for Keeston and after a 1/2 mile uphill section you arrive at the village. Go straight ahead at the cross roads (following a cycle route sign for Simpson Cross) and after a short distance turn right at a ‘T’ junction. Follow this road for nearly 3/4 mile (ignoring an earlier side road junction on the right)

    5.5       At ‘T’ junction turn right and then turn left just beyond the entrance to Cuffern Manor. Turn left at the next ‘T’ junction following the sign for Roch. This again is quite a hilly section of road

    7.0       Enter the village of Roch. You will soon see the imposing structure of Roch Castle on your right. Continue cycling through the village until arrive at the junction with the main A487 road. Carefully cross this road and proceed along the minor road opposite

    9.0       At ‘T’ junction turn left following a sign for Nolton. You will now be following National Cycle Network Route 4 for a few miles. After a very short distance you will glimpse the remains of Trefran Cliff Colliery in the hollow on your right and the wide expanse of St Brides Bay just beyond

    9.9       Arrive at Nolton Haven (cycle stands and toilets in car park). After a stop, continue up a steep hill and turn right onto a road signed Druidston Haven. This again is very steep and you may prefer to dismount and push your bike while. Keep on this road, ignoring a side road on the left. The road soon descends quite steeply and then starts to rise again. About 150 yards or so into the uphill section you will notice quite an unusual underground house in the field on your right – commonly referred to as the ‘Teletubby House’. A little further up the hill is a stone path leading down to Druidston Haven. You also have magnificent views of the haven and the whole of St Brides Bay from grounds of the hotel further up the hill and from the Haroldston Chins viewpoint accessed along a surfaced path linking with the Trail just over 1/mile beyond the hotel. The next 21/2 miles of the Trail is mostly flat or downhill

    11.9     At ‘T’ junction turn right following a sign for Broad Haven

    13.2     As you enter Broad Haven, and at the bottom of the hill, there’s a path on the left (just beyond the bridge) leading to toilets and cycle stands. Alternatively carry straight on and bear right at the ‘T’ junction. The Trail now leaves the National Cycle Network for a short while. There are cycle stands adjacent to the seating area on the sea front and more toilets in the car park by the shops, pub and cafes. Continue up the steep hill at the other end of the village. The road soon descends sharply down into Little Haven and you will need to turn right at a ‘T’ junction on the hill before entering the village centre (toilets and cycle stands in car park). After a good look around, return along the same very steep road to Broad Haven. At low tide (tides clearly visible from both Broad Haven and Little Haven) you have the alternative of travelling between the 2 communities on the beach. This avoids the steep hills and is a very pleasant walk. You can either leave your bike on the cycle stands at Broad Haven or push it along the beach via the slipways at either end. Be sure to keep an eye on the tide to avoid having to walk back to Broad Haven along the road

    14.8     At the sea front in Broad Haven, follow the main road as it turns to the right away from the sea. You are now back on National Cycle Network Route 4

    15.2     As you climb your way out of the village, turn left onto a minor road signed Long Lane and carry on along this lane for over 11/2 miles

    16.9     Turn right at ‘T’ junction

    17.7     Join cycle path on left just before ‘T’ junction. Follow this path (including one road crossing) to Portfield Gate. Rejoin the road through the village and pick up the path on the left as you leave the village

    19.6     Just before arriving at Haverfordwest, cross the road and follow the path on the other side for a short distance into Park Corner Road. After just over 1/2 mile go straight ahead at the cross roads and after another 1/4 mile turn right into a road signed ‘No Through Road’. Follow this road around to the left at the bottom of the hill and continue straight on towards Haverfordwest at the point where the National Cycle Network Route 4 turns right. A little further on go straight ahead again passing the entrance to Under the Hills Caravan Park on the left

    21.1     At the road junction turn right onto the path alongside the road. Just before McDonald’s the path crosses the road. Continue on the other side and cross on the traffic signals following the cycle route sign for Town Centre. Carry on along the roadside cycle path for just over a mile

    22.6     Finish at County Hall car park

     

    Points of Interest along the Way
    1.  Roch Castle. A striking feature built on an outcrop of volcanic rock in 1195. It was one of a number of defensive structures along the ‘Landsker Line’ which separated the English and Welsh areas of Pembrokeshire. The castle remained strong until much of it was burned down by parliamentary forces during the civil war in 1644. It was restored from a ruin into a private house in 1910 and has recently been extensively upgraded into an elegant hotel

    2.  Trefran Cliff Colliery. The ruin of Trefran Colliery, marked by the tall chimney of its engine house, overlooks the southern end of Newgale beach. The mine was in use from the mid-19th century until 1905, and some galleries ran under the sea. The coal was loaded on trolleys and pulled by a traction engine to Nolton Haven for shipment

    3.  Nolton Haven. A small sheltered bay with a mostly sandy beach flanked by high cliffs. The haven has a long association with piracy. This was once a coal port and was used for exporting coal from as far back as the medieval period. On the beach, plant fossils can sometimes be found in large boulders at the base of the cliffs and veins of anthracite coal can also be made out in these same cliffs

    4.  Druidston Haven. Named after the early 12th century Norman Knight ‘Drue’. A secluded, long, sandy beach enclosed on 3 sides by steep cliffs. The haven has a number of spectacular cliff formations, natural arches and caves

    5.  Broad Haven. A small village with an attractive safe bathing beach of firm golden sand. It has been a popular seaside resort since the 1800s. The only evidence remaining of the coal industry is a large ‘Slash’ pond 200 yards inland from the beach which was formed in the 19th century by colliers digging for culm. The secluded and sheltered pond is now a haven for nature lovers.  In the 1970s, the resort and the area around it was the scene of alleged UFO sightings and nicknamed the Broad Haven Triangle. At low tide it is possible to walk around the headland on the south side into a bay called The Settlands, and then around the next headland into Little Haven

    6.  Little Haven. One of the most delightful and quaint little seaside villages in the whole of Wales. Situated in a steep sided valley, the settlement dates back to the Iron Age and it was once a base for sea trading and smuggling. Coal from local collieries was once loaded onto coasters from the beach. On the south side of the haven a wide path leads to a point known as the Lookout, where steps descend to two small rocky coves known as Sheep Wash and Rook’s Bay          

    ID: 4962, revised 30/04/2019