In 2019 we walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Amroth to St. Dogmaels. Our 7th and 8th walking day brought us from Dale, via Marloes to Broad Haven. Read all about my experiences on this stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and practical tips on how to arrange your walking day in Wales.
Dale to Marloes and Skomer Island
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
During our first week of our walking holiday in Wales, I got violently ill. Even though I couldn’t keep any fluids down, we walked a few miles each day. This severely weakened me and impacted day 7 and day 8 of our Pembrokeshire Coast Path walk. Nevertheless, we decided to head out again on day 7 and walk from Dale to Marloes.
I was not paid or sponsored to write about my experiences. I paid for everything for my boyfriend and myself out of my own pocket. This post does contain affiliate links to products and services I used and can recommend. If you decide to follow one of my links and purchase something, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.
Quick Facts and Data for walking from Dale to Marloes
- Date: Saturday 1st June
- Start time: 9.45 am
- Finish time: 4.00 pm
- Distance walked: 14,5 km (9 miles)
- Elevation gain: 168 m elevation gain and 151m down-hill
- Best resource: I highly recommend the Pembrokeshire Coast Path book by Manthorpe and McCrohan
Pembrokeshire Coast Path Day 7: Dale to Marloes
Curious what the path looks like and my experiences walking from Dale to Marloes and our visit to Skomer Island? Check out this short video of our 7th day of walking to Marloes from Dale.
Starting in Dale
We stayed the night in Dale, at our B&B and the day before, we had walked the Dale peninsula already. So we departed our B&B to the left and picked up the trail to West Dale Beach.
Dale to Marloes
Although I still didn’t feel too well, we decided to head out anyways. We left our B&B and started walking west towards Marloes along the coast path.
The landscape was quite open and we saw grass-covered landing strips and concrete along the path. The sheep did a good job in fertilizing the area.
Quite quickly, we reached Marloes Sands Beach, a lovely stretch of sand, surrounded by roughed cliffs.
We spotted several islands in the distance and wondered which one would be Skomer Island. We reached the outcrop of Gateholm which stood spectacular out in the water. It was low tide and my eyes were peeled to spot some birds and maybe some seals in the water below.
Although the terrain was flat and we made good progress, I was relieved we found the car park of Martins Haven. It was a Saturday, around noon and it was packed! We could make a toilet stop here and my boyfriend enjoyed an ice cream.
Browsing around in the shop of the Lockley Lodge Visitor Centre, I overheard someone buying tickets for a boat tour. Hold on a second, were we able to join a boat trip to Skomer island?? We did!
Together with Skokholm Island, Skomer Island is a popular attraction for people visiting the area as both islands are teeming with wildlife and birds. A trip to Skomer Island should be on everyone’s bucket list if you ask me.
How to visit Skomer Island?
We spent the day and evening before, figuring out if there was a way to fit a visit to Skomer Island in our Pembrokeshire Coast Path walk. Looking back now, we should have allowed for a rest day of not walking to explore the area and the island. There are several options to visit Skomer Island.
Landing tour to Skomer Island
Each day, several boats go out to the island and they will drop you off at Skomer Island. The first boat back goes from 3 pm onwards, so that gives you roughly 4 hours to explore the island and to see all those funny puffins.
The only way to get a ticket for such a trip is to arrive bright and early at the visitor center, wait in line and pay for your ticket on the spot and then wait for the boats to depart. When we got to Martins Haven, we heard people were waiting in line from 6.30 am onwards. All tickets sold out for the day in half an hour!
The first bus to Martins Haven doesn’t run until 10 am, so this means you need to have your own transportation, hitchhike or walk from the nearby campsite or from Marloes. As this is 40 minutes to an hour, it means a very early rise.
Boat Tour around Skomer Island
The day before, we rang them up to inquire after their evening boat tours where you tour around the islands as that would fit out schedule. Unfortunately, all sold out, not available or tickets only sold on the spot. They make it quite difficult for short time visitors to incorporate a visit to Skomer Island to their itinerary but on the other hand, it is quite a fair policy.
But, when we arrived around noon at Martins Haven, we learned there would be an additional 1 pm boat trip to the island. You’re not allowed to enter the island but you’ll cruise around the main spots for about an hour and still see some puffins.
As I felt quite tired of walking and really wanted to see some puffins, we signed up for a spot.
Wildlife spotting and Puffins at Skomer Island
We hung around waiting for the boat to arrive for about an hour in Martins Haven. I was happy to be near a toilet but other than that, there is not much to do. Once the boat arrived, we boarded and excitedly set out towards Skomer Island.
At the first sight of a flapping bird, I excitedly shrieked at my boyfriend to check it out but he calmly said we’d see enough birds as we progressed. I wasn’t too sure but I was wrong.
After spotting some seals sticking their heads out of the water and millions of gulls, razorbills, guillemots, and shearwater, I finally spotted the first puffin.
And then another, and another and before I knew it, the captain moored the boat and we were surrounded by puffins. Flying over the boat, alongside it and basically everywhere. Needless to say, I was ecstatic!
Walking to Marloes
The boat tour lasted for an hour or so and we returned to Martins Haven. It was 3.30 pm now and we contemplated to wait for the bus or walk an hour to Marloes and wait for the bus there. The break did my body well, so I decided to muster up some remaining energy and we walked the last stretch to Marloes.
It was a level stroll, behind the campground and we could hear the road on the other side of the farms but we were walking along the coast. The path was very small and severely overgrown by lush plants. We couldn’t put our walking sticks anywhere, so it was tiring to keep our balance.
Although it was only a couple of miles, I was happy to reach the point where we would cut through the fields and walk to Marloes.
Marloes is a very small village and the jumping-off point for any trips to Skomer Island. It has a pub, a bus stop and some locals renting out their homes or making pizza.
We waited for the bus in the local pub and chatted with some other people we’ve met on the trail.
Initially, I wanted to stay in Marloes as I figured it would increase our odds of exploring Skomer Island but the prices for accommodations were through the roof and fully booked when I checked again.
Later, I heard from certain travelers, who stayed at a local guesthouse, that the owner went out at 7 am in the morning, bought tickets for them and drove them over there at 10 am to actually do the landing tour of Skomer Island. Sadly, I don’t know which guesthouse but there are not that many so it is worth asking around.
Marloes to Broad Haven
After some refreshments at the local pub, the Lobster Pot Inn, we waited for the bus. It only comes by 3 or 4 times a day so you need to time it to use it properly. After a ride through the area and stops at the amazing HPB St. Brides Hotel and Little Haven, we got off the bus at Broad Haven.
We stayed at the lovely Anchor Guest House that is run by the same owner as Sunshine Italian restaurant. And we had a wonderful time here.
Actually, I dare to admit it, because of the excellent care, relaxing time and food here, I was able to recover from my illness.
Day 8: Rest Day in Broad Haven
Originally, we didn’t plan to have a rest day in Broad Haven. We planned to take the bus back to Marloes and walk from Marloes to Broad Haven on our 9th day of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
But it rained in the morning and I decided to listen to my body. Because after 5 days of being violently ill, but still walking nearly 8 to 10 miles a day, I felt things needed to improve. I was already contemplating in my head if I would need medical care or not and what that would imply for the rest of our trip to Wales.
So, I stayed in all day, relaxed, slept a bit, had tea, watched movies on my phone and just did absolutely nothing for the whole day. I didn’t even go out to the beach! From our sea-view room, I could catch the sun that came out in the afternoon, hear the sea and all sounds that come with it and smell that ocean smell.
It was just what I needed as I felt much better after a full day of rest.
Tips for walking from Dale to Marloes
The Dale Peninsula and the stretch to Marloes were really nice. It was fairly level walking with a lot of changing scenery and great views of the coast. Especially the boat trip to Skomer Island is a must-do if you’re in this part of Pembrokeshire!
- Between Dale and Marloes 2 busses connects part of the path. They don’t run very often, so research the schedule for bus 315 or 400 bus here.
- Eat enough and bring enough water. Dale has a small shop that has a wide variety of food and drinks and 2 Inn’s or restaurants. Between Dale and Martins Haven and Marloes, there are no facilities. At Martins Haven, you can find toilets and a drinking water tap and the booth of the parking lot sells drinks and snacks.
- I made good use of my Life Straw Drink bottle and my water bladder. It was good to have plenty of water with us.
- Check for boat tours, Skomer Island visits and more about the National Park here.
Where to stay in Marloes
Marloes is a super small village but because of its close proximity to the tourist attraction of Skomer Island, it has quite a lot of accommodation options. Expect to pay more here than for similar services elsewhere.
- Lobster Pot. Pub and guesthouse in one, this is a great place to stay in Marloes. Check for rates and availability here.
- Rath Cottage is situated right out on the headland next to St Martins Haven. Perfect for those early morning trips or to explore this part of Pembrokeshire. It is a holiday home so great if you’d like to stay longer. Check it out here.
- Marloes has several small, locally run guesthouses. I’m not sure which ones are still available so call for a room at The Clock House, the Foxdale Guesthouse, or Ty Gwyn Cottages.
Where to stay in Broad Haven
As mentioned before, we stayed at the Anchor Guest House which was absolutely perfect. The owner is super friendly and will go above and beyond to help you out. And their breakfast, café snacks, and Italian food is finger-licking’ good.
In Broad Haven, the YHA also has accommodation that you can check out if you don’t mind shared facilities. Check it out here.
More 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 third day of walking. Feel free to check out the other stretches below:
Are you planning to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? Have you been to Marloes and Skomer Island? Did you see the puffins? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.
In case you have any questions about walking from Dale to Marloes, let me know!