In 2019 we walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Amroth to St. Dogmaels in Wales (UK). Our second walking day was from Manorbier to Tenby. Read all about my experiences on this stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and practical tips on things to do in Manorbier and what you’ll see on the way to Tenby.
Manorbier to Tenby: Pembrokeshire Coast Path walking day 2
After our first day on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, we were excited to walk the next day. A few sore muscles but nothing we never felt before. This time, we packed more water and some more snacks.
About me and my Pembrokeshire Coastal Path walk
My name is Naomi, I’m Dutch, I’m in my 30’s and I have Crohn’s disease. I’m also overweight and struggle with IBS too. Because of all this, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path was a major challenge for me. The Netherlands doesn’t have any significant hills, so walking up and down-hill is not something I can practice. When I call something hard or tough, this might be way easier on you so don’t let me discourage you from hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
I was not paid or sponsored to write about my experiences. I paid for everything 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 Manorbier to Tenby:
- Date: Monday 27th May (Bank Holiday)
- Start time: 11.30 am
- Finish time: 6 pm
- Distance walked: 17 km (11 miles)
- Elevation gain: 244 m elevation gain and 230m down-hill
- Best resource: I highly recommend the Pembrokeshire Coast Path book by Manthorpe and McCrohan
Pembrokeshire Coast Path Day 2: Manorbier to Tenby
I made a short recap of our 2nd day of walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path so feel free to hit play and enable the audio for the best experience.
Why we hiked from Manorbier to Tenby
Although we walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Amroth to St. Dogmaels (East to West), this stretch is the other way around. When planning our trip, we decided to walk each day to the next village but we wanted to utilize public transport and create some extra rest by staying multiple days in 1 place where possible. Tenby was perfect for this.
This holidaymaker destination in Wales is packed with cheap lodging opportunities, a multitude of pubs and good restaurants and the first stretches of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. They are shorter and we used Tenby as a base for 3 nights. On the first day, we set out to Amroth and returned to Tenby. Logically, the next stretch would be Tenby to Manorbier.
Because I believe that walking ‘home’ is less stressful than trying to catch a bus at a certain time, we decide to head out in the morning and walk back ‘home’ to Tenby. Also, I really wanted to visit Manorbier Castle and I figured we might not have enough time for a visit at the end of the day.
Getting to Manorbier
Normally, it is not that hard to get from Tenby to Manorbier. Both Tenby and Manorbier have a train station and bus 349 runs nearly every hour between the two towns. Easy you’d think. Except on Sundays and bank holidays. The bus 349 doesn’t run on Sundays and bank holidays. Guess what day we wanted to hike this stretch?
Bus 349 to Manorbier or the train
If you’re wise enough to walk on a Saturday or during the week, I highly recommend taking bus 349 to Manorbier. The bus drops you off in the village, a 3-minute walk from the castle and a 5-minute walk to Manorbier Bay where you can pick up the Pembrokeshire Coast Path either to Tenby or onwards to Stackpole or Bosherston.
But it was a bank holiday and no bus would bring us there. The previous day we paid GBP 25 for a taxi and I wanted to avoid this for our 2nd day. That is why we took the train. Although the Tenby to Manorbier train only takes 10 minutes, the schedule is highly irregular. The train would run at 9.56, 11.11 or 15.44 and 18.23. So roughly 4 or 5 trains a day. Check for train times, here.
Although the train station is called Manorbier Station, it is not actually in the town of Manorbier or near Manorbier. The train station is 2,2 km (1.3 miles) inland from Manorbier Bay. It was a 30-minute walk on the main road which wasn’t that interesting. But a single train ticket was GBP 3.50 so for us it was the only affordable option today. The bus is 3.60 GBP per person.
We took the 10 am train and arrived at Manorbier Castle just around 10.30am. It had just opened for the day and we paid GBP 5.50 each for our entrance ticket. First, a toilet stop and then we continued to explore the grounds. I banged my knee on the steep, spiral staircase to the main tower, but the views were magnificent from there.
The ramparts and the inner courtyard were interesting too and I loved how each of the small rooms was connected and have a new purpose. We chatted with the lady of Just Bees and her team of demonstration bees, “Girls on Tour” which was really interesting. Buy her ecologic, reusable beeswax wraps to store your sandwich for the day, or bring them from home.
For more information on Manorbier Castle, check their website.
Walking from Manorbier to Tenby
Roughly at 11.30 am we started our 2nd day of walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. We set out to the beach at Manorbier Bay. It was a very windy day today, but we were very lucky that we were walking back to Tenby because we had the wind in our back the whole trip!
At Manorbier Bay there is a car park and toilet facilities and the beach is a great windsurfing spot. We took the path on the left and started to climb the green hills and left the beach behind. We passed the ancient burial rock, that is believed to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old! Now that is a grave with a view!
We followed the small path around the cliffs. Although yesterday was a lovely day, it had quite some woodland. Now we were meandering up and down the coast, setting out to sea, taking a turn and returning back inland. This is how I envisioned the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to be and I consider this stretch very typical of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
MOD Manorbier Camp
Although it was a bank holiday, we walked around MOD Manorbier Camp. This military sight seemed abandoned but from what I can gather, it is never open to the public. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path always goes around it. Walking up towards it over waving grassland was quite a contrasting view.
Amazing beaches at Skrinkle Haven Beach
After the MOD Manorbier, we encountered some rough and typical Pembrokeshire Coast Path walking. A small path, massive rock formations, and stellar views one after the other. From high up on the cliffs, you could look down and discover a tiny, steep staircase. Going down to the secluded and hidden beaches of Skrinkle Haven Beach.
Church Doors Cove and Lydstep Coves
We continued on the path and found some impressive rock formations known as Church Doors Cove. Yes, what is in the name. Coves and secret doors in the rocks. The name covers these mighty natural structures quite well.
Lydstep Coves was one of the most impressive sights we’d see today. Especially at low tide, you can see the gate through the rocks to enter the sandy beach. What a spectacle!
Detour at Lydstep Point
Although the trail wasn’t busy at all, every now and again, we’d see a bunch of people all gathered up. Turned out we found a parking lot. I thought we could walk straight across it, but it seemed the path followed the coastline more closely so we followed it. In hindsight, this was the detour at Lydstep Point. It was rough. Energywise I wish we had skipped it. But if you’re slightly fitter than me and not a complete tortoise walking downhill on uneven terrain, then it is worth it.
The sun was burning down on us as we climbed the very steep and uneven ground. Yes, the views were spectacular from the top, but walking down was hellish. The detour on the headland took us almost an hour, although the book says it might be 20 minutes. We joined the main Pembrokeshire Coast Path right at the small parking lot.
Lydstep and the holiday village
By now, I was already quite tired.
And I needed to pee.
And could use a sugary drink or two.
We walked into Lydstep and I was happy to find a spot in the shade at a big inn and wanted to order some drinks and food. It turned out, we were at the Lydstep Holiday Village (which is huge) and the restaurant and facilities were for residents only. We packed up and continued until we reached the reception, where we bought some snacks and drinks in the small shop and used the loo at reception.
We took almost an hour for our break. Contemplating buying a caravan when we retire and park it at a beach like in Lydstep. After our break, we continued through the complex and walked past all the caravans. We climbed back up to the cliffs through thick bushes but once we got to the top of the grassy cliffs, we could feel the cool breeze again.
MOD Firing Range at Penally
As far as the eye could see, we saw inlet after inlet, as the coastline stretched in front of us. It seemed the path was nearly flat for this part and we set out for a new stretch. We came to the gate of the MOD Firing Range at Penally. This one is sometimes open for the public and we were lucky as we could pass it. Otherwise, you have to walk through Penally and that didn’t seem appealing. Check the open and closure times here.
We walked over the grasslands, through a whole herd of cows and sheep. This area was used during World War I to train new soldiers what life in the trenches is like. Although not closely accessible, you can still see the trenches that were built for this purpose over 100 years ago!
As we continued, we couldn’t peel our eyes off the sweeping views in front of us. As we got closer and closer, we could clearly make out the little details of Caldey Island and St. Margaret’s Island just across the water. Small pink flowers made for a colorful panoramic view.
And suddenly, we rounded the headland and Tenby came into view. A long stretch of golden sand separated us from the end of the walk. Due to our detour and the strong winds, I felt quite tired. Although the walk only was 18 km, we also walked from the train station to Manorbier, we walked around the castle and had the small detour. I was done for the day.
The sun came out and I struggled along the beach. This wouldn’t be the first time at the Pembrokeshire Coast Path that I thought we were nearly there and that it would still take well over an hour to get there. But finally, I climbed the stairs to the city and made my way to our B&B for a shower and put my feet up. We had dinner at Buddha Buddha in Tenby, which I can highly recommend for amazing Indian food.
Short walks around Tenby
If you don’t feel like walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in its entire length or you’re just looking for a short walk while in Tenby, I list below the most spectacular parts of the Manorbier to Tenby walk:
- From Manorbier Bay to Lydstep. Park the car at either Church Doors Cove or at Manorbier Bay and walk a part of the spectacular coastline. Bus 349 connects Manorbier and Lydstep so the stretch is also manageable by bus. This stretch is 6 km (4 miles) and well worth the effort.
- If it is open, the Penally MOD Firing range is actually quite interesting. The views of Caldey Island are impressive and the history is displayed on signs.
Tips for walking from Manorbier to Tenby
Of course, I have some practical tips for when you plan to walk this section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and some useful ideas, just in case you need it.
My practical tips:
- The only bus to cover this part of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is bus 349. It runs daily, nearly every hour from Haverfordwest to Tenby. Except on Sundays and bank holidays. When possible, try to walk this stretch on any other day than Sundays if you depend on the local buses. Otherwise, you can opt for the train but add in half an hour to walk between Manorbier train station and the trail at Manorbier.
- In case you do have to take the train, look for the schedule or book your tickets in advance here.
- Manorbier Castle is a nice cultural break from all that nature on the trail. I think an hour to 1.5 hours max is enough time to explore the castle.
- Check the opening times of the Penally MOD firing range. I really enjoyed this stretch and it would be a shame to miss it.
- Bring enough snacks and food. From Manorbier to Lydstep took us a couple of hours and there are no facilities or options to buy food. Just plain nature. There is a supermarket at Lydstep Holiday Park that sells pre-made sandwiches but also fresh bread and everything else.
What to pack for walking Tenby to Manorbier or vice versa?
- We didn’t see points to tap up on water. There is a public restroom at Lydstep, but it was closed. We used the toilet at the Holiday Park’s reception to fill up our LifeStraw Drink bottles. I also carried my hydration bag, which is super easy to use on the path.
- Take breaks to enjoy the view and to air your feet. A good stop would be Lydstep Holiday Park. Take care of your feet by changing your socks often, air them out and if necessary, take care of any blisters with Compeed Blister Cushions. I never go walking without it.
- I loved my walking sticks (or trekking poles) as I’m prone to sore knees when hiking down-hill. Although the stretch from Manorbier to Lydstep wasn’t that high, some parts of the path were quite steep and I was super happy with my walking sticks. I have the Black Diamond trekking poles with adjustable height which are super easy to bring with you on holiday. 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.
Where to stay in Tenby?
We used Tenby as a base to explore this part of Wales and Pembrokeshire. It has numerous accommodation options in various price ranges. Apart from the bus on Sunday, the rest of the week, the bus and train connect this part of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path very well.
We stayed for 3 nights at Ivy Bank Guest House. This is a typical B&B accommodation and is next to the train station. It is a 5-minute walk into town. We stayed in a very spacious room with lovely bay windows. The breakfast was exuberant and luxurious. Besides value for money, the rating of this place is sensational and therefore, it is sold out most of the times. Book ahead to take advantage of an excellent deal on your Tenby accommodation, by booking here.
Staying in Manorbier
If you’d like to stay in Manorbier, there are not many options. Did you know you can stay the night at Manorbier Castle? They have rooms for 12 persons and cottages, but from what I can see, you need to book weekends, mid-week stays or a whole week and the price is on the royal side. Still curious? Check here.
Castlemead Restaurant and Hotel is located in the center of Manorbier, just minutes away from the Castle and the trail. Their double room runs at €120 per night, including a splendid breakfast. Check if it is available here.
Looking to save some money? Then the YHA Manorbier is the best budget option for you. They have male and female, and mixed dorm rooms starting from €22. Looking for a bit more privacy? They also have the option for private twin rooms or quadruple rooms (bunk beds). Looking for something unique? Their sleeping pods and bell tents can be booked here.
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 2nd day of walking. Feel free to check out the other stretches below:
Are you going to Wales and want to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? Don’t miss Manorbier and the walk to Tenby. Have you done this stretch and have experience with walking through Penally? 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 Manorbier to Tenby, let me know!