Last year, we walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Amroth to St.Dogmaels. On our 15th day, we nearly reached the end of the Coastal Path. We left Newport and walked from Moylegrove to St.Dogmaels and Cardigan. Read all about my experiences on this final stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and practical tips on walking from Newport to St.Dogmaels and what you’ll see on the way along the coast path.
Day 15: Walking from Newport to St.Dogmaels
on Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Final stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
After our gorgeous day walking from Fishguard to Newport we reached the amazing Golden Lion Hotel in Newport. We had a delicious dinner and had an early night. As we woke up to the sound of roasters, we immediately were excited for today: our final day of walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
When I planned our itinerary, I weighed off the average walking distance per day and the options for accommodations. In the comfort of my home, I thought we’d be able to do 25 km or 30 km (15-18 miles) days by the end. But I didn’t account for a bad stomach bug that whipped out all my endurance that I’d previously built up. And it didn’t account for my slow pace on rocks and steep paths.
Walking from Newport to St.Dogmaels or not?
So, today was day 15 of walking the entire length of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and we hadn’t walked more than 22 km a day! There was no way I’d be able to do 26 km (16 miles) of the final stretch from Newport to St.Dogmaels (and then onwards to Cardigan). Mainly because of the distance but this stretch is also known as the hardest stretch of the entire Pembrokeshire Path!
There would only be one ‘escape’ route along the path, at Moylegrove as Poppit Rocket (bus 405) stops here. So, our options were limited. We could choose:
- Try to walk from Newport to St.Dogmaels and possibly destroy myself trying.
- Walk from Newport to Moylegrove and take the bus to St.Dogmaels and Cardigan
- Bus from Newport to Moylegrove and walk from there
To me, it was a no brainer. I had to reach the final point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path on foot. I know, I didn’t walk the entire length, we skipped parts, and bussed a bunch, but to me it felt like I gave it my all and I wanted to reach the final point on foot.
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 Moylegrove to St.Dogmaels and Cardigan:
- Date: Sunday 9th June
- Start time: 10.25 am
- Finish time: 6.00 pm
- Distance walked: 16,2 km (10 miles)
- Elevation gain: 329 m elevation gain and 363 m down-hill
- Best resource: I highly recommend the Pembrokeshire Coast Path book by Manthorpe and McCrohan
Pembrokeshire Coast Path Day 15: Walking from Newport to St.Dogmaels and Cardigan
Of course, if you do have your trail legs, there is nothing stopping you from walking from Newport to St.Dogmaels! Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as service is limited to non-existing on this part of the coast path.
Do you want to know what the part from Moylegrove to St.Dogmaels looks like? Check out this short video of our day of walking.
Getting to Moylegrove from Newport
We were very lucky, as it turns out, the Poppit Rocket (bus 405) stops right opposite the Golden Lion Hotel in Newport. The first bus would not come until 10.25 am. So this meant a lazy morning. It almost felt like sleeping in. We feasted on the breakfast spread and geared up for the short bus ride to Moylegrove.
After 2 weeks of walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, we passed through some pretty tiny hamlets and found very remote bus stops. Moylegrove is no exception. All the people on the bus disembarked here and soon everyone headed for the trailhead at Ceibwr Bay.
We took our time, refilling our water bottles, adjusting the straps from our pack, getting out our walking poles and getting the camera and Go Pro ready. Before we knew it, all the other people had vanished and we followed the path along the small river towards Ceibwr Bay.
Ceibwr Bay near Moylegrove
I was surprised at how long it took us to reach the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. We finally reached some farms and a bridge, and soon found the acorn-sign again for the path. I looked at my left and saw some people slowly coming down a very steep hill and I looked at my right and saw the path creeping up a very steep hill.
It would be a very long, hot and hard day.
But I was also excited to round off this epic adventure. That was probably why I felt a bit melancholic as this would be our final day.
Climbing to the highest point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
From Ceibwr Bay, we started to climb up. And it felt like we climbed for the next two hours. Of course, we went down at every little cove and stream, but we always went back up again.
On the cliffs, the wind swept disappearing patterns into the tall grass. The cliffs beneath us were spectacular and the rocks had many different shapes and colors.
The path was easy to follow as it was narrow and continued to go up, and up and up.
There was not much room to take a break so we continued. Looking ahead, you could see the small zig-zag lines breaking up the greenery. That was where we were going.
At some point, we reached a high point and I could see the other side of the inlet. We were so close, but we first had to go all the way down. Before going back up again.
Of course, this was nothing new. For the past 15 days, we’ve been going up and down and back up again along the coast. But this part seemed especially daunting to me.
Highest Point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
And because of that, I was surprised to find the highest point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It is not a spectacular hill with sweeping 360-degrees views across Wales and the sea. No, it is in the middle of a ridge, on the west side of a cliff, high above the sea.
The highest point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is 175m high ( 574 ft.) and really nothing that spectacular.
I’m pretty sure, you’ll miss it if you’re not aware of it. As you’ve been climbing all day, it doesn’t even feel that high up. But if you look down, you’ll see you are very high up!
We encountered some people on this stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and we found the abandoned look-out post and buildings. The ramshackle shelters built with huge stones now house the roaming sheep on the cliff.
We desperately needed a break, so as the land widened up, we passed a fence and sign that said we reached Cemaes Head.
Here, for the first time today, we took off our bags, planted our bags on the ground and took off our shoes and socks. Awhh…. Taking a break by now was well deserved and much needed!
Although we took shelter behind the stone wall, the wind was making us chilly quickly. It wasn’t the perfect spot for a break because Cemaes Head is quite exposed. We continued around the head and soon we found ourselves walking down-hill again. Hurray!
We stumbled onto a farm that turned out to be Allt-y-coed Farm. A lovely place, with warm and welcoming people. There is a duck pond, picnic benches and tables and even a small campground. This would be the perfect lunch or break spot!
But we just had a break and we still had a long way to go, so we continued.
Poppit Sand Beach
We continued walking downhill on a small country road, with the occasional car passing us. We passed lovely houses, the bushes were in bloom, and in the distance below us, we could hear people laughing and chatting. It felt like we were nearly there!
We walked into the YHA Poppit Sands, but it was completely abandoned and we couldn’t refill out water. So, we continued further downhill.
The afternoon heat radiated back at me from the pavement. I tasted the salt in the air and I could hear children yelling and screaming while playing. I felt ecstatic, the same feeling you get when you nearly reach the beach!
Poppit Sands Beach is gorgeous! The wide strip of golden stand is lovely and we found a cafe and treated ourselves to ice cream. And then cake. And then some more drinks. I think we stayed for nearly an hour. Just letting our feet rest a bit and bask our faces in the sun.
Walking to St.Dogmaels
A bit reluctant, we packed up our bags again and continued for the final miles on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. We had to get to the end in St.Dogmaels.
But, in my personal opinion. It would be much better if the path would end at Poppit Sands. What a disappointment is the final stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. For the past 14 days, we have been walking through small villages, along the coast, occasionally along a road to the beach car park, but this stretch from Poppit Sands to St.Dogmaels is awful.
They did their best by making a separate walkway into the field adjacent to the main road, but at some point, this stops.
Walking on the main road, which curves around blind corners is not very nice. I felt like we could get hit by a car at any moment now. Luckily, you can hear traffic coming a mile away as the road is not very busy, but as we didn’t know how far the cars were away, we didn’t make much progress.
Arriving in St.Dogmaels
But finally, we found the sign that we’ve arrived at St.Dogmaels. It was only a mere minute to reach the end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path! We made it.
Excitedly, I almost ran towards the final plaque.
WE MADE IT!!!
There, on a patch of grass is a sign showing you the distance between Amroth and St.Dogmaels.
I was elated. And I was overwhelmed with pride. I did it.
No, I didn’t do it as I wanted to do it, but with all the setbacks I had, I did manage to continue, to move forward and enjoy myself.
We soon headed for the nearest pub for a celebratory drink. The Ferry Inn was empty as we reached it. A Sunday afternoon and the pub was deserted. But this gave us all the room to sit down and have a drink.
Celebrating the end of our Pembrokeshire Coastal Hike
I ordered a small apple cider and we toasted with each other. At the bar, we received our certificate for walking the entire Coast Path. It is a nice memorabilia, but even without it, it still would feel pretty chumbed.
After finishing our drinks, we got back up again to finish our walk today. We still needed to continue to Cardigan and our B&B for tonight.
Walking to Cardigan
We continued through St.Dogmaels, along the main road. Cars passed us and I noticed that I felt a bit woozy. The tiny bit of alcohol and no proper lunch had me swaying and clutching my hiking poles.
The walk from St.Dogmaels to Cardigan was very uneventful. The village looked lovely and roamed around the village a bit as we lost the trail a bit. Finally, we found the bridge crossing the Afon Teifi, officially leaving Pembrokeshire and reaching Ceredigion.
If you’re walking the entire length of the Wales Coast Path in one go, it must be a very mighty feeling to cross from one country into the other by this bridge.
Opposite the river, we spotted the lovely Grosvenor pub. Overlooking the river, with different benches and outdoor seating, it looked really inviting. Much to our surprise, it was closed. We did walk in, but the staff was just cleaning up for the day. I did not expect this in a village on Sunday at 6!
Much to our surprise, the whole village was already closed. Cardigan Castle was closed already. The pub was closed. Another pub didn’t serve food, just drinks.
We walked to our B&B through main street and we couldn’t find a single place that was open for dinner. Was a disappointment!
At the end of the street, we found our B&B! The bright pink Llety Teifi Guesthouse welcomed us from the street.
Where to stay in Cardigan?
If you start or finish the Pembrokeshire Coast Path here, you can find a B&B in Poppit Sands or St.Dogmaels. But the best facilities (although not on a Sunday evening) are in Cardigan. With a supermarket and regular bus routes across Wales, Cardigan is the best place to start or finish your Pembrokeshire Coastal walk.
We stayed at Llety Teifi Guesthouse. A brightly pink-painted house with historic details. The rooms are through a set of hallways and staircases and we picked a room with a bathtub. Although the room was small, it was very comfortable and homey. The breakfast in the adjacent conservatory was luxurious and very filling.
Another really nice option would be to stay at one of the 4 rooms at the 900-year old Cardigan Castle! You have to book ahead as they are almost always full, but it would make for a grand end of your hiking holiday!
If you’re wondering if we ever found something to eat. We finally found the Priory Restaurant. It is advertised as a cafe, but serves lovely meals up stairs. We had to wait a little, but in the end we could eat our bellies round and full! I highly recommend the place.
For more Pembrokeshire Coast Path accommodations suggestions, check my guide here.
Tips for walking from Newport to St.Dogmaels
Of course, I filled the above story already with some tips for a nice day of walking, but I have more practical tips for you.
- The Poppit Rocket Bus 405 runs between Newport and Cardigan. It runs 3 times a day and stops in Newport, Moylegrove, Poppit Sands, St.Dogmaels, and Cardigan. Although you have to time it correctly, you can use the bus very easily.
- Bring enough food and water with you. After Newport Sands, there is no option to buy anything or get water until Poppit Sands. You can cut inland at Ceibwr Bay to Moylegrove as there is a water tab, but it will be a few extra miles. We were happy to have our LifeStraw Drink bottle and water bladder, as both were empty by the time we arrived in Poppit Sands.
- On this stretch, I highly recommend walking sticks or hiking poles. Some parts were particularly steep and I used them a lot. 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.
Shorter walks between Newport and Cardigan
As you might have picked up from the text above, it is not really possible to walk smaller parts of this section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Only option would be to use the bus to get to Moylegrove and walk either from Newport to Ceibwr Bay or from Ceibwr Bay to Poppit Sands. Either part would make for a strenuous but glorious day of walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path!
If I’d know what I know today, I’d stay: stop the walk at Poppit Sands as it isn’t really nice to walk to St.Dogmaels. The village is also not a great charmer (although nice) but can easily be skipped.
If you’re a purist and want to walk every mile, then go for it!
Read more about my Pembrokeshire Coast Path Hike
This blog is part of my Pembrokeshire Coast Path series. I will write about my experiences hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. This was our last day of walking. Feel free to check out the other parts below:
Hiking Pembrokeshire Coast Path in video
What is it like to hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales? We walked the full Coastal Path from Amroth to St.Dogmaels in springtime and I recorded a video of each hiking day. Check out a compilation of the best, the most beautiful, and the worst moments on the trail!
Find more video’s about my travels on YouTube. Make sure to follow me to get a notification when I upload new videos.
Are you planning to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? Have you been to Newport or St.Dogmaels or walked to Poppit Sands along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.