Car-free guide to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

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A forward-thinking local partnership that integrates public transport in the area has made it cheap, comfortable and hassle-free to travel car-free to some of the country's finest beaches.

A. Getting to the Pembrokeshire Coast without a car:

By Train:  The Pembrokeshire Coast and surrounding area is well served by the rail network, with major stations at Tenby, Haverfordwest, and Fishguard. Lying on the West Wales Lines, they are destinations for regular services from Swansea, as well as some trains right through from London Paddington (particularly on Summer Saturdays), and a few from Manchester. Most of the time, visitors from the rest of Wales and Britain will have to change at Swansea for the last part of the journey to the Pembrokeshire Coast; Swansea has regular mainline services from a range of destinations across the country, including Cardiff and London. Arriva Trains Wales also operates local services to Whitland, Pembroke Dock, and Milford Haven.

By Coach or Bus:  As well as local Pembrokeshire buses serving the National Park, various destinations along the Pembrokeshire Coast, such as Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock, and Tenby are served by National Express and Megabus from London, Cardiff, Bristol, and several other destinations.

By Ferry:  If you are coming from Ireland, you can take the ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard or Pembroke Dock (both handily connecting into the rail and bus networks), with either Irish Ferries or Stena Line.

B. Getting around without a car:

By Train:  Once in Pembrokeshire, the train is not necessarily the easiest way to travel around the National Park, however local services on the West Wales Lines do cover several destinations close to and within the National Park, and the branch along the south coast of Pembrokeshire takes in some lovely scenery. For more details and timetables, check out the Arriva Trains Wales website.

By Bus:  Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has an excellent network of buses that skirts beach and cliff to take you right to many of the popular beaches, villages and towns along the coast. The Coastal Bus services consist of five main interconnecting routes (plus the 315 Between Dale, Milford Haven, and Haverfordwest, the 349 running from Tenby west to Pembroke, and the 351 from Tenby east to Amroth). Each service runs along a different section of the famous coastline, the routes are as follows:

- 387/388: 'The Coastal Cruiser' circles around the Pembroke Peninsula

- 400: 'The Puffin Shuttle', runs from St Davids to Martin's Haven
-  403: 'The Celtic Coaster' skirts the St Davids peninsula

- 404: 'The Strumble Shuttle' from St Davids to Fishguard
-  405: 'The Poppit Rocket' from Cardigan to Fishguard via Newport

For visitors, there are good connections with the railway network at Tenby (routes 349 & 351), Pembroke Dock (the 'Coastal Cruiser', route 387/388), Milford Haven (the 'Puffin Shuttle', the route 315), and Fishguard (the 'Strumble Shuttle', route 404 & the 'Poppit Rocket', route 405).These buses have different winter and summer timetables, but run year-round, and are supplemented by further buses criss-crossing the Pembrokeshire peninsula. For more details of all the routes and timetables in the area, see the Pembrokeshire council bus services mini-site.

C. Cycling:

Pembrokeshire's glorious coast features miles of well-maintained roads, including numerous quiet country lanes, which are virtually traffic free. The National Park is also criss-crossed by bridleways, and offers fantastic off-road biking opportunities. Cycling can be the ideal way to get to a hidden cove or hill-top view, just be sure not to cycle on footpaths such as the Coast Path if they are not specifically indicated as bike-appropriate routes.

You can take bikes on most mainline train services, however places are limited so you should always reserve a space in advance, by calling up the train operator, or heading to your local railway station ticket office. On local services in Pembrokeshire, reservations will not always be available and it will depend on space and business on individual services. Sadly, for the time being bikes cannot be taken on buses in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, due to the generally small size of the vehicles.

If you want to hire a bike upon arrival in the National Park, there are plenty of places to do this, and to pick up maps and local advice: Cycle Pembrokeshire offers a full list of cycle providers on and around the Pembrokeshire Coast. Additionally, the National Park's visitor centres (below) offer help, maps, and more.

The map on the National Park cycling page can help you to plan your route around the Pembrokeshire Coast, or, better yet, Cycle Pembrokeshire offers a range of inspiring routes to try on its Cycle Breaks page, including some fantastic interactive maps. You can search for individual cycle routes around Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales on the GPS Cycle and Walking Routes in Wales page. You could also find out about the work of Sustrans in Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales, including useful information for cyclists, on the Sustrans Cymru website. Also see Pembrokeshire Coast National Park's cycling page.

Maps and further information
: If you're looking for more tailored-made help and advice for your trip to the Pembrokeshire Coast, visit the National Park's visitor centre, situated at Oriel y Parc, St Davids or visit the Pembrokehire Coast National Park website.

The well-trained staff there can give you bucketfuls of handy local advice, as well as plenty of maps, guides, leaflets, and more.

If you want a general overview of the National Park, the official Park website offers a clear, informative map that features all major roads and railway stations. They also offer a range of maps for walkers, plus a list of useful maps and publications that you could buy to accompany your trip.