Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast Overview

  • Pembrokeshire Coast Overview

  • Coverage: Across South and Mid Wales
  • Size: National Park 232.5sqm. Pembrokeshire 614sqm.
  • Highest point: Foel Cwmcerwyn 536m
  • Stargazing hotspot: Martins Haven
  • Best time for stargazing: September until February

Pembrokeshire’s wild and rugged coast boasts some of the best dark sky opportunities in the country, where it is possible to observe the spectacle of the Milky Way or the constellations such as Orion with the naked eye.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has worked with the National Trust to establish a necklace of Dark Sky Discovery Sites, the nationally-recognised designation for top stargazing spots across the UK, around the coast. Wherever you are in Pembrokeshire, you’re not far away from one of these sites, which offer dark skies and easy access. Some also host special dark sky events to give you a deeper insight into the world of stargazing and other after dark activities.

The National Park's location at the south west tip of Wales means it is well situated to avoid much of the light pollution that blights considerable amounts of the UK and offers significantly darker skies than many areas. Add to this the added dimension of being able to view the night sky as you look out to sea and you’ll see why the area is ideal for those seeking the dark skies, tranquillity and peace. The National Park Authority is committed to reducing light pollution in order to help reduce energy usage and protect the wide range of wonderful nocturnal wildlife that thrives under these dark skies.

Best stargazing sites

Want to make the most of the Pembrokeshire Coast’s breathtaking dark skies? Here are some of the best places to see the stars.

Skrinkle Haven National Park Car Park

The car park at Skrinkle Haven is set within a wide, open grass area with very good visibility in all directions. Skies appear especially good to the south as there is less diffuse light pollution out to sea, well away from built up urban areas. There is a youth hostel in the immediate vicinity and optional walks along Coast Path. A good site for viewing southern or northern sky, allowing for difficult objects in such constellations as Sagittarius and Scorpio during the summer and autumn months.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Skrinkle Estate (SS0750597898), 1.1 miles
  • Facilities: Nearest toilets (SS06340 97706) Manorbier Beach car park. Youth Hostel nearby.

Broad Haven South National Trust Car Park

Uncluttered, stunning cliff top location offering 360 degree panorama of the night sky. Excellent views from east south east to west north west with the sea as horizon makes this an excellent site. The National Trust hosts special dark sky events at the nearby Stackpole Centre. This site is wheelchair accessible and has toilet facilities.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Bosherston (SR9659194590), 1.25 miles
  • Facilities: Public toilets

Kete National Trust Car Park

A large car park with a firm surface to the main area and good visibility in all directions, although especially good to the west and south west as these directions look out to sea and suffer less from the diffuse light pollution of built up areas. Flashes from the lighthouse to the south are just visible although this does not cause a significant problem. There is an information board on the area’s historical context. It is easy to drive past the car park at night – visitors should look out for the sign saying ‘no turning place beyond this point’ which is immediately after the car park.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Dale (SM8112905664) 4.4km
  • Facilities: None.

Martins Haven National Trust Car Park

A large car park with good all round visibility, enjoying very dark skies with little local light pollution. Due to the elevated position and remote location on a headland skies are very dark here, with little in the way of local light pollution, although sometimes nearby ships can be a source. There is also the option of walking out onto Wooltack Point, which would provide an interesting location for night time long-exposure photography.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Emergency phone on site. Next phone in Marloes (SM7927608514) 3.1 miles
  • Facilities: Public toilets

Newgale Beach and National Park Car Park

Newgale is a long south west-facing beach with several parking areas along it. The recommended location is on the beach off the southern ‘Pebbles’ car park. However, the beach is unsuitable for less able users and the car park affords an alternative viewing site. Views are good in all directions with a clear unobstructed view much of the sky, away from major sources of skyglow, but there are a few visible light sources in direct sight. In summer, a boardwalk path opposite the car park leads to the crest of the shingle bank.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Outside Duke of Edinburgh pub (SM8482622129), Newgale 1 mile
  • Facilities: Public toilets. Picnic tables at public car park to north.

Garn Fawr National Trust Car Park

Being located near the summit of the road between Garn Fawr and Garn Fechan, the elevated position and remote location gives good views of the sky, with little local light pollution. The parking area, although slightly sloping is well surfaced. The nearby hills offer an interesting backdrop even if they do reduce overall visibility in certain directions. The Milky Way is very clearly visible. Excellent viewing to the south, as far as the eye can see between east south east and west south west.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Nearest public phone: Trefasser Cross (SM8970337644), 1 mile
  • Facilities: Youth Hostel nearby.

Sychpant National Park Picnic Site

This site offers very good dark skies with little light pollution. With its valley floor location, views to the north and south are restricted by landform at lower angles, but views along the valley to the east from the main car park are relatively good. By crossing the footbridge over the stream views to the south west are dramatically improved as the line of trees is then on the other side. Faint skyglow is visible to the south, and lights visible from one farm, but only a minor influence. Gravel surface, unlit car parking area with level paths leading to a picnic site.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park
  • Nearest phone: Cilrhedyn Bridge, Gwaun Valley (SN0040034900), 2 miles
  • Facilities: Picnic tables. Nearest toilets in Newport (SN0580039200) 6 miles

Poppit Sands National Park Car Park

The least restricted views of the sky from Poppit Sands are from the beach, accessed by crossing a quiet road and passing at the side of the lifeboat station. Views to the south are slightly limited but there is excellent viewing in all other directions. There is some light pollution from the lifeboat stations and café, and although moving further out onto the sand may reduce the impact of this it. The proximity to Cardigan and easy access means it offers potential to attract visitors who might not wish to travel to the more remote locations or happen to be staying in the area. The beach head can be accessed by wheelchair; there is a viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk that runs alongside the lifeboat station.

Useful Information

  • Parking: Public car park.
  • Nearest phone: Poppit Sands car park (SN1520848547)
  • Facilities: Public toilets.

Dark Skies Actvities

The amazing dark skies of the National Parks provide wonderful night sky viewing opportunities for stars, planets and the moon all year.

USunrise and Sunset

The clean air and majestic landscapes of Wales make an idea setting for the beautiful red and orange colours of a sunrise or sunset.

sCamping Under the Stars

Find a campsite tucked away in the countryside far from the bright city lights, and embrace the wonder of the dark.

VTrail Running

With crisp night air and the peace of darkness, trail running at night is a whole new and exciting experience.

KAstrophotography

Put your coat on, grab your camera and dip into the exciting world of night-time photography.

Dark Sky Reserves

Build your unique 24/7 holiday. Discover epic dusk till dawn adventures in the tranquillity, splendour and seclusion of the wonderful landscapes of Wales.

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