This is one of our favourite walks
It starts from the car park in Bosherston , heads past the lily ponds
to Broad Haven beach , along the coast and across Barafundle beach
and then back inland to the car park. Walk lasts 2.5 hours with short
breaks. Walking sticks are helpful but not essential.
Bosherston Lily Ponds Circular Walk
The walk starts in the car park in the village of Bosherston which is
found immediately behind the late 13th century Norman church
St Michael. The car park is owned by the National Trust as is the whole
Stackpole Estate and car parking for the day now costs £4 per day.
Remember to pick up a free leaflet produced by the National Trust titled
The Stackpole Estate which together with this information will give you an
overview of the walk.
There`s a path near to the toilets in the car park that leads down to the
lily ponds. Follow the path down through the trees until you come
upon a fork.
Make sure that you take the left hand path which takes the
most scenic route around the ponds and down to the beach.
If you are simply heading for the beach take the right hand
path which is much shorter.
The left hand path leads you down to the first pond crossing. In
mid summer (June /July) these ponds are almost completely
covered in lilies but you`ll find them clear in April. This first bridge
stands on the Western Arm of the three major lakes in the estate.
The lakes were created between 1780 and 1860 by the Cawdors
who owned the lands surrounding the former Stackpole Estate.
Over the years the lakes have become home to a wide variety of
wildlife including otters , waterfowl and dragonflies. On this day
we came across a small lizard , a tiny field mouse , a variety of
ducks and of course many swans.
After crossing the first bridge the path turns to your right and
gradually climbs until you reach a ridge which gives panoramic
views of the Western Arm and the Central Lake – as seen below.
After stopping to take in the views continue on the path
down to the next lake crossing.
Cross over this bridge and follow the path to the right which
gradually rises until you come to a junction. Do not take the left
hand path title Alternative Route as this will take you
straight up the Eastern Arm of the estate. Instead , turn right
and follow the path down to the Grassy Bridge which crosses
the Central Lake and Eastern Arm.
At the Grassy Bridge there is another fork in the route and again
for this walk , do NOT take the left hand route as this will form
part of our return journey. Most walkers pause here for a few
minutes taking photos of both the Central Lake and the Eastern
Cross the bridge and follow the path which heads towards the
beach at Broad Haven. Before you reach the beach you`ll see
a sandy path branching to your left.
Take this path and ahead you`ll see a steepish sandy climb. Make
your way to the top and you`ll have clear views of the beach at
Broad Haven and it`s small lagoon.
Follow the path and you`ll start to descend down to a gate
and then ascend up to the grassy headland known as Saddle
Point. This headland looks right out onto the appropriately
named Church Rock.
From here , keep close to the clifftop until you come upon some
magnificent sights. First up is Raming Hole where the coastline
weaves its way back in land. The cliffs are steep here so be careful
not to go too near to the edge. On some days you may even see
rock climbers practising their absailing skills.
Keep moving along the coast until you reach a small grassy headland called
Mowingword where you can sit and have a bite to eat whilst taking in
Next make your way right out to Stackpole Head and back down to the beach
at Barafundle. On the way you`ll pass over Griffith Lorts Hole .
Note that shortly after Raming Hole you can cut out Mowingword and
Stackpole Head but for the sake of 15 minutes we recommend you keep close
to the coast.
The coast path now takes you through a small wood down onto Barafundle
Beach – a very popular destination in summer – and even today in April has a
number of people enjoying a day out.
Cross the beach and head for the walled path that rises at the other end. The
wall was built by the Cawdors of Stackpole as was the Quay at Stackpole.
At the top you can see back across the beach and get a better view of
Griffiths Lorts Hole.
From here head along the coast and down to Stackpole Quay where
you`ll find a National Trust cafe and toilets. As mentioned above the
Quay was built by Lord Cawdor in the late 1700s inside an old limestone
quarry. The quay was used to export limestone and import coal for
heating Stackpole Court.This is a good point to take a short break.
From the cafe take the path through the centre of the car park. At the far
end pass through the gate and headed straight ahead. If you see a wire
blocking your path simply step over it and proceed. Do not turn left or right – go
straight ahead as seen in the photo below. This path will lead you to Eight Arches
Bridge situated near to the site of Stackpole Court.
At this point you can take a little detour by crossing the bridge and
turning right. The path here will lead you up to the site of the former estate
house known as Stackpole Court. The estate house is no longer standing.
Alternatively you can cross the bridge and turn left onto the path next to the
lake. There is another route back on a higher level but we recommend taking
the lower route that runs along the Eastern Arm. This path brings you back to the
Grassy Bridge which we mentioned earlier.
From here simply retrace your earlier steps back to the car park.
Finally , we recommend you take a short walk of some 50 yards or so to the famous
village cafe called the Olde Worlde Cafe that has been run by Ma Weston (Violet Susannah
Weston) for over 70 years. In 2009 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen`s birthday
honours list. Many walkers and climbers have enjoyed a cream tea out on the front
lawn in hot sunshine and we highly recommend that you do so too.