Broad Haven and Little Haven - Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Western Section.
Only ¾ mile apart, linked at low tide by The Settlands Coves and their beautiful run of sands, it makes sense to deal with Little Haven and Broad Haven together geographically, though the two places are very different animals! Enjoying relative shelter at the back of the mighty crescent of St Brides Bay, to the Welsh, the villages are known simply as The Havens. The total population is around 1300, that in the Pembrokeshire National Park means it’s a major habitation centre!
Little Haven is the first to greet The Pembrokeshire Coast Path walker and is particularly well protected from the elements, as it sits at the foot of two narrow and high sided valleys that meet at the sea.
It’s often referred to as “little Cornwall” with good reason, its jumble of colourful fishermans cottages backed by woods, the small stone quay and simple cove beach have a look and an atmosphere more like the West Country than wild Pembrokeshire. Its history however, had a bit more about it than cream teas and pasties and this was a serious port in its heyday for the local coal mines.
Facilities for walkers are good given the size of the place (which is small!) and you will be pleasantly surprised to find three pubs here, one with accommodation as well as a couple of B&B’s close by for overspill, its small seafront café and a bistro are also good options. The little stone pier is very pleasing, look to the left from the end to find 'The Sheep Wash', a tidal pool where the local shepherds would wash their flock before shearing them.
Broad Haven, by contrast, is the newer settlement popular since the 19th Century when bathing in seawater became all the rage amongst the rich for curing ailments. Victorian Bathing machines sat on the sands, in those days replaced today by surfboards as this is a fine, wide, golden sand beach backed by a fairly ever present boom of crashing surf. Hemmed in at each end by cliffs to the northern end of the sands you will find superb rock pools along with the imposing Lion Rock and the two natural arches at Dens Door.
Broad Haven has the wider facilities for the walker with a supermarket, Inn, several Bistro and upmarket cafe options and in general a more cosmopolitan feel to it than at sleepy Little Haven.
You can hire a surfboard or a kayak here, take a swim on the Blue Flag awarded beach or for those that prefer just to watch others at play you can settle back with a drink and marvel at the kite-surfing and sand buggies that charge down the beach with the craggy St. David's Peninsula a distant backdrop to all the activity.