Solva and Llanungar, Pembrokeshire | Camping, Walking, Wild Ponies
Ed and I have just got back from three nights camping in Pembrokeshire. It was the first time we’d been away since we welcomed Gustave into our lives in December 2021, and I was very nervous to leave him as I worried it’d make him anxious. Dad came up and looked after him at ours which was the best possible arrangement and put our minds at ease.
We stayed at Llanungar which is a lovely quiet campsite just outside the little village of Solva in Pembrokeshire. Solva is walking distance from Llanungar along farm tracks and the coastal path or via a private road across the back of Llanungar. We were there for two full days and walked about 24 or 25 miles in total along the cliffs between Newgale and St David’s. The coastal path is really pretty in this area, and outside of the villages we almost had the cliffs to ourselves as there were so few walkers around. As we walked to St David’s along the coastal path we carried on inland to the city itself (it’s a village sized city and the UK’s smallest with just 1600 full time residents) but it was far too crowded. We bought ourselves a pasty each and some ingredients to make a meal back at the campsite but otherwise didn’t hang around. St David’s is too small for the number of visitors it hosts each summer and walking along the pavement into the city from the coastal path made us feel like we were on a tourist conveyor belt.
There’s not much more to say about our trip, it was lovely and relaxing and just what we were hoping for. The weather was good to us, with rain on the first and last mornings that didn’t get in the way of spending long days outdoors.
On our first full day we walked from Llanungar to St David’s and back. St David’s is only 2 miles from Llanungar by road, but it’s about 4 or 5 miles along the coastal path because the path hugs the coast and takes you up onto cliffs and down into valleys before you reach a large campsite and head inland for about 1 mile along a minor road.
There are wild ponies in Pembrokeshire. They live on the cliffs and parts of the coastal path, and appear to be limited in their range by fences that are a couple of miles apart. We encountered this small herd on a section of coastal path between Llanungar and St David’s. I always say it, and I’ll say it again. If you encounter wild ponies in the countryside in England or Wales (or elsewhere for that matter) always keep a safe distance from them, for your own welfare as well as for theirs. All of these pony photos were taken with a long lens.
On our way back from St David’s we found the ponies had moved a little further along the coast and were sunbathing and resting in formation on the cliffs. In the wild, ponies and horses take turns to sleep or guard around the clock, rather than all sleeping at night like we humans do. The white ponies on either end are on guard whilst the four in the middle take a nap.
At the very end of our walk on the first day we passed by these two ponies having a drink down at the stream. One of them was on the path we wanted to walk on, so we just held back and waited for them to move along in their own time before we continued, which was a perfect excuse if ever I need one to capture a few more frames of these magnificent animals.
On the second day we walked from Llanungar to Newgale, a round trip of 14 miles along the coastal path. Ed thinks it’s the longest walk we’ve done together so far.