Now we have the lighter evenings it’s great to be able to fit in mini outdoor adventures on our nights off. Last week, after tea, we headed out to explore Haroldston Woods, Broad Haven. Take a look:
Parking in Broad Haven
You can park at the very start of the walk at Broad Haven North Beach Car Park (Sat Nav Postcode: SA62 3JH). Parking costs from £1.50 for an hour to £6 for 24 hours. Parking is free after 7 pm (perfect for an evening adventure). There is also free parking available on the other side of Broad Haven. This car park has been recently developed and now offers “PaybyPhone” facilities as well as pay by cash. This is so convenient, as I often find myself in car parks with no change available.
Walking in Haroldston Woods
In the car park, just to the right of Broad Haven YHA (as you face it), you’ll find the sign for Haroldston Woods. Follow the sign and walk behind the Coastguard Rescue Station.
Keep following the signs!
Eventually, you will come to Haroldston Woods. I can’t believe I’ve never brought the kids here before. When we come to Broad Haven we spend our time on the beach (which is amazing) so I don’t think to take them on the local walks. We haven’t walked on the Coastal Path for a long time from Broad Haven either. Danny has walked here a few times with his friends when he’s stayed at the Youth Hostel.
When we were younger, we used to stay in Broad Haven for pack holidays with Brownies. In the evening we would go for a walk in these woods. I loved it. As soon as I walked into these woods with the kids, vivid memories came back and I had that exciting feeling of pack holiday- non-stop adventure from sunrise to sunset. We enjoyed this walk so much that I remember us telling our parents to take us on it too and us being the “tour guide” telling them all we’d learnt on camp. It was full of boardwalks, bridges and stiles, which I always loved on a walk- I still do, to be honest! The boardwalks were needed as it was pretty muddy and boggy. Jo remembers her friend losing her welly during a walk there when they visited with her school!
After a walk in the woods, we’d go to the Education Centre which was situated by the Youth Hostel. There we’d learn about the wildlife and fauna in the woods and on the beach. They used to sell A3 shell identification colouring-in sheets. I kept them ready for my teaching days (I used to think ahead and actually be organised when I was a kid, that changed once I had children of my own!) and still have them somewhere.
We also used to walk through part of the woods when we used to stay at Broad Haven Holiday Park in our tourer caravan. Nowadays they are a static caravan park only. There is a pathway from the park straight to the beach. We miss bringing our tourer here.
The private parts of the walk are well signposted so please respect them and keep to the public path.
We went through the gate onto the public footpath.
Haroldston Woods are very pretty with a stream that leads into Broad Haven Beach.
It was very peaceful with the sound of running water, but also noisy as so many birds make their home in these woods.
Caitlyn of course was to be found on the other side of the stream.
To our joy, there was a rope swing, which the kids enjoyed. It did mean that we spent less time walking and more playing, but the kids were outdoors and having fun so we were all happy.
Just some of the birds’ nests and birds above us. As natural when lots of birds live above, there was a lot of bird mess on the ground. Thankfully (but unluckily!) none of us got covered in it during our walk.
Mum, Jo and Cerys on the bridge. Jo looks like she’s about to have a kickabout!
Some days, you spend hours hunting for Geocaches to find none and then when you’re not looking for and they jump out at you. Izzy found this one, so we logged it and returned it to its spot.
Oh, the joy!
Mum looking up at the noisy birds.
Broad Haven Holiday Park
This park is private and part of Broad Haven Holiday Park. We used to love the park when we stayed here as it was one of the very few places that had a zip line. We were in our element! Nowadays they’re a lot more common and the kids are lucky enough to see them in their local playground and most playgrounds they go to. There is a public playpark off Sandyke Road in Broad Haven.
You can continue on this walk and either turn left and return via the coastal route (shorter option) or turn right and walk up around Haroldston, passing Haroldston Church, back along Long Lane and then returning onto Milmoor Way and passing the entrance to Broad Haven Holiday Park and continuing onto the car park.
In the end, Rebecca was tired and her foot was hurting so she asked if we could turn back. I had hoped to either get to the church and then return or to pass the church and complete the circular route. A longer route is from the coastal path, past the church and down Long Lane, but I didn’t want to miss the woods. I think the kids are going to always want to return this way now as then they get more rides on the tree swing!
Find more information and a map of the Broad Haven Haroldston Woods Short Walk here.
We returned to the car park just as the sun was setting. You could easily pop across the road and enjoy the sunset on the beach. We do love a Broad Haven sunset but it was time for us to go home.
They are building a Children’s Adventure Playground (or log play park) in the new car park, opposite the toilets, so we look forward to when that’s finished. You can see the update on the Broad Haven Haroldston Woods Short Walk as changes have been made to the initial plan.
It was a lovely short walk and play in Haroldston Woods. The kids are busy with Brownies, Guides and football some nights but when the weather’s good it does us all the world of good to get out and make the most of it. When we’re indoors, they want to be on screens, I don’t like “banning screens” all the time, but if I can keep them too busy for too much screen time, I’m happy!
Update on Haroldston Woods June 2023
I have recently discovered that Haroldston Woods are for sale. I wondered if this would affect the public pathway. Currently Pembrokeshire Coast state: “The Park Authority has a management agreement with owner of Haroldston Woods for it to be used as a recreational area.” So I hope this will continue with the new owners. Wouldn’t it be a dream to own a woodland?
Have you walked through Haroldston Woods?
See more things to do in Broad Haven here.
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