Pembrokeshire is well known for its rugged coastline, dotted with dramatic rock formations and dizzy cliff edges, lined with the famous Pembrokeshire coast path. No spot along one of Britain’s most staggering coastlines is as dramatic as the Green Bridge of Wales. Located in South Pembrokeshire, this stunning rock arch is comparable with similar stunning sites such as Durdle Door in Dorset. But the Green Bridge of Wales is as dramatic to get to as it is to view – find out why below!
What is the Green Bridge of Wales?
This 80-foot high expanse of limestone stretches a span of 66 feet into The Wash, a bay full of limestone stacks and craggy cliffs covered in sea birds. This spectacular viewpoint, with its almost architectural rock formations, is covered in vegetation, giving it the name the ‘Green’ bridge.
The Green Bridge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protected Area, and a Special Area of Conservation. The area is abundant with Mesozoic fossils and rich in geological heritage. This place is so much more than a beautiful vantage point!
It’s situated on the South coast of Pembrokeshire, at Castlemartin, only around 8 miles from popular Barafundle beach and around a 40-minute scenic drive south from Atlantic View. It’s home to razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars, and cormorants, as well as tufts of golden gorse, lilac heathers, and light green tree mallow.
How was the Green Bridge of Wales formed?
The carboniferous rock which makes up most of the Pembrokeshire coastline has been shaped and molded by the tumultuous waves for millennia. This is what creates the fantastic formations, curved bays, sand banks, and natural harbours that make this part of the world so naturally beautiful.
The limestone which makes up this beautiful arch was once a whole piece of land that has been slowly eroded and molded into this stunning piece of natural architecture. The crashing sea has had plenty of time to create this popular view – the Carboniferous period dates back over 350 million years ago. To give you some context on just how long ago that was, that’s around the time of the dinosaurs!
Visiting the Green Bridge of Wales
This unique natural monument has a unique position on the Pembrokeshire coast…it’s on a live military tank firing range! But don’t worry, you won’t need to duck or wear bullet-proof vests. The Military of Defense closes off the road through their range to the coast when they’re training and opens it back up again in the few hours after they finish.
To check whether the range is open, call Castlemartin Range on 01646 662367.
Of course, the arch and surrounding Elegug stacks may not look like this in the near future – the erosion of the limestone is ongoing, and there are fears that the arch will give way in the next few years and succumb to the sea. In fact, during Storm Ophelia, a large chunk of the Green Bridge came crashing down! So if this beautiful spot sounds appealing, now’s the time to visit!
How to visit this wonderful spot
The postcode for the Green Bridge of Wales is SA71 5EB.
The Green Bridge of Wales is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is a free activity for the whole family. Park up in the large car park and follow the sign on your right pointing you in the direction of the bridge. The path takes you on an easy 6- minute stroll over a nice, flat path towards the cliffs to the bridge. There’s also a lovely viewpoint with a platform to get the best view and the perfect picture of this wonderful spot.
If you’re interested in making this a day trip to visit St Govans Chapel and other nearby attractions, take a look at our blog exploring the jewels in the crown of South Pembrokeshire. Enjoy!