St Michaels, Ceredigion

Your hard work on this rugged and testing part of the path will be rewarded with jaw dropping seaside vistas

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Start and finish

Llangrannog car park to Penbryn


2.6 miles or 4 km one way
Extended walk: Penbryn to Tresaith 1.6 miles or 2.5 km one way

Along the way

Starting from Llangrannog car park, turn left and follow a narrow road (busy in the summer) to the beach. Head south up the hill and you’ll join the clifftop path at the statue of St Carranog, which keeps a constant watch over the bay. From this point one can admire the charming coastal village, spectacular Lochtyn peninsula reaching out to sea before and on the foreshore the iconic Carreg Bica.

Follow the cliffs along the coast, it’s a rugged path with plenty of testing climbs and descents, but the jaw-dropping seaside vistas of secluded beaches and jagged cliffs (plus the chance to spot seals, dolphins and seabirds) are well worth the exertion.

After arriving at the car park in Penbryn, the path leads into the wooded Hownant Valley – also known as Cwm Lladron or Thieves Valley – a famous haunt of salt smugglers and herring fishermen.

After crossing a bridge and climbing some steps, you’ll see a sign for the church, a short detour left from the main path. After visiting St Michael’s church, retrace your steps to the coast path.

Here, you have a choice of following two paths; You can either continue along the coast path to Tresaith or make a detour down through the wooded valley to Penbryn beach (approximately 110 metres) before heading back to Llangrannog.

About the Sacred Heritage Place

Dating back to at least the 13th century, St Michael’s church was probably built on an even earlier Christian site. It’s easy to see what drew people to this spot. Raised up on elevated ground with glorious coastal views and fringed by ancient woodland, St Michael’s setting still takes the breath away.

From the outside it’s a simple stone structure topped by a slate roof and prominent bellcote – with whitewashed walls that stand out sharply against the blue Ceredigion sky. Head inside and you’ll discover a peaceful refuge with an abundance of fascinating historical features.

Look up to see the perfectly preserved 15th century roof, one of only two of its kind in South Wales (you’ll find the other at Mwnt’s Church of the Holy Cross).

There’s also an ancient ‘piscina’ where the priest would wash the communion vessels after Mass, a 13th century stone font and a series of monuments to notable former parishioners, an evocative reminder of St Michael’s deep connection to the local community.

Find out more about St Michael’s church 

Walk highlights

Nigel Nicholas, Wales Coast Path Officer says, "A challenging walk with tough steep climbs up and down, but your hard work and effort will be rewarded with spectacular clifftop views along the way."

Need to know

There is parking in Llangrannog, Penbryn and Tresaith and all three can be reached by the seasonal Cardi Bach coastal bus service. There are pubs, cafés and public toilets at Llangrannog and a seasonal National Trust café with public toilets at Penbryn.

Itinerary and map

You can also download the printable the walking itinerary and the route map to take with you on your walk.

This walk was developed in partnership with the National Churches Trust. Visit their website to find out more including bookable tours and experiences.