Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 10:58 UK

Pembrokeshire voted top UK coastal path

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is in its 40th year

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path has been voted the best coastal walkway in the UK by readers of a magazine.

Readers of Coast voted the 186-mile route in west Wales, which is celebrating its 40th year, as their favourite long-distance path.

The walk is almost entirely inside the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and was the first National Trail in Wales.

St Brides Hotel in Saundersfoot, also picked up an award from the readers for the best coastal hotel in the UK.

Charles Mathieson, head of recreation and tourism for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, collected the award and said: "The Coast Path is one of the key foundations of tourism in Pembrokeshire and makes a significant contribution to the county's economy.

"This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the path and it's wonderful to have national recognition for this fabulous resource and to know that it is still valued 40 years on."

Stile-free

Mr Mathieson said the authority was working to ensure the path was accessible to everyone. More than 100,000 people use the Coast Path each year.

"A number of stretches are now stile-free, including 42 miles between Pembroke Dock and Nolton Haven and 23 miles from Newgale to Penberi.

"In fact, we've removed over 400 stiles from the path in the past 10 years."

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of 16 National Trails in England and Wales. It beat off competition at the award ceremony from the South West Coast Path, in Somerset and Dorset, and Fife Coast Path, on the east coast of Scotland, which were also shortlisted by readers.

Coast magazine is a spin-off of the BBC Two programme.

Browns Chip Shop in Pembroke, run by the late Connie Brown, was highly commended in the unsung coastal hero category.

Mrs Brown, who was still working aged 102 at the fish and chip shop she opened with her late husband more than 80 years earlier, died in January this year.



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SEE ALSO
Coastal path's stiles are removed
23 May 09 |  South West Wales
Chip shop owner Connie, 102, dies
22 Jan 10 |  South West Wales

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