If we told you that there’s a geological wonder in Wales you might have yet to visit, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. Wales plays host to a number of natural phenomena that must be seen to be believed; it’s one of the most beautiful (and consistently underrated!) countries in the world when it comes to natural landscapes, so adding another one to the list probably won’t rock your boat too much.
Still, believe us when we say that the Elegug Stacks, located in Pembrokeshire, are something truly special indeed. Seeing this rock formation from a distance will give you a new appreciation for nature, and seeing it up close will let you trace every crag and line as though it had its own story to tell. Let’s talk a little bit about Elegug Stacks: what are they, how can you get there, and why should you visit?
What are the Elegug Stacks?
Otherwise known as the Stack Rocks of St. Govan’s, the Elegug Stacks are a simple rock formation jutting out of the waters of Pembrokeshire. The word “elegug” is Welsh for “guillemot”, likely because these birds can be found occupying the stacks and enjoying themselves year-round.
In fact, wildlife in general flocks to these stacks, largely because they remain untainted by human hands; while they’re used as part of the Castlemartin firing range, you likely won’t fall foul of this while you’re visiting, and even if you do, live fire notices will regularly be posted when exercises are underway, so you won’t suddenly be surprised by gunfire.
How can you get there?
It’s possible to drive to the Elegug Stacks, although the drive is just a little treacherous thanks to narrow roads, so make sure that you slow down and keep your speed steady while you travel. The last thing you want is to career off the roads because you’re too excited to see the stacks!
It’s also possible to get there via Pembrokeshire Council’s 387 bus, which stops near Castlemartin, allowing you to disembark and stroll to the rocks yourself. Make sure that you plan your trip ahead of time, though, as the aforementioned live firing exercises may be underway, and you’ll also need to contend with other tourists who have decided to visit the area (although this isn’t quite as busy a spot as other Welsh landmarks may be).
Be aware that although the Elegug Stacks have a disability-friendly car park, if you use a wheelchair or find it difficult to walk, then you may struggle to navigate the site itself. This is because there are a number of slippery stone surfaces that may prove difficult, and the steps around the arch and stacks themselves can be hard to traverse if you use a wheelchair or a stick.
What kind of wildlife can be found here?
Many different animals can be found nesting and relaxing near the Elegug Stacks. Of course, the aforementioned guillemots nest on the stacks themselves, so make sure to grab your binoculars and keep an eye out for them if you’re a keen birdspotter. Other birds you can find at this site include razorbills and the chough, which is a rare bird that will be a delight to see if you’re keen on spotting unusual wildlife.
As well as birds, you’ll also find a range of other animals making their home at the Elegug Stacks. These include lizards, small mammals, and other creatures, so if you do like to see wildlife, this is a real haven for animals. Please do make sure not to disrupt the local ecosystem by leaving behind rubbish or waste; make sure to tidy up after yourself, because after all, you want others to discover the spot as you found it, right?
Why should you visit Elegug Stacks?
The reason for visiting this natural marvel should be obvious; the scenery is simply stunning. Whether you like to snap hundreds of photos documenting your time at sites like this or you prefer to simply sit and take in the atmosphere, you’ll find that this is a peaceful, quiet, and contemplative place where the worries of the modern world simply melt away.
As well as the stacks themselves, there are a couple of extra things to spot at the Elegug Stacks. The Green Bridge of Wales is a natural archway formed near the stacks, and you’ll find the guillemots and other birds nesting here as well.
At the apex of the walk near the stacks, you will find St. Govan’s Chapel, which is a tiny mediaeval building with an appropriately awe-inspiring sense of historicity. In fact, there’s a local legend (of which we’re sure the Christian inhabitants of the chapel would disapprove) that the steps to the chapel never count the same up as they do down; make sure to count them yourself to find out!
In short, if you’re visiting Wales, and in particular if you’ve decided to visit Pembrokeshire, then you owe it to yourself and whoever you’re travelling with to make the time to see this beautiful rock formation. If nothing else, just taking a few minutes to enjoy a picnic while looking out over the gorgeous unspoiled rocks and the turquoise sea beyond should give you a sense of peace that’s unparalleled anywhere else in Wales (and, indeed, anywhere else in the world!). Add this destination to your itinerary and you won’t be sorry you did.