Pembrey Forest, near Llanelli

What's here


Pembrey Forest is a huge pine forest which was created on sand dunes on the Carmarthenshire coast.

Our waymarked walking trail goes to the ruins of a First World War ammunition factory – the route follows old train tracks through the trees.

Pembrey is one of Britain's rare sand dune forests - the Forestry Commission planted the trees here between 1929 and 1954 as part of a programme to replace woods cut down to supply timber for the two World Wars. 

It is home to a wide variety of plants, migrant songbirds, birds of prey and butterflies - there is a colony of the grizzled skipper butterfly here and there have been sightings of the very rare marsh fritillary butterfly.

The forest is next to Pembrey Country Park (run by Carmarthenshire County Council) which has a visitor centre, café, toilets and a range of visitor facilities and leisure activities.

Walking trail

The walking trail is waymarked from start to finish.

Look out for the information panel at the start of the trail.

Find out about walking trail grades.

Pines and Shells Trail

  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 4½ miles/7 kilometres
  • Time: 2½ hours
  • Trail information: The trail starts beyond car park 1 in Pembrey Country Park. From the corner of the car park walk down the gravel track to the information panel at the start of the trail. The trail follows sandy tracks and forest roads through the forest. There are picnic tables and benches along the route.

The trail goes through the forest, following some of the former ammunition factory’s train tracks.

Some of the factory’s small bunkers and curved blast tunnels are still present and we have bricked up the entrances of some to provide homes for horseshoe bats.

Keep an eye-out for orchids and other wild flowers lining the path in late spring and early summer.

Horse riding

The horse riding trails in Pembrey Forest are managed by Pembrey Conservation Trust.

You need a permit to horse ride in Pembrey Forest.

Monthly and annual horse riding permits are available.

To apply for a horse riding permit, go to the Pembrey Conservation Trust website. 

Parking for horse boxes and lorries is limited to one parking bay in the Pembrey Country Park car park.

Wales Coast Path

The Wales Coast Path goes through Pembrey Forest and along the sandy beach.

The Wales Coast Path provides a continuous walking route around the coastline of Wales from the outskirts of Chester in the north to Chepstow in the south.

Find out more about the Wales Coast Path.

Pembrey Country Park

Pembrey Forest is situated next to Pembrey Country Park.

Pembrey Country Park is managed by Carmarthenshire County Council. 

Facilities include a visitor centre, toilets, a café and a campsite.

For more information about facilities and opening times go to the Pembrey Country Park website.

National Forest for Wales

Pembrey Forest forms part of the National Forest for Wales.

The National Forest will:

  • create areas of new woodland
  • enhance existing woodlands
  • restore Wales’ irreplaceable ancient woodlands

It will form a connected ecological network running throughout Wales, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.

Parts of the network will eventually form a trail running the length and breadth of Wales, so anyone can access it wherever they live.

For more information go to the National Forest for Wales website.

Visiting safely

We want you to return home safely after your visit here.

You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of any children and animals with you during your visit.

For advice and tips to help you plan your visit here go to Visiting our places safely.

Opening times

The visitor centre, toilets, café and all other leisure facilities are managed by Carmarthenshire County Council.

For information and opening times go to the Pembrey Country Park website.

Changes to trails

See the top of this webpage for details of any planned closures or other changes to the trails here.

For your safety, always follow instructions from staff and signs including those for trail diversions or closures.

We may divert or close trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations and we may need to close other visitor facilities temporarily.

In extreme weather, we may close facilities at short notice due to the risk of injury to visitors and staff.

How to get here


Pembrey Forest is 8 miles west of Llanelli.

It is in the county of Carmarthenshire.

Ordnance Survey (OS) map

Pembrey Forest is on OS Explorer 164 or 178. 

The OS grid reference for Pembrey Country Park visitor centre is SN 400 001.


Take the A484 from Llanelli towards Bury Port.

After 5 miles, turn left, following the brown signs for the Country Park.

The car park for the Country Park is 1 mile along this road.

Sat nav

For satellite navigation, the postcode for Pembrey Country Park is SA16 0EJ.

Public transport

The nearest mainline railway station is Pembrey & Burry Port.

For details of public transport go to the Traveline Cymru website.

Sustrans cycle route

You can cycle to Pembrey Forest on the Celtic Trail.

The Celtic Trail stretches across South Wales, from the Irish Sea to the border with England

The Celtic Trail is made up of two Sustrans routes.

For more information about the Celtic Trail go to the Sustrans website.


The nearest car park to the start of the Shells and Pines Trail is car park 1 in Pembrey Country Park.

The country park is managed by Carmarthenshire County Council and there is a charge at the park entrance.

For information and opening times go to the Pembrey Country Park website.

Contact details

0300 065 3000

Related document downloads

Pembrey Forest leaflet PDF [5.8 MB]

Other places in South West Wales

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