Bosherston Lily Ponds: Guide
Bosherston Lily Ponds need no introduction, for they are far-famed among visitors to the county as an unusual beauty spot to be seen and enjoyed.
A group of freshwater lakes, the Lily Ponds are part of a large wildlife reserve in the area and are home to a plethora of wildlife including otters, wildfowl and dragonflies. Of course, the main attraction is the beautiful carpet of lilies that cover the manmade ponds that have made them a must visit for those staying in Pembrokeshire.
Located next to the village of Bosherston and at the north end of Broad Haven (South) beach, you can take in the lily ponds on a series of walkways that run alongside it. It’s a gentle and easy stroll that takes you on a magnificent journey through the ponds, where you can admire the peaceful setting from the banks.
If you’re coming from the village there’s a National Trust Carpark with toilets, from where you can access the ponds. There’s a footpath that wind its way along the banks of the ponds and, depending which direction you take, you can cross them on the stone bridge. At the end of your walk you’ll be rewarded with the spectacular beach that stretches out before you, or head in the other direction to join the Pembrokeshire coast path.
Best time to visit?
While the walk and lily ponds are accessible all year round, if you want to see the lilies in all their flowering glory it’s best to visit in June.
How to get there?
You can access the Lily Ponds from Bosherston Village (SA71 5DQ) or Broad Haven Beach, via the coast path.
The Lily Ponds were the brainchild of one of Pembrokeshire’s main noble families, The Cawdors, who owned thousands of acres of prime parkland and farmland in South Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and in Nairnshire, Scotland.
At Castlemartin Corse the Cawdors drained several acres of wet wasteland, described as “a perfect bog” into good, productive farmland. They also turned their attention to the improvement of their estate in the form of ambitious landscaping, damming the valley of two rivers to form ornamental lakes, and building a splendid new mansion on a site overlooking the water.
They also had an eight-arched stone bridge built across one lake, and created the lily pond where a footpath takes the walker down to Broad Haven South beach, crossing the pond over a wooden bridge which gives a close up view of the beautiful blooms. There, visitors may see magnificent irridescent dragonflies speeding like mini helicopters over the lily pads round the fringes of which lurk moorhen and otter. Visitors to the village of Bosherston usually take the walk all the way to the beach.
The Cawdor land was acquired by a large pension trust when the Cawdors left in the 1961, and, after their mansion, overlooking a lake stocked with huge pike, was demolished in 1976 to escape crippling taxes, the estate was taken over by the National Trust who have developed an activity and outdoor eco-centre there, having restored the old farm buildings and cleared the neglected woodland of invading Japanese Knotweed and Rhododendron. There is an important colony of horseshore bats.