Pembrey Forest, near Llanelli

One of Britain’s rare sand dune forests

What's here

This site and trails are open - please see more details on this web page.


The car park, toilets and all visitor facilities here are operated by Carmarthenshire County Council - see the Pembrey Country Park website for the latest information.


Coronavirus update


There are coronavirus local restrictions in some areas of Wales.


Our sites remain open in areas with local restrictions but you should not travel from outside the area to visit them - this site is located in the county of Carmarthenshire.


We have changed the normal route for some of our trails to help you maintain social distancing – please follow signs on site.


You need to wear a mask when going inside one of our buildings.


You can check-in via the NHS app when entering one of our buildings – scan the QR-code on the NHS Covid-19 poster on site.



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

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. 

Our waymarked walking trail goes to the ruins of a World War 1 ammunition factory – the route follows old train tracks through the trees.

Pembrey Forest is home to a wide variety of plants, butterflies, migrant songbirds and birds of prey.

One of only three colonies of the grizzled skipper butterfly known in Wales is 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 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: 3¾ miles/6.1 kilometres
  • Total climb: 100 metres
  • Time: 2½ hours
  • Trail information: The trail starts beyond car park 1 in Pembrey Country Park. Walk down the gravel track from the corner of the car park for 0.2 mile 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.

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.

How to get here


Pembrey Forest is 8 miles west of Llanelli.

Ordnance Survey (OS) map

Pembrey Forest is on OS Explorer 178. 

The OS grid reference for Pembrey Country Park visitor centre is SN 406 005.


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.

Closures and diversions

  • Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or other operations.
  • We may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice, due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
  • Please always follow any instructions on site and any temporary diversion signs.

Contact details

Natural Resources Wales

0300 065 3000

Pembrey Country Park

01554 742435

Related document downloads

Pembrey Forest leaflet PDF [5.8 MB]