Into the West – Days in and out across Pembrokeshire

Days out, Family

Pembrokeshire is about as far west as you can drive in Wales before you reach the Irish Sea. In fact, it feels like a separate country altogether with its stunning clifftops, open sandy beaches, hidden coves, gorse and heather cover hillsides and one of the prettiest stretches of protected rural coast in the British Isles.  Lovers of the great outdoors head here, using it as an alternative to the sunny southwest shores overtaken by sun seekers that journey down to Devon and Cornwall.

 
 
 
 
 
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Had to share this incredibly beautiful photo of our favourite beach, Broad Haven South shot by @drewbphotography ✨🌊📸 Pembrokeshire never ceases to amaze us ❤️🙌🏻

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Planning a fun holiday? Whether you’re heading to Pembrokeshire with your family, your partner or friends, it has never been easier with our fantastic ‘things to do’ guide which highlights walking trails, ancient sites, a castle, a steam railway, and a birdlife centre. 

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park defines this part of Wales like Sydney Opera House defines Sydney, and Le Tour Eiffel defines Paris. Covering a total area of 243 miles2, the National Park has been designated its status largely thanks to its dynamic and unique coastline full of interesting habitats and several SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). It is lightly divided into four areas, that includes Caldey Island, the Daugleddau Estuary, St Bride’s Bay, and the Preseli Hills. The park isn’t entirely coastal though; it has many varied habitats and landscapes like moorlands, marshes and forests.

Geologists love the park too for its myriad of rock types and uncommon structures. It’s home to much of the 186-mile long Pembrokeshire Coast Path that runs between Amroth, in the south, and St Dogmæls. For most of its length, the trail follows the cliff edge linking up with other coastal paths along the way to become part of the Wales Coast Path. Voted in National Geographic, 2011, as the second-best coastal destination in the world it’s not hard to see why this coastline continues to enthral so many visitors, year-on-year.

Pentre Ifan

If you love Stonehenge and Avebury Circle, head to the ancient rock formations of Pentre Ifan. Dating back to 4000BC, Pentre Ifan is arguably the finest Neolithic site in Wales. Historians have speculated that the stones were originally assembled to be a burial chamber. Many people visit the area to learn why and how these stones were erected and to take a journey back through time to get a feel for Neolithic life, so unspoiled is the surrounding countryside. Pentre Ifan stands tall against the attractive Welsh scenery and offers beautiful views of Fishguard Bay.

The Dinosaur Park, Tenby

 
 
 
 
 
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Henry sizing up a TRex at the Dinosaur Park.

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Giants rule the Earth once more or at least they do in Tenby. Outgoing kids love the awesome displays of larger-than-life fanged-face reptiles – so be sure to take a trip to The Dinosaur Park at the seaside resort of Tenby.  If you are looking for a light-hearted, educational day to entertain the kids, then this is perfect for you. Little ones can also enjoy a bit of rough and tumble at the indoor play centre where you are able to take the weight off your feet and relax. After one visit to the Dinosaur Park, even mum and dad will want to come back a second time!

Pembrokeshire Castle

 
 
 
 
 
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#pembrokeshirecastle #pembs #westwales #holidays #castlelife #pembroke #westwales #wales

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This majestic Grade I castle is most famous for being the birthplace of Henry VII making it a must for your holiday itinerary. Situated just outside Milford Haven, it overlooks the Cleddau Estuary. A visit to the castle is a real treat for Royal history enthusiasts and lively kids as it offers activities galore and a good insight into its fascinating history. Built as a wooden fort to protect the Pembroke Peninsula from Norman invasion in the 11th century, it became a stone edifice in the 12th century. Restored in the 1950s, you can now embark on guided tours, interactive displays, kids’ workshops and exhibitions. Eagle-eyed film fans may recognise the castle from Terry Gilliam’s ‘Jabberwocky’, and the recent romantic drama, ‘Me Before You’ starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.

Gwili Steam Railway

Before Thomas the Tank Engine ruled children’s TV there was Ivor the Engine: a cartoon about an intrepid Welsh steam train. Step back in time and climb aboard the Gwili Steam Railway, which probably served as the real-life inspiration to the makers of the show in the 1950s and ‘70s. For the avid train aficionados, Gwili Steam Railway is an ideal day out for visitors of all ages. It’s a great opportunity to experience the picturesque landscapes of Pembrokeshire as they roll past your window while you lounge in comfort and style.

Pembrokeshire Falconry  

The UK’s first dedicated ‘British Bird of Prey Centre’ is a thrilling place to visit for young families and fans of carnivorous birds. With a visitor centre, new for 2018, and lots of interactive displays, there’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with up to 20 native raptors. You can also head to a secret garden in the grounds of Picton Castle which is devoted to different species of owl from all around the world. At Pembrokeshire Falconry, you can experience the thrill of these awe-inspiring birds as they fly past your head or, if you’re brave enough, you could let them land on your glove-cladded hand like a real bird keeper!

Other great visitor attractions in Pembrokeshire include Manor House Zoo, Oakwood Theme Park, and Folly Farm.

Stay in Pembrokeshire

We have some lovely cottages close to the above beauty spots, landmarks and activity centres in our collection. Treat the family to a fun-filled holiday in Pembrokeshire and make the most of these fantastic days out. If you need somewhere to stay, check out three of our Pembrokeshire holiday cottages below.

Adfer - near St Dogmæls

Adfer

Adfer near St Dogmæl’s is a great choice of holiday home for groups of six people (or less) and two dogs wishing to explore the northern end of the National Park. It’s also a short distance from Pentre Ifan and the Coast Path, perfect for walkers and history buffs.

Puddleduck Cottage - near Tenby

As it’s close to Tenby, you can visit the Dinosaur Park as well as take seasonal boat trips around the bay from Saundersfoot. Puddleduck is a comfortable base for a growing family and like our last cottage is within walking and cycling distance of the picturesque Coast Path.

West Grove Barn Ash - near Milford Haven

Set in a lovely complex, this stone property is a family favourite, accommodating up to six guests and five dogs. Close to Milford Haven in the village of Hundleton, you’ll also be close to the National Park, Coast Path and the impressive Pembroke Castle for great days out.

For even more choice, be sure to visit our collection of Pembrokeshire holiday cottages.

 

Posted by Ed on 24th September 2018