In Pembrokeshire, you won’t find just your run-of-the-mill British seaside town. The coastal county is set in the south-west corner of Wales. Wherever you are, the sea will be no more than 14 miles away. With surfing, sun-bathing, paddle boarding and coasteering in plentiful supply, there are as many things to do in Pembrokeshire for sea-lovers as there are in Cornwall, Pembrokeshire’s southerly neighbour. And it’s a lot less crowded in the summer months.
Here are some ideas for days out in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Visit a Pembrokeshire beach
Pembrokeshire beaches range from secluded, sandy coves like Porthselau, to elegant harbours like Solva, and pebble banks perfectly laid out for skimming stones.
Pembrokeshire’s beaches are among the cleanest in the world. The area has National Park status (the only coastal area in Britain with this designation), so it’s protected from development, and the pollution that comes with it. Between them, Pembrokeshire’s 58 beaches have totted up eleven blue flags, as well as twelve green coast, eleven seaside, and twenty one rural seaside awards. National Geographic named Pembrokeshire the second best coastal destination in the world. Plaudits aren’t everything, but it’s hard to argue with such a heavy mass of praise.
Follow the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
From Amroth in the south to Poppit Sands, the most northerly beach on the trail, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is 186 miles of dramatic, unspoilt scenery. Depending on where you start, you’ll get the chance to see limestone cliffs, volcanic headlands and flooded glacial valleys. Guillemots, kittiwakes and cormorants circle overhead, and along the cliffs and headlands wild thyme, bluebells and foxgloves grow. It’s a stunning place.
You can read more about Amroth, the most southerly point on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, and other beaches near Pembrokeshire, in a feature I wrote about our south Wales coastal adventure.
Spend time in Tenby
Tenby is one of the top places to visit in Pembrokeshire, if you want to experience a seaside vibe that’s both retro and hip. Surrounded by sandy beaches and peppered with gift shops and ice cream parlours, Tenby has been a fashionable coastal resort since the 19th century. Its name in Welsh (Dinbych-y-Pysgod) means ‘little fortress of the fish’ and Tenby’s harbour teems with working fishingboats. Overlooking the harbour is a ruined castle. If you tire of wandering Tenby’s picturesque cobbled streets, or playing on one of its three beaches, there are other things to do in Tenby. One unmissable treat is to go on a boat excursion out to Caldey Island, which lies twenty minutes off the shore. The holy island is run by a community of Cistercian monks. Caldey is open to the public on summer weekdays and Saturdays all year round.
If you want to make this quaint seaside town your base for a Pembrokeshire family holiday, there’s a wide variety of places to stay in Tenby. For some Tenby accommodation ideas, or places to stay in other Pembrokeshire locations, check out Powells Cottage Holidays.
Spend a family day out at Oakwood Theme Park
Besides enjoying the splendid natural scenery, there are lots of things to do in Pembrokeshire for kids. One of the top family attractions is Oakwood, Wales’ largest theme park. It has rides for a wide range of ages, from mini adventurers who like to whirl gently in giant teacups, to strapping teens who enjoy the thrill of being flung around on a rollercoaster. With restaurants, food stalls, a gaming arcade, air rifle range and mini golf, there’s more than enough to keep a family occupied for a whole day.
Oakwood theme park address: Canaston Bridge, Narberth SA67 8DE
See animals at Folly Farm
The Pembrokeshire attractions for families don’t end there. Folly Farm is 120 acres of animals, fairground rides, and adventure playgrounds. The animals are surprisingly exotic for a place with ‘zoo’ in the title. Rather than coming across a pig and a few sheep, visitors can see the only giraffes in Wales, endangered Eastern Black Rhino, zebras and Bactrian camels, to name just a few of the species that live there. Folly Farm has lots of satisfied customers – it gained the title of the ‘tenth best zoo in the world’, based on Tripadvisor reviews.
Folly Farm address: Begelly, Kilgetty, SA68 0XA
Explore history at St Davids
St Davids is the smallest city in the UK by population. Less than 2,000 people live there. It’s named after St David, the patron saint of Wales, who was said to live in the city way back in the 4th century. St Davids Cathedral is magnificent, built in the 12th century from local pinky grey stone. As well as the cathedral, history buffs can also enjoy spending time exploring the ruined Bishops Palace. This collection of buildings and fortifications dates back to the 13th century.
The peninsula where you’ll find St Davids has some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in Pembrokeshire. You can take a boat out to one of the nearby islands: Skomer, where a colony of puffins lives, Grassholm, to watch the nesting gannets, and Ramsey Island, which is an RSPB reserve. Whale and dolphin-watching trips are also popular in the summer.
For more on things to do in Pembrokeshire, go to the Visit Pembrokeshire website. Neighbouring Carmarthenshire is also worth a visit.
This is a collaborative post. All views are my own. All images are from Pixabay.
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