There is something undeniably picturesque about Pembrokeshire. From its knobbly hills of volcanic rock, to the long thin inlets scoured by glaciers – everything is picture perfect. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s been the backdrop to popular films including Moby Dick, Robin Hood as well as Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. You too, can explore its wild and incredibly beautiful landscape, which is the ideal playground for spectacular walking, surfing, coasteering and sea kayaking. As well as its glorious beaches and abundant marine life, a Pembrokeshire break offers a wealth of historical sites, forbidding castles, and fascinating islands. Be sure to check out Belle About Town’s must see spots, before you pack your bags and travel west.
Where to stay: Ditch traditional hotels for a ‘home away from home’ feel with the Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire. The company offers everything from cosy cottages for 2 to fantastic family and dog friendly accommodation. Several offer on-site pools or hot tubs. When picking your place, a nice touch is that the website also suggest attractions near your chosen property – which means there is no excuses for boredom to set in. We were invited to stayed at Ty Melyn in Fishguard – a small house just a short walk from the local beach. The cottage is surrounded by pastel-coloured homes and oozes a coastal charm which got us into the holiday mood before we had even stepped foot inside. We were even more delighted to be greeted by a massive hamper waiting for us in our kitchen, which was jam packed with Welsh treats including strawberry jam, fudge, waffles and much more. The house itself is comfortably furnished in bright warm tones. It also boasts quirky artwork of the local area, a nice touch. As part of your booking you can also make use of the Coastal Concierge service which allows you to book tourist activities, spa sessions, and even make restaurant bookings. This is a massive help as it free up time to enjoy your holiday instead of wasting hours organising it. Top Tip – Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire are offering four-night breaks for £99 per couple this autumn (starting tomorrow – November 4th). Call 01437 772760 or see www.coastalcottages.co.uk for more information.
Where to go during your Pembrokeshire break:
Whitesands beach – This beach guarantees a great day out. Overlooked by the imposing craggy hill of Carn Llidi, this wide expanse of fine white sand curves north towards the remote rocky headland of St Davids Head. This is one of the best surfing beaches in the country and therefore very popular. The surf ‘break’ is at the northern end and on busy days there are canoeists, surfers and body boarders competing for the best waves. At this end, there’s a rocky promontory to climb on. At the quieter south end, there are some nicely sheltered bays. This Blue Flag beach also has a parking for 60 cars and other facilities include toilets, and a cafe. Visit the beach at St David’s, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6PS, Wales. Top tip – If you’re planning to visit, check out the tide times to make sure you have plenty of beach to play on and that you don’t get cut off by the incoming tide.
Castell Henllys Iron Fort: The main attraction here are the thatched Iron Age buildings, which have been reconstructed on their original foundations, following more than 20 years of excavations by archaeologists. This makes a visit here the perfect way to teach kids about the Iron Age. Best of all Castell Henllys is set within thirty acres of beautiful woodland and river meadows – which makes it an ideal playground for youngsters. Visitors are free to stroll along leafy woodland and riverside paths, explore sculpture trails depicting myths and legends, and pass by prehistoric breeds of livestock grazing in fields, before entering the hillfort itself. Visit Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort, Meline, Crymych, Pembrokeshire, SA41 3UR, Wales or call 01239 891319 for more information on tickets, and opening times. Top tip – To get the most out from your trip, download the free Castell Henllys app onto your mobile. It has been developed to be your guide as you explore. The bilingual app includes fantastic videos, photographs and drawings to help you learn more about life in the Iron Age.
Pembroke Castle: This mighty fortress was the birthplace of Henry VII so is steeped in British history. It is idyllically set on the banks of the river estuary and is surrounded by a serene mill pond. Visitors will adore exploring this enormous oval castle, which was extensively restored in Victorian times. It is dominated by the complex gatehouse on the outside and the huge circular keep once you’re inside. The walled town of Pembroke, which grew up around the castle also contains many ancient and interesting Norman buildings. Visit Pembroke Castle in Pembroke, SA71 4LA or call 01646 684585 for more information on tickets, and opening times. Top tip – Check the website to see if you can arrange your visit to coincide with its regular ‘Black Mountains Falconry Days’. This event allows visitors to see and handle magnificent falcons, owls, buzzards and hawks. The birds are on display from 11am and experts stage an interactive flying show at 12.30pm and 3.30pm.