Pembrokeshire’s coastline is one of the best in the world – here’s what to see11/20/2022
While we’re all busy flocking en masse to Devon and Cornwall, unassuming Pembrokeshire is there, resplendent and quietly waving, wondering quite why all the hordes are driving in the other direction.
This stunning and somewhat underrated region in west Wales is nothing like as rammed with tourists as other coastal areas of the UK – which, frankly, only adds to its appeal. Voted by National Geographic as the second best coastline, not in the UK, not in Europe but in the world, there are over 50 picture-perfect sandy beaches. Not only that, it’s one of the few staycation locations that can boast excellent surfing opportunities.
Add to all this charming old-fashioned seaside resorts like Tenby, wildlife spotting opportunities galore and charming market towns like Narberth with its delis, galleries and independent shops, and we’re all wondering why on earth we haven’t been going there on holiday for years.
Where to stay
A cottage to cwtch (when in Rome, get with the local lingo, we say) up in, after a morning in the surf or a breezy beach day is just the ticket for a holiday in this part of the world, especially now there’s an autumnal nip in the air.
We stayed in Hiraeth, a spacious cottage perfect for a family half-term holiday, from where you can take a glorious walk down country paths to Saundersfoot town and beach (or drive it in five minutes). The cottage has 3 double bedrooms, a large garden for BBQs and kid’s larking about, a cosy living room, and a huge utility room and kitchen, ideal for cooking up a storm after a day’s activity.
What to do
Visit the glorious beaches, for a start. The wide, sandy bay of Saundersfoot is perfect for sandcastle building, ice cream eating and paddling. Barafundle Bay, meanwhile, is considered the best beach in the region – it looks more like it belongs in Thailand or the Caribbean.
Sign up for surf lessons with Outer Reef Surf School (a two-hour surf lesson with all equipment is £40pp, a private half-day surf lesson for families is £250).
Tenby, meanwhile, is more than worth a day of your holiday. An old-school seaside resort, we’ve never known a town to have quite so many impressive beaches (yes, those again) – four to be exact.
Walk the coastal path around the town past the famous old lifeboat station (featured on Grand Designs, it is now a holiday rental), and take a boat to, or around, Caldey Island. The island is home to Caldey Abbey, one of only four active monasteries of the Cistercian order in the UK, plus some wonderful wildlife. As well as a colony of seals and visiting puffins, razorbills and cormorants, the island is also the habitat of rare animals from red squirrels to soay sheep.
Or head to Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo to visit the meerkats, giraffes and penguins. There are also fairground rides, many are indoors for rainy days.
Where to eat
The Harbwr Bar and Kitchen in Saundersfoot is great for all the family, with an excellent seafood selection, including whole sea bass, Caldey Island crab salad, lobster thermidor and moule marinière, with mussels from the nearby Gower Peninsula.
For dessert, we headed up the street to the delightful café Swn y Mor (Sound of the Sea to us non-Welshies) for Biscoff sundaes, Mint Aero milkshakes and Jammy Dodger waffles.
One of the best, most memorable meals we had was a picnic of crab sandwiches and lobster rolls from Simply Seafoods, an unassuming cabin next to Tenby Harbour.
If you want fine dining, Coast Saundersfoot has a seven-course tasting menu (£78 pp) inspired by the local coast and countryside, featuring Atlantic Edge oysters, local seaweed and cockles, Welsh cheeses and game from the Rhug Estate organic farm.
How to book
Book your stay at coastalcottages.co.uk, prices for Hiraeth cottage start from £524 per week. For more information, see visitpembrokeshire.com
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