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I think I speak for everyone when I say 2020 was the year of the staycation! I don’t know about you but, with flights grounded due to a global pandemic, I found myself exploring more of the UK than ever before. I’ve always wanted to see more of the UK but, all too often, I’m enticed by cheap flights and exotic destinations, which means I’ve been putting my UK bucket list on the back burner for too long. Until this year. Unable to travel abroad, I headed to Pembrokeshire, the beautiful coast of South Wales, in September, to explore and check out some of the best things to do. Read on for my recommendations.
6 Fun Things to Do in Pembrokeshire
1. Walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Pembrokeshire enjoys a gorgeous, rugged coastline with a well-maintained national trail coast path spanning 186 miles. Some ambitious folk walk the entire length of the Pembrokeshire coast path in one go, over 10-15 days, but the majority of people opt for a small section of the coast path each time they visit.
Walking some sections of the coast path is not for the faint-hearted though, as the trail, in its entirety, boasts some 35,000 feet of ascents and descents, which is said to be akin to climbing Mount Everest. If you don’t fancy climbing Mount Everest though, the coast path is still accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Choose a short section of perhaps 3-6 miles and enjoy the beautiful views, nature, castles and quaint little towns along the way.
If you’re looking for recommendations, I can highly recommend the section that stretches from Freshwater East Beach to Stackpole Quay. This is a nice easy, leisurely walk that is fairly flat but enjoys beautiful views both ways.
2. Visit the Victorian seaside town of Tenby
Picture perfect, Tenby Harbour is like something from a postcard – literally. The chocolate box houses in all kinds of dreamy pastel colours line the harbour and make for some beautiful photos. Other than this, Tenby is very similar to any other British seaside town, with plenty of souvenir and ice cream shops. The golden-sanded Castle Beach is wide, spacious and worth a visit, and was actually awarded the title of Britain’s Best Beach by the Sunday Times in 2019.
3. Spend the day at Stackpole Nature Reserve
Park at Stackpole Quay and enjoy a day spent exploring the coast path, the endless, breathtakingly beautiful, untouched beaches, such as Barafundle Bay, and the pretty lily ponds at Bosherston Lakes. Whether you choose to get active and venture out to sea in a kayak, try your hand at coasteering, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk with the family, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied for a day at Stackpole Nature Reserve.
You’ll find a lovely little National Trust cafe, called The Boathouse Tearoom at Stackpole Quay, selling hot drinks, snacks and light breakfasts/lunches, and another cafe near Bosherston Lily Ponds, called Ye Olde Worlde Cafe.
4. Explore Pembroke Castle
History lovers will enjoy spending a couple of hours exploring Pembroke Castle, an epic medieval castle in the town of Pembroke dating back to 1093. Tickets for adults cost only £7.00 and you’ll find plenty to keep the whole family occupied for a morning or afternoon. Pembroke Castle boasts a long and fascinating history and is still in excellent condition today. As well as exhibitions detailing the castle’s history, you’ll be able to enjoy sweeping views from the battlements across the town and grab a bit to eat in the onsite cafe.
5. Visit Freshwater West Beach
This beautiful, sandy beach backed by sprawling sand dunes has featured in several films and is a popular spot for keen surfers looking for the perfect wave. Although, it’s strongly advised that only experienced and confident swimmers attempt to tackle the waves at Freshwater West due to strong rip currents.
With next to no amenities, save for the Cafe Mor food van that frequents this spot, the beach feels rugged and untouched and is the perfect place for a sandy stroll, or a spot of sunbathing on a warm day.
6. Visit Barafundle Bay and Broad Haven Beach
If there’s one thing that stood out to me from my time in Pembrokeshire, it was the absolutely breathtaking beaches. Untouched and completely non-commercialised, the beaches in Pembrokeshire are a delight to the eyes. Both Broad Haven Beach and Barafundle Bay feel very cut off from the hustle and bustle of life, with Barafundle Bay being accessible only on foot. I was blown away by the beauty of the beaches in Pembrokeshire and would even go as far as saying Pembrokeshire boasts some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen – and I’ve been to Australia!
Pack a picnic and a blanket, enjoy a walk along the coast path and spend a quiet day enjoying the serenity of Barafundle Bay. I’ll definitely be heading back there on my next visit.
This is exactly the holiday we did in 2019. Ironically we were saving up for a US road trip in 2020 which obviously never came to pass. But Barafundle is now one of my all time favourite UK beaches, and those lily ponds were just fab. I love Tenby with its beaches and castles! We are booked for Wales again this summer – can’t wait to do some more exploring.
I so wish to visit UK someday. This place looks lovely. Never heard of it before so thanks for sharing.
It’s a bit of a hidden gem. Hope you get to visit one day.
Some lovely photos! Pembrokeshire looks really beautiful! Exploring closer to home has been a good thing….
It definitely has! More to come I think.
I totally agree with you! 2020 was a year of staycations for me too. I explored more places in the UK than ever before because I tend to go abroad. I definitely need to check Wales, Pembrokeshire looks very pretty.
I’m looking forward to exploring more this year too!
I love that fancy wine glass you took to the beach! Pembroke castle would be at the top of my list.
Ah thanks. We took a whole picnic and played cards till the sunset 🙂
South Wales looks so unexpectedly awesome! I´ve never heard of Pembrokeshire before but it looks so lovely 🙂 Lovely pictures, especially the one with the bubbles on the beach, can´t wait for warmer days and sunshine 🙂
Bubbles on the beach was a highlight for sure! Also cannot wait for summer!