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Until recently, exploring my own country was always at the bottom of my bucket list. While I always knew the UK had a lot to offer, travelling abroad always won out, largely due to cheaper deals, better weather, or just the allure of exotic far-away destinations. It wasn’t until a friend suggested we spend 3 days in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, that this beautiful area even registered on my wish list. Now, having spent 3 wonderful days on the Pembrokeshire coast, I can vouch for this stunning part of South Wales and its beautiful beaches, untouched coastline and quaint towns. If you’re looking to spend a weekend in Pembrokeshire, read on for my 3-day Pembrokeshire itinerary.
Don’t miss our post about the best things to do in Pembrokeshire.
How to Spend 3 Days in Pembrokeshire
There are so many things to do in Pembrokeshire that you could easily spend a whole week there, but if you’re short on time, here’s my 3-day itinerary for Pembrokeshire, South Wales. We were fortunate enough to enjoy fantastic late summer weather while in Pembrokeshire, so this itinerary is dependent on dry weather to allow you to get outdoors! Of course, if it’s raining, you can always throw on some waterproofs and brave the elements anyway, or move these days around according to the weather.
3-Day Pembrokeshire Itinerary
Day 1 – Hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Depending on where you’ll be staying, my recommendation would be to head straight for the beautiful and untouched Pembrokeshire Coast Path. On day one, I hiked the section from Freshwater East Beach to Stackpole Quay.
You can walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in both directions from Freshwater East Beach, but I’d highly recommend the walk between Freshwater East and Stackpole Quay, where you’ll find a lovely National Trust cafe, The Boathouse Tearoom, serving light lunches, snacks and hot drinks. The walk from Freshwater East to Stackpole Quay is approximately 3 miles each way, so allow at least 3-4 hours to complete this walk (depending on your pace and including a refuel stop at the cafe). The views along the coastline are dramatic and absolutely beautiful!
While there are no facilities on Freshwater East Beach, I actually liked this as it feels beautifully untouched. There is a small pub, The Freshwater Inn, a short drive from the beach that I can recommend, but if you’re not planning to walk to the cafe at Stackpole Quay make sure to bring a picnic lunch with you.
Picnic on Freshwater East Beach
Following your hike, on your return to Freshwater East Beach, enjoy a picnic on the beautiful beach as the sun sets. We rolled out a blanket, cracked open a bottle of bubbly, some cheese and bread and enjoyed the golden light and the laidback vibes, while we played cards until it got dark.
Hike from Stackpole Quay to Barafundle Bay and Bosherston Lily Ponds
On day two of our three days in Pembrokeshire, we walked from Stackpole Quay to Barafundle Bay and the Bosherston Lily Ponds. If you’re looking for a relatively easy amble along untouched coastline, some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches and gorgeous scenery, this walk is for you. As I recall, the walk is relatively flat and suitable for all ages and abilities and is around 6 miles in length. If you don’t fancy another hike, you can drive to Bosherston Lily Ponds and the Stackpole Estate, owned by the National Trust, and enjoy a short walk around the lakes.
If adrenaline-filled activities are your thing, you can even explore a 4-mile mountain bike trail through the Stackpole Estate.
If you’re up for a hike, start at Stackpole Quay and head west to the stunningly beautiful Barafundle Bay, around Stackpole Head and on to Broad Haven (another beautiful beach), before heading inland to enjoy a ramble around the pretty Bosherston Lakes Fish Ponds. I was blown away by the beauty of the beaches on this walk – totally unspoiled and absolutely beautiful golden sands. You can only reach Barafundle Bay by foot, which means it remains fairly protected and cut off from the masses.
As well as The Boathouse Tearoom in Stackpole Quay, there’s a nice little cafe, The Olde World Cafe in Bosherston, just a short walk from the lakes, where we enjoyed a coffee.
To really enjoy this walk, allow 4-5 hours, with refreshment stops along the way and plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery. Parking is available at the National Trust car park at Stackpole Quay.
If you find yourself with time to spare, take a drive along the coast to Freshwater West, another beautifully unspoiled beach with expensive golden sands and dunes. Again, this beach feels refreshingly cut off, although there are public toilets available and a catering van called Cafe Mor, selling food and drinks from spring to autumn. The beach here is gorgeous and surprisingly quiet, seeing as it’s one of the most popular spots in Pembrokeshire. With so little in the way of amenities, you really get the feeling that you’ve stepped away from the rat race and stumbled upon something special.
Freshwater West claims to have some of the best waves in the country due to its south-westerly facing beach, so it’s a great spot to watch experienced surfers tackle the waves. However, due to strong rip currents, it’s advised only strong swimmers surf here.
Explore Pembroke Castle
A jaunt to Wales wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a Welsh castle, and history-lovers will definitely enjoy a visit to Pembroke Castle – an impressive medieval castle with a tumultuous and enthralling past. You’ll enjoy sweeping views from the battlements, interesting exhibitions detailing the castle’s history, residents and heritage, as well as being able to picnic in the grounds or enjoy a bite to eat from the onsite cafe (closed in winter).
Tickets do not need to be booked in advance and can be purchased on arrival. Admission for adults is only £9.00 and well-worth the cost.
Visit Carew Castle
On your way from Pembroke Castle to Tenby, don’t miss Carew Castle and Tidal Mill. Around 15-minutes from the centre of Tenby, it’s a beautiful castle ruin to visit if you’re a history lover, or simply want to enjoy the beautiful views across the lake. There is a tearoom on site which is open from March to December, serving homemade cakes and light lunches.
Carew Castle is open year round, but the Tidal Mill is only open March-November.
Enjoy a Stroll Around Tenby
Finish your 3 days in Pembrokeshire with a trip to the famous seaside town of Tenby. While Tenby is a tourist hotspot, it’s still worth a visit to see the pastel-coloured Victorian houses that surround the harbour, as well as many quaint shops and glorious beaches – including Castle Beach, North Beach and South Beach.
If you’re feeling extra energetic, enjoy the 4.5 mile coastal walk from Tenby to Saundersfoot, or hop on the ferry to Caldey Island.
There are so many sights to see that a 3-day Pembrokeshire itinerary really doesn’t even scratch the surface. However, it’s a good way to dip your toes in the water and get a feel for what Pembrokeshire is all about before you plan your next trip to South Wales!
Don’t forget to check out our full list of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I stay in Pembrokeshire?
For this itinerary, I’d recommend staying on the south coast between Pembroke and Saundersfoot for easy access to the attractions and coastline.
I stayed in an Airbnb on the beach in Freshwater East. It was beautiful and a great location, right on the coast path.
How do I get around Pembrokeshire?
Pembrokeshire is a very rural place, with poor public transport links and so, the best way to get around is by car, whether you hire a car or drive your own. Hire a car in Pembrokeshire here.
How long should I spend in Pembrokeshire?
Ideally, a week would be ideal – there’s so much to explore and it would also give you time to kick back and relax. But I only spent 3 days in Pembrokeshire and it was great to get a flavour for it. I’ll definitely be going back to explore more of this beautiful part of Wales.
Accommodation in Pembrokeshire
If you’re looking for Pembrokeshire accommodation, look no further…
City Inn – Budget bed and breakfast in St David’s, walking distance to town, breakfast included
Llwyn Celyn – 3-bed maisonette in Pembroke
Portclew House, Freshwater East – Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Freshwater East beach
Tŷ Milford Waterfront – Gorgeous modern hotel with great views over the harbour in Milford Haven
The Belgrave Hotel, Tenby – On Tenby seafront with beautiful beach views
Holyland House – Stunning house (Can I just live here!?)
Are you planning a trip to Pembrokeshire? Let me know what you’re planning to include in your 3-day Pembrokeshire itinerary in the comments below!