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Pembrokeshire is home to some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. I was blown away by the unspolit scenery, the golden sands, and the gorgeous rugged coastline. Not to mention the fact that it’s off the beaten path and somewhat undiscovered compared to other popular UK holiday destinations such as Cornwall. Pembrokeshire is, quite literally, a walkers paradise, with the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path and plenty of inland scenic hikes. But if hiking isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in this gorgeous place. If you’re planning a visit, whether you’re hiking, or simply enjoying a relaxing break, you’ll want to know all the best things to do in Pembrokeshire. And that’s where we’ve got you covered.
Don’t forget to check out our 3-day Pembrokeshire itinerary.
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!?)
11 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 on your relaxing week off work, the coast path is still accessible in sections for 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.
I can highly recommend the section from Freshwater East Beach to Stackpole Quay. This is a nice easy, leisurely walk that is fairly flat but enjoys beautiful views in both directions. Another beautiful location on the coast path is Green Bridge. Park here for this beautiful stretch of coastline.
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. Visit Caldey Island
Caldey Island is a monastic island, which means this island is home to a beautiful monastry. Boast depart from Tenby and generally run every 20-30 minutes from 10am till 5pm, Monday to Saturday from May to September. The Caldey Island website recommends checking their Facebook page for the latest up to date daily information on boat trips, as trips are often cancelled in bad weather. As well as the monastery, there are shops, a tea garden cafe, a small museum and several island walks to enjoy. You can view a map of Caldey Island here. Adult tickets are £17 and children, £10.
4. Spend the Day at Stackpole Nature Reserve
Park at the National Trust owned 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.
5. 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 £9.00 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. There’s no need to book tickets in advance, you can just purchase on arrival.
6. 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, except for the Cafe Mor food van that is often parked nearby, the beach feels rugged and untouched and is the perfect place for a sandy stroll, or a spot of sunbathing on a warm day.
7. Enjoy a Sunset Picnic at Freshwater East
Another gorgeous beach to enjoy – Freshwater East. We stayed in an Airbnb right on the beach and had the most wonderful views. One evening, we took a picnic, a bottle of bubbly and a pack of cards down to the beach and enjoyed the golden light as the sun set behind us!
8. 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 breathtakingly beautiful 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!
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.
9. Visit St David’s Cathedral
St David’s is Britains smallest city, thanks to the cathedral which gives St David’s its city status. However, with only 2000 inhabitants, it’s more akin to a large village! This small but pretty city features quaint cobbled streets, plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops and art galleries, as well as the magnificant St David’s Cathedral, which makes St David’s one of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire in the rain!
10. Visit Carew Castle and Tidal Mill
If you’ve staying in or near to Tenby, or happen to visit Tenby for the day, why not pay a visit to the nearby Carew Castle. 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’s a tearoom on site, 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.
11. Take the Leap with Coasteering
If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, or simply want to step outside your comfort zone and try something new, why not have a go at coasteering. With 186 miles of coastline to enjoy, there are plenty of companies offering adrenaline-filled activities such as cliff jumping, rock climbing and coasteering.
Celtic Quest Coasteering offer coasteering activities in Pembrokeshire from £45 per person.
Looking for some of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire, South Wales? Let me know your suggestions in the comments below.