Way down west into the depths of Wales and just across the water from Ireland, you will find Pembrokeshire.
It’s made up of over six hundred miles of stunning coast and countryside. And amongst all the greenness and sea air you will find a myriad of towns and villages, and there’re all so very different.
Come visit us and get away from the noise!
Pembrokeshire is a welcome retreat and haven. There’s no pressure here. It’s laid back, you won’t be judged on your clothes or job, you can wonder around at your leisure and take in the calmness and space.
There are no chain coffee shops (bar one that has recently sneaked in..) or late night buses. And there’s only a sprinkling of high street stores. A hindrance or blessing maybe. It’s best just to move with it and enjoy yourself. You will go home relaxed.
I should say most towns and villages do have modern amenities. But if you do want to seek out an untouched internet-less village, cottage or landscape (think Hinterland!) you will find it.
If you’re brave enough to go with the flow and turn off your phone (maybe just for a bit) you will love it.
Photo by Tina Osborne
By far the main draw for many, the Pembrokeshire coastline is renowned across the globe. Walkers are drawn here, surfers come to surf some of the best waves in the world and many just come to enjoy a beach holiday.
It’s 186 miles long starting in North Pembrokeshire St Dogmaels and ends in Amroth in the South. It’s full of nooks, crannies, kooky and creative people, wildlife, remote beaches, off-beat local pubs and cafés, local attractions, famous landmarks, and plenty of space and fresh air.
It really is relaxing and enjoyable.
If you’re planning on walking any or all of the path I would recommend visiting the Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail website. It provides all the information you’ll need on how to navigate the walks, with safety tips and local bus services. It also breaks the walks down into sections and shows you the level of difficulty for each part.
If you have time on your hands you can venture off into the surrounding towns and local walks. Try Stackpole and the Bosherston Lily Ponds or near the start of the path stop at Fishguard and Newport, two very quaint, untouched, friendly and quirky towns.
Pembrokeshire people and culture
It’s fair to say we’re laid back down here. It’s a slow pace of life, and if you’re a city dweller you may get a bit of a culture shock but you’ll soon get into the stride of things. You’ll no doubt go home relaxed.
In South Pembrokeshire (or little England as they call it) where I grew up there’s a mixed bag of Welsh, English, Irish, a sprinkling of others. Many have fallen in love with Pembrokeshire and relocated here and some have just stumbled across here or just ended up living down this part of the world. It’s very easy to live here!
North Pembrokeshire is distinctly more Welsh and infused with the traditions of farming life and the creative and gentle nature of locals. These Welsh towns and villages have retained their friendliness and local traditions.
Many of us make our living from tourism. So it’s a case of working your ass off in the summer and trying to make the earnings last the winter! It’s hard going find work down here. Most have to compromise and work a couple of jobs or work for the local council.
There are countless attractions and things to do for all tastes and budgets. I’ll be documenting a few in future blog posts, but for now here’s a taste of what Pembrokeshire has to offer:
Breathe in the sea air…
walk a stretch of coastal path
climb an easy or challenging cliff
- walk on Fresh West beach where Robin Hood and Harry Potter were filmed
- visit Barfundle Bay – voted one of the best beaches in the world
- fish in Pembrokeshire in a choice of locations
- drive up and barbecue with your friends on a grassy cliff top in Manorbier
Just have some fun…
eat chips and be a tourist in Tenby
- let loose with paint-balling, zorb football and go-carting at Heatherton
- have a chilled and fun day at theme park Oakwood
- see some exotic and rare animals at Anna’s Welsh Zoo (that’s Anna Ryder Richardson!)
- be a knight for the day in Carew castle or Pembroke castle
- mingle with some creative/farming Welsh folk in Newport or Cardigan (just outside Pembs)
- go to a music gig/art exhibition in Narberth
- try Fishguard’s Aberjazz or the International Music Festival – both outstanding in beautiful surroundings
Or just sit on the edge of your caravan step and enjoy the peace.
There’s a patch in Pembrokeshire for everyone. You’ve just got to find yours!
Headline image is Newgale beach by Pete Norman.