• Strolling through the vast landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Wales feels like stepping into an enchanting painting. The region boasts captivating coastal paths, vibrant seaside towns, diverse wildlife, and castles steeped in rich history. Let’s embark on an immersive journey to explore this dreamy destination together.

    Hiking the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

    The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path stretches 186 miles, ranking among the top 15 national trails in the UK. Praised by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s finest long-distance trails, I only had the chance to experience a small section, but its breathtaking beauty left a lasting impression.

    This trail winds through a variety of coastal landscapes, from rugged limestone cliffs and red sandstone bays to stunning beaches. Completing the entire walk might take two weeks, with elevation changes akin to climbing Mount Everest. If Everest sounds a bit too challenging for your vacation, consider spending a half-day exploring the area.

    While climbing Everest might not be everyone’s idea of a relaxing holiday (totally get that!), you can opt for a half-day stroll in the region. Or, if Everest isn’t challenging enough for you, well, there’s more. In 2012, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path became part of the Wales Coast Path, extending its total length to 870 miles.

    Sharpening Photography Skills in Tenby

    Any guide to Pembrokeshire is incomplete without mentioning Tenby. This vibrant seaside resort attracts thousands of visitors annually, boasting a 2.5-mile-long beach. Thanks to its southwestern location, it’s one of the sunniest spots in Wales, making it an ideal destination for summer holidays.

    But Tenby offers more than just sunbathing on the beach. You can take a leisurely walk, fries in hand, exploring the well-preserved 13th-century town walls, the 15th-century St. Mary’s Church, Tudor-era merchant houses, and the popular Tenby Museum and Art Gallery.

    For photography enthusiasts, don’t miss the chance to capture Tenby Harbour during sunrise or sunset—a magical sight with soft orange hues shimmering on the water.

    Spending Time with Puffins on Skomer Island

    Who doesn’t love puffins? These charming, somewhat clumsy seabirds with clown-like faces are among the cutest members of the animal kingdom. Did you know that puffin chicks are called “pufflings,” and a group of puffins is known as a “circus”? Now, that’s just delightfully whimsical.

    Skomer Island boasts the largest puffin colony in southern Britain and is also home to half of the world’s Manx shearwaters. To protect the island’s natural beauty and birdlife, the daily visitor limit is set at 250.

    Boats depart from Martin’s Haven to Skomer Island, and reservations aren’t accepted in advance. Call Lockley Lodge early on the day of your visit to inquire about boat departure times. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early to secure yours.

    If you have binoculars, bring them for birdwatching and spotting seals. If not, you can rent a pair on Skomer Island. And, oh, don’t forget some snacks! I didn’t, and I ended up watching puffins on an empty stomach for four hours. Well, I’m not a vegetarian, but I was really, really hungry, and all that was available was water and cereal bars.

    Kayaking with Seals

    You don’t need to be a sports enthusiast to enjoy kayaking. I recently tried it for the first time during a trip to Menorca and didn’t even feel sore the next day. Unfortunately, I missed the chance to try it in Pembrokeshire this time, but my friend Paul did and loved the experience with Preseli Venture.

    I took the photo above while exploring the Green Bridge of Wales. I’ll tell you more about it later, but finding a kayaking rental near there might be a great idea as the waters are crystal clear, and there are plenty of seals! Whatever you do, please adhere to Pembrokeshire’s marine code of conduct—don’t coerce your new friends into taking seal selfies for you (got it? Yes, that joke).

    Meeting Wildlife on Ramsey Island

    Skomer Island is just one of the many awe-inspiring islands off the Pembrokeshire coast. Another beloved destination is Ramsey Island, an ideal place for observing wildlife. While I can’t guarantee, you might encounter dozens of bird species, deer herds, or curious seals. In fact, Ramsey Island hosts the UK’s most significant breeding ground for grey seals, with over 400 seal pups born each autumn.

    Ramsey Island is located near a small island called “The Bitches,” a name that’s purely because I’m immature.

    Soaking Up the Sun in Barafundle Bay

    When I posted photos on Instagram and asked you to guess where it was, most people seemed uncertain. Portugal? The Caribbean? I thought the same—most of us associate white sand and turquoise waters with tropical destinations. However, there are plenty of scattered beaches in the UK, and Pembrokeshire has more Blue Flag beaches than any other county.

    The main difference? Temperature. I visited on a sunny day, and the sea was incredibly cold, making my bare feet numb for a few minutes at the shoreline. Locals often wear wetsuits and jackets on chilly days, though I saw some kids playing in swimsuits. If you decide to take a dip, be cautious of jellyfish—I spotted a few floating a bit farther from the bay.

    There’s no direct road to the beach, but you can park at Stackpole Quay, with a daily fee of £5 or £2 if visiting after 2 PM. Due to stairs, uneven terrain, and the beach, this location isn’t wheelchair-friendly.

    Admiring Wales’ Green Bridge

    Wales’ Green Bridge is a natural limestone arch located in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Standing at approximately 80 feet high and spanning over 66 feet, this picturesque medieval bridge is a gathering place for nesting seabirds, offering a chance to observe them through binoculars.

    Be cautious while driving to the Green Bridge, as it’s situated in the Ministry of Defence’s Castlemartin military training area. Usually accessible to the public, the narrow roads can be tricky, and blindly trusting your navigation system might lead you into a restricted zone. I learned all this because my boyfriend and I almost ended up in there. We had to reverse through dense shrubbery and forest, which should have been a clear sign. Oops! Sorry, Wales, next time, I’ll have more confidence in your signs.

    Exploring St. Govan’s Chapel

    St. Govan’s Chapel sits on the side of a limestone cliff, making it an exceptionally unique attraction. While most of the building dates back to the 13th century, parts of it may trace back to the 6th century when St. Govan moved to a cave on this site.

    St. Govan was an Irish monk seeking relatives and friends of his abbot. Legend has it that he was attacked by pirates, and the cliff miraculously split open, allowing him to hide inside. He chose to stay and, reportedly, was buried beneath the chapel.

    Wandering Around Saundersfoot

    Saundersfoot is located within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and stands as the largest village in Pembrokeshire. Positioned on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, it undeniably becomes one of the most popular Welsh holiday destinations. From vintage playgrounds to quaint cafes, this village has something for everyone.

    Every New Year’s Day, local businesses sponsor a charity swim. In 2016, it attracted 1,500 participants in various crazy costumes and thousands of spectators. Over the past thirty years, this event has raised over £500,000, so if you decide to join, you won’t be freezing yourself for nothing.

    Learning British History in Pembroke

    Last but certainly not least, how can you visit Pembrokeshire and not go to Pembroke? While not particularly large, this town holds a crucial piece of British history. Pembroke Castle is the birthplace of England’s Henry VII, who later became the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty. This picturesque medieval castle has graced screens worldwide, from Shakespeare’s “Richard II” film to the blockbuster “Me Before You.”

    And, if you’re a dog lover like me, here’s a fun fact for today… Pembroke is the origin of most Welsh Corgis. You know, those little herding dogs internationally recognized as Queen Elizabeth’s favorites? Yes, that one.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *