Dream Destinations: Pembrokeshire

By Emma Dodd

With 186 miles of coastline complete with more than 50 beaches, the Welsh county of Pembrokeshire has plenty to offer on a caravan staycation. From walking the coastal path to exploring Britain’s smallest city and scaling the wild terrain of the Preseli Hills, you’ll find a wide variety of activities to enjoy.

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path stretches from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south and whether you decide to hike the whole distance or just a section of it, it’s a dream of a route to follow. Along the way, you’ll see scenery as diverse as limestone cliffs, red sandstone bays, volcanic headlands, beaches and coves, estuaries and flooded glacial valleys.

You can track the progress of human development too, as there are sites from throughout history, dating as far back as Neolithic times, dotted along the path. Depending on the time of year, you may also spot Atlantic grey seals, puffins and dolphins during your hike. In spring, it is a riot of wild flowers, but each season brings its own charms.

The city of St David’s is named after the patron saint of Wales, who lived there in the 5th century. Despite its stunning cathedral, the city feels more like a small town with its quaint buildings, interesting shops and local market. It’s a convenient spot from which to depart on a wildlife boat trip, with the voyage across to Grassholm Island to see the gannet colony particularly popular.

Newport and Narberth are also market towns and the perfect size for wandering around on foot. If you’re looking for handmade souvenirs of your caravan stay in Pembrokeshire, then Narberth is the place to go searching for them. Many of the county’s best potters, sculptors, painters and jewellery makers are based in the town.

To really get away from the pressures of the modern world and feel like you’re stepping back in time, head to the Preseli Hills. This rugged countryside is awash with prehistoric remains, burial cairns going as far back as the bronze age and Iron Age hill forts. Follow in the footsteps of those coming from Ireland 5,000 years ago and take the Golden Road, which traces the spine of the hills for eight miles, taking in dramatic scenery.

With all that coastline, it’s not surprising that Pembrokeshire has world-class seafood to tempt your taste buds. Cafe Mor is the perfect set up for these coronavirus times, as it is a solar-powered-mobile-converted-fishing-boat-seaweed-kitchen overlooking the beach at Freshwater West. Whether you fancy lobster, crab or mackerel, there’s always something on the menu to hit the spot.

Tenby is the craft beer capital of Pembrokeshire, so as long as you don’t have to drive your caravan anywhere, it’s a great place to sample the local brews. Pick up some cans of Clean Break from Tenby Brewing Co if you like a refreshing Pilsner, while La Nossa Signora from Harbwr Brewery is the one for darker beer lovers. This milk chocolate orange stout is named after the first ship to bring oranges to Wales in 1566. She, of course, landed at Tenby.


Image credit: John-Mark Strange / Unsplash