Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro) is a county in the southwest of Wales and was originally named Dyfed until its conquest by the Normans in the late 11th century. A maritime county, bordered by the sea on three sides, Pembrokeshire enjoys a micro climate warmed by the gulf stream often bringing milder winters.
The beaches here are the best in Wales – sandy, safe and relatively uncrowded, ranging from traditional seaside resorts to hidden coves well off the beaten track. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park , the UK’s only coastal park protects this spectacular south-west Wales coastline, providing many areas of outstanding beauty inland.
This is a place where the whole family can enjoy all sorts of watersports, from sailing, surfing and windsurfing to kayaking and coasteering, and there are also boat-trips to islands where you might see puffins in summer or migrating seabirds in spring and autumn. You’ll probably see dolphins, seals and even whales, too.
History has left its mark in the form of majestic towering castles, quirky museums and some of the best Neolithic monuments in Britain. And this is heaven for walkers, with the long-distance 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path as well as public footpaths criss-crossing the countryside. Bike-riding enthusiasts can choose from several off-road routes, or more experienced cyclists can try the 240 mile Celtic Cycle Trail.
After all that fresh air, you’ll be glad to know that Wales has been a leading force in the move towards locally produced food, which you’ll find in the many lovely old pubs and increasing numbers of good restaurants. We love the relaxed waterside pub,The Bristol Trader in Haverfordwest (one mile), great cuisine & bar meals at Alt-yr-Afon in Wolfscastle (3 miles), The Swan in Little Haven by the sea and the unique charm of rustic and eccentric Druidston by the sea.
In the north of the county are the Preseli Hills (Y Preselau), a wide stretch of high moorland with many prehistoric monuments and the source of the bluestones used in the construction of the inner circle of Stonehenge in England. Go walking in the tranquil woods of the Gwaun Valley, near Fishguard, and the mysterious Preseli Hills, where you’ll find the exposed Neolithic burial mound of Pentre Ifan and the 13 standing stones known as Beddarthur or ‘Arthur’s Grave’.
Head for the beach, whether a traditional seaside resort such as Tenby or nearby Saundersfoot, beaches with interesting villages, like Manorbier and St David’s, or the countless sandy beaches left just as nature intended, without an ice-cream kiosk in sight (the best are Barafundle Bay and Marloes Sands).
Sign up for courses in sailing, surfing, windsurfing and sea-kayaking at several coastal centres, or horseriding and walking inland. Like the rest of Wales, Pembrokeshire is one big outdoor adventure playground. Newgale beach has a couple of surf schools, or there are others at Freshwater West and Whitesands Bay, with windsurfing at Dale.
Follow the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path from Amroth, just east of Saundersfoot, round to St Dogmaels, near Poppit Sands, or see the coast by boat.
Take a trip from Martin’s Haven to Skomer Island National Nature Reserve or leave from St Justinians, near St David’s, for RSPB Cymru’s Island Nature Reserve at Ramsey Island.
Noodle along the family cycle trail at Llys Y Fran Country Park and Reservoir, 17km north of Haverfordwest, where you can also hire bicycles. Or cycle down the old railway line from the Haverfordwest to Neyland Marina.
Attractions with indoor options include Oakwood Theme Park, Blue Lagoon Water Park near Narberth, Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, near Kilgetty, Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, Pembroke Castle, Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, and St David’s Cathedral.
Haverfordwest is our County Town has a new Leisure Centre and the Riverside Shopping Centre has fantastic farmers markets throughout the year. Prendergast village just 15mins walk from the property features a character butcher shop, village store, florist, 24 hour garage with cash point and Chinese take away. The nearby retail park has Marks & Spencers, Boots and 24hr Garage.