Kayaking is a sport to which the beautiful Pembrokeshire inland waterways and coast, rich in history, spectacular in scenic beauty and wealthy in wildlife, lends itself perfectly.
The Daucleddau Estuary - Estuary of the Two Swords - offers endless opportunities for exploration of hundreds of picturesque wooded creeks and river reaches with living history at every turn, for this was the great highway for the maritime trade of the county over many centuries. Every nook and cranny of this great tree-shaped waterway, with its many branches feeding the flow as it opens out into the great trunk of Milford Haven Waterway, is dotted with legacies of its fascinating past.
The two swords are the Western Cleddau (Cleddau Gwyn or White Cleddau in Welsh) and the Cleddau Du (Black Cleddau), which slice the county in two. The Western Cleddau runs down through Haverfordwest from its source near Croesgoch and the Eastern Cleddau, which has its birth in the Preseli foothills near Mynachlogddu, flows under the lofty loom of Llawhaden Castle and past Picton Castle, to join its sister river at Picton Point where the two swords combine.
Kayaking and canoeing open up the exciting opportunity of exploring the caves, coves, stacks, islands and reefs around the coast and the hundreds of secret places in the estuaries of the county, where coal-mining, quarrying, fishing, lime-burning, boat building and other industries have left their impact.
They allow participants to get up close and personal with seals and seabirds and into places they would never normally see. It is vital to get the necessary training and experience and to go in groups rather than alone. It is also necessary to learn the Marine Code to ensure no disruption or harm is caused to wildlife, particularly nesting seabirds and calving seals. For experienced sea kayakers there are extended trips along the coast and out to the islands.
Kayak and canoe tuition by expert instructors and also the hire of craft and equipment are available at various centres throughout the county. The Pembrokeshire Adventure Centre at Cleddau Reach, Pembroke Dock, is one of the main centres for this and other water sports training, contacts: 01646-622013, email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.princes-trust.org.uk/adventure.
Fforest Canoes at The Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran 01239-613961 or Teifi Wharf, Cardigan, offers similar facilities, contacts: 01239-612133, email: cardiganbayactive.co.uk
Mayberry Kayaking: 01348-874699,email: email@example.com or www.mayberrykayaking.co.uk
Dragon Activity Guides, 22, Station Road, Letterston: 01348-841336. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dragonactivityguides.co.uk
Tenby Watersports, Tenby Harbour, 07881-635844 or email@example.com or www.tenbywatersports.co.uk
Sealyham Activity Centre, Wolfscastle, 01348-840763, or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.sealyham.com
Family Kayak and Coasteering at Stackpole Quay, 01646-661425, or www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stackpole
TYF Adventure, 1, High Street, St Davids, 01427-721611 email: email@example.com or www.tyf.com