The best of Pembrokeshire: What we love most
This Valentine’s Day we’re sending all our love out to Pembrokeshire. Unique, beautiful, and spellbinding, we can’t help but love the place we’re from. To celebrate this day of love, we’ve picked our favourite things about Pembrokeshire and why we think it’s such a special place.
Being on the edge of Wales, Pembrokeshire can feel a little cut-off but that isn’t always a bad thing. One of my favourite things about living here is that the food culture has really grown in the last few years. There are lots of independent restaurants that don’t follow the trend and focus on using the amazing produce from Pembrokeshire, and somehow it always seems to taste better. My favourite is Caffi Mor, the food truck shaped like a boat that’s parked at Freshwater West beach in the Spring and Summer. They use crab and lobster caught off the coast and samphire which is in abundance in summer. Not a bad view to eat either!
Quiet times at the beach
My favourite time to go to the beach is when other people avoid it. Usually on a wet and windy day in February, or really early before work in the summer. It feels so different when no-one else is around, and you really get a sense of peace and quiet when you have the beach completely to yourself.
When it’s just you and the sound of the waves crashing on the sand, it feels like time stands still and you can just enjoy being in the moment. I like to walk up and down the beach and then maybe sit down and just look out at the oceans. It’s definitely something I do as a stress reliever as well, your worries either leave you or start to not feel so bad.
The chance for adventure
I moved to Pembrokeshire around three years ago and the thing that I’ve most loved about living here is how much easier it is to do the things I enjoy. I love watersports, especially paddleboarding and kayaking and before I lived here, the sea was a two-hour drive. Buying equipment for myself didn’t seem worth it, so I only got to enjoy it on holidays or long weekends. Now, the only thing stopping me is the weather and tides, and I get to go from work out for a paddle without needing to plan too much, even if it’s just for half an hour.
It’s not just the chance for watersports, going for a walk on the beach or the coast path after work or a weekend morning is just part of normal life here, and getting to include things I saw as a treat reserved only for holidays feels really special.
Wildlife on your doorstep
Living in a National Park makes it really easy to enjoy the wildlife and it’s something we’re really spoiled with. Seeing seals close up when you go for a walk along the coast, or dolphins are always exciting, but just being able to spot so many different birds and animals on your daily walk or out your window are something I really love. We’re also really lucky to have many rare species living in Pembrokeshire, and seeing the famous Red Kite is pretty normal for us.
It’s also a myth that the countryside is quiet, whether it’s birds in the morning, or through the night, you rarely get a moment's peace!
The unique culture around every corner
I love how unique Pembrokeshire’s culture is and how it mixes folklore, ancient, medieval, and modern history, and all that on the dramatic and beautiful landscape. Each town or village has its own story, and doesn’t matter how long you’ve been here there’s always something new to discover. It’s also understated, so castles, ancient monuments, and unique things to Pembrokeshire, just become part of the landscape! You can sometimes forget it’s not like that everywhere and usually when people visit you get reminded of how lucky we are to drive past castles on our way to work.
Pentre Ifan – a Neolithic burial chamber that pre-dates even Stonehenge - is somewhere I take visitors that just blows them away. They just can’t believe we have things like that so unassuming in a field with sheep grazing nearby. Close to Pentre Ifan is Newport, a really pretty village on the coast with the old port and beach of Parrog close by, and is filled with amazing cafes, and restaurants. It’s overlooked by Carningli – a mountain with an iron age fort on the top – that dominates the skyline for miles around. Just up the road from Newport is Nevern, where you’ll find the famous bleeding tree. Just as it sounds, it’s a yew tree close to Nevern’s 6th-century church that appears to be “bleeding” and has been at the centre of many myths and legends down the centuries. Nevern has a castle as well and is a lovely small village – and Pembrokeshire is filled with places like this.
You can actually see the stars
Growing up in Pembrokeshire, you take for granted that you have an amazing view of the night sky. With minimal light and pollution, we have an incredible view and it really is awe-inspiring to look up most nights and see a giant blanket of stars.
It’s something I’ve always enjoyed but didn’t find out until I was older that Pembrokeshire actually one of the best stargazing places in the UK, and now really appreciate that we get to enjoy it every night (when there are no clouds of course!).
The diverse landscape
Sweeping beaches next to rocky headlands and peaks, the rugged Preseli Hills, dramatic coastline, and the tranquil Cleddau estuary, Pembrokeshire's diverse landscape is just one reason I love living here. It feels like a collection of different worlds, all in one perfect county.
Even the coastline changes, with wild high cliffs, making way for sheltered coves and wide, exposed beaches – you really do get to experience everything and it's all on your doorstep. Being able to walk from a sandy beach, then up to a peak, in the space of half an hour, is something that makes you feel really spoiled.
See you again soon?
Just like you, we're counting down the days until we can go out and enjoy all our favourite things about Pembrokeshire again, and we hope you'll be back soon for a visit too! While we can't spend Until then, take a look at our Discover section where you can explore more about our magical corner of Wales, from our heritage to our beaches, gets some inspiration for your stay, and soothe your Pembrokeshire-lust!
Book a break now and you can enjoy all this and more, very soon. When will you visit?