Holidays in Pembrokeshire Wales, a guide to finding the best holiday in Pembrokeshire

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Click to zoom into PembrokeshirePembrokeshire is a peninsula in the far south west of Wales that juts out towards the Atlantic Ocean and Ireland. Renowned for it's rocky coastline, beautiful beaches and clean seas. The county is a favourite for activity holidays, climbing, fishing, bird watching, golfing, horse riding, kayaking, sailing and many other water sports including canoeing, surfing and windsurfing, or just plain walking and traditional seaside holidays. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park covers a narrow strip of land alongside the coastline of Pembrokeshire and an area in the north of the county around the Preseli Hills.
The Coastal Path and the National Park could be said to take in the best of Pembrokeshire. They extend from one end of the county to the other and in describing the Path we can help to describe the county as a holiday destination. Traveling anticlockwise the Path starts in the very northern tip of Pembrokeshire near St Dogmael's and circumvents the coastline until Pembrokeshire merges with Carmarthenshire near Amroth in the south east of the county.
The first section of the Path from Cemaes Head to Newport Bay is one of the most spectacular and also one of the loneliest. Heading southwest over Pen yr Afar the Path stays high on the cliff top for most of the section enabling fantastic views on a clear day. On reaching Newport Bay it is well worth a diversion to visit the small 6th Century Church of St Brynach in the village of Nevern.  Here in the churchyard there is a superbly carved Celtic Cross of the C10th, an Ogham Stone and a bleeding Yew tree. You could say that there are loads of bleeding trees all over the place so what's so special about this tree? Well this Yew tree bleeds a blood red sap and has many legends associated with it.
Newport itself is a delightful little town with an interesting collection of shops, cafes and inns and offers accommodation to the traveller. Once a fishing port, the town is now turned over to pleasure boats and holiday makers, and the Bay has a wide expanse of sand with a backdrop of dunes. The National Park continues into the hinterland and takes in the Preseli Hills, the source of the famous blue stones of Stonehenge, and the whole area is full of ancient forts and burial chambers,
Leaving Newport we head off on the next section to St David's (approx 50 miles) over Dinas Head that separates Newport Bay from Fishguard Bay. Fishguard, or to be more exact the village of Goodwick nearby is the home port for the Ferry service to Ireland. It is also the landing place for the French invasion of Britain in 1797. Four men o'war disembarked the motley band of Frenchmen on Carregwasted Cliffs but they swiftly surrendered after encountering the women of Pembrokeshire, as legend says, under the leadership of one Jemima Nicholas.
Leaving the French fighters behind and getting back on to the Path it heads out via Carregwasted Point, Strumble Head, Abercastle and Abereiddy, culminating in the clifftop location of St David's Head overlooking St George's Channel and the beautiful Whitesands Bay. ( Whitesands Bay is a sandy beach facing westward making it popular with surfers. )

The City of St David's, set back from the Coastal Path, is as attractive to visitors today as it ever was to medieval pilgrims visiting the shrine of St David. The City is named after the patron Saint of Wales  who according to tradition was born on the clifftops nearby.  He later founded a monastery where today the magnificent Cathedral stands. St David's Cathedral has been a site of pilgrimage and worship for many hundreds of years and must be visited if only for the stunning architecture of the Nave and its unique sixteenth century Irish oak ceiling. The town itself though small has more facilities than might be expected and offers a Marine Life Centre and the national trust's St David's Visitor Centre with information on National Trust properties throughout the county. The whole of the St David's peninsula is steeped in history and the area is dotted with Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stones, wells of healing and tiny chapels.

Continuing round the Peninsula the Path leads to Ramsey Sound (and the end of this section) with Ramsey Island across the treacherous waters. Ramsey Island, an RSPB Reserve, is the home to countless seabirds and a breeding ground for Atlantic Grey Seals.

The next section is St Brides Bay from Ramsey to the Dale peninsula and St Annes Head. There are several towns and resorts en route including Solva, Newgale, Nolton Haven, Broad Haven and Little Haven. Solva is an attractive and picturesque little village in a long deep inlet which forms a small sheltered harbour. In the past the harbour would have been used for trading ships but today, apart from a few local fishermen, the harbour is used only by pleasure craft. Newgale meanwhile with a long sandy beach and a high bank of storm shingle is a favourite with surfers. Nolton Haven and Broad Haven too have sandy beaches but further south and rounding the Bay toward the horn Little Haven is hemmed in by cliffs. The walk continues through St Brides village and on to the Marloes peninsula with views of Skomer and Skokholm Islands( Skomer Island is the most important seabird breeding site in southern Britain and the waters around the Island are a Marine Nature Reserve and harbour one of the largest colonies of grey seals in Wales. ) before finally finishing the section on the Dale peninsula at St Annes Head near the start of the next section of the Path....... the Milford Haven.

Milford Haven is the deep gash in the landscape that forms the estuary of the Carew, Cresswell, and the two Cleddau Rivers. It makes what would have been a two mile walk from St Annes head to Angle become a massive hike around the banks of the inlet through St Ishmaels, Sandy Haven, Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock, Pembroke itself, and Angle Bay. Milford Haven once a busy whaling Port has reshaped the docks into a superb 150-berth marina and now hosts many visitor attractions including a nature trail, 9-hole golf course, pleasure boat trips, and an impressive Dockside Gallery and museum. Pembroke is renowned for one of the most magnificent castles in Wales that dominates this walled town with its spectacular location. And each year the Castle and town are host to many productions, medieval banquets, military tattoos and themed re-creations of Pembroke's history by the Sealed Knot Society. Pembroke Dock, which boasts excellent boating, sailing and watersports facilities is an important ferry port, operating daily sailings to Ireland.
The last leg of the Coastal Path takes us from Angle to Amroth and the border with Carmarthenshire. This final section of the Path starts at the small village of Angle at the tip of the lower of the two peninsulas forming the entrance to Milford Haven. It quickly reaches the sandy beaches of Freshwater West before coming to the problematic area of Castlemartin and the M.O.D. firing ranges. (The firing ranges are good for the wildlife but not so good for walkers.) Here we can see the Stack Rocks and the Green Bridge of Wales, possibly the most spectacular sites on the Coastal Path. But unfortunately access times are limited so it seems advisable to check here   to plan your holiday visit to coincide with permitted times of access. Likewise the next attraction along the route suffers from the same problem. St Govan's Chapel is a perfect example of early Christian monastic life, built in an isolated location almost part of the cliff face. As well disguised as a slate built house in Blaenau Ffestiniog ! Again if you wish to pay a visit it is best to check here for times of access.
This rather barren landscape quickly changes to lush sheltered leafy valleys in nearby Bosherton, before again returning to the usual clifftop scenery and the dramatic jagged rocks at Stackpole Headland.
And on via Manorbier Castle, Lydstep and Pennaly to the harbour town and holiday resort of Tenby. A fantastic holiday destination in itself and well worth a page of its own >.
The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path reaches its conclusion at Amroth near Saundersfoot, Saundersfoot itself although a small resort is well worth a visit with pleasant beaches and rocky pools where children can spend many happy hours if not days.

Holiday map of Pembrokeshire.
This map shows:
Main Roads
Resorts / towns with accommodation
Sandy Beaches
Ancient Monuments, Neolithic Burial Chambers, Standing Stones
Nature Reserves
RSPB Sanctuaries
Golf Courses
National Trust Properties
Lakes and Mountains
Holiday Map of Pembrokeshire. Move the cursor over the attractions Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Castell Henlys Iron Age Fort Carreg Sampson Gors Fawr Llawhaden Castle Haverfordwest Priory St Dogmael's Abbey Church of St. James Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire St Davids Cathedral Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire where to stay in St David's where to stay in Pembroke where to stay in St Bride's where to stay in Tenby where to stay in Saundersfoot where to stay in St Clears where to stay in Laugharne where to stay in Pendine where to stay in Haverfordwest Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Nature Reserve St Govan's Chapel Manorbier Castle Tenby Castle and Walled Town Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Pembroke Castle Laugharne Castle Click for Cilgerran Castle Caldey Island and Monastery Ramsey Island RSPB Nature Reserve Whitland Abbey Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Nature Reserve where to stay in Milford Haven where to stay in Wolf'sCastle where to stay in Fishguard where to stay in Goodwick where to stay in Gwbert on Sea where to stay in Cardigan where to stay in Llechryd where to stay in Pontfaen Colby Woodland Garden. National Trust Pentre Ifan Prehistoric Burial Chamber Click for Golf Holidays in Pembrokeshire Jump to Ceredigion Jump to Carmarthenshire

For a holiday in Pembrokeshire south west wales choose from this list of accommodation providers in Tenby and vicinity.

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