Pembrokeshire might be a long way from almost any major city, but being tucked away in the southwestern corner of Wales means it’s the perfect destination for anyone who wants to enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet. The coastline was one of the first areas in the UK to be awarded National Park status and it’s still one of the most beautiful places in Britain. The high limestone cliffs, green hills, and blue seas offer views to rival the Lake District or Cornwall but the crowds are absent.
The rocky coastline is magnificent. The Green Bridge of Wales makes a natural arch from land to sea, more than 100ft high and 90ft, and there are numerous pinnacles, natural chimneys, and deep zawns (points where the sea is undercutting the rock and making an arch or a cave). If you’d like to get close to the water without scaling the rocks, there are regular beaches- Pembrokeshire is popular with surfers, scuba divers, and other watersportsmen and women. The sea might be cold but it is beautifully clear.
Aside from the cliffs, which draw some of the best rock climbers from all over Britain and sometimes even from Europe and the USA, the biggest attraction Pembrokeshire has to offer is wildlife. Seals and dolphins are relatively common and can often be spotted from the clifftops or the beautiful sandy beaches, and in the summer the small offshore stacks and islands are home to tens of thousands of nesting seabirds.
Razorbills, guillemots, shearwaters, and dozens of other species come to Skomer and other Pembrokeshire islands every year. The best-loved visitors are undoubtedly the puffins, which can often be seen bringing beaks full of sand eels back to their nesting burrows at twilight. Boat tours around Skomer are available- birdwatchers won’t want to miss the evening seabird spectacular.
While Pembrokeshire is a quiet, rural backwater today, it wasn’t always this way. There are numerous ruins and listed buildings to visit, and some of them are very impressive indeed- the baby who would grow up to be King Henry VII was born in Pembroke Castle and the coast is littered with the remains of Celtic chapels and old hill forts. There is even a prehistoric stone-built fish trap in Fishguard Harbour. At low tide, walkers on Amroth beach might be surprised by the fossilised remains of an extensive forest poking up out of the sand.
Visitors to Pembroke can come for a day, camp, stay in a hotel or a B&B, or walk the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Amroth to St Dogmael’s. Whatever you come for- history, scenery, wildlife, extreme sports or just relaxing on the beach, this part of the UK has plenty to offer.
Jess Spate lives in Cardiff and is a regular visitor to the Pembrokeshire Coast. She works for a US consulting company that offers services to those looking to buy wyndham timeshare units when not enjoying the sun and the cliffs in south west Wales.