6 Reasons to Visit Pembrokeshire National Park
Britain has some of the most amazing coastline in the world and with a combination of huge limestone cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches Pembrokeshire is certainly near the top of the list. Many people venture towards Britain’s only coastal National Park for the hiking that it has to offer, but with so many other natural wonders and amazing sights, it’s not just a walk that you’ll experience. To help you make up your mind and give you a sense of what to expect here are 6 reasons to visit Pembrokeshire National Park.
Considered to be one of the best hiking trails in the entire world Pembrokeshire Coastal Path certainly lives up to its reputation. Stretching over 180 miles this stunning walk covers an enormous amount of scenery and walkers come from every corner to experience this magnificent trail.
Because of the distance and orientation of the coast each part of the 186-mile trail is unique, meaning hikers can experience something different all the way along. Wildlife is abundant and the scenery is breath-taking, from golden sands to glacial valleys.
Pembrokeshire has a variety of wildlife and what you may see on a walk will entirely depend on the time of year or how far you wish to venture. Boat trips are a fantastic way to see wildlife, the Pembrokeshire coastline is home to a variety of small islands which are inhabited by various kinds of wildlife. Some of the islands allow you to stay and have a good explore of the environment getting glimpses of rare birds and amazing plants. Its also possible to catch a glimpse of basking sharks with whales and Dolphins also making a common appearance around the Pembrokeshire coast.
In winter many of the islands are closed due to bad weather but in the summertime, you can see hundreds of seals make Ramsey Island their home and give birth to their pups an amazing sight if your lucky enough to catch a glimpse. The largest number of Gannets in Europe is situated on Grassholm island where over 40,000 pairs of birds sit crammed onto the rocks.
The beaches of Pembrokeshire National Park are varied and there are some which despite their beauty are not accessible. Steep cliffs line the coast and it can be dangerous to attempt to access these. Despite there being beaches that are inaccessible, there are still plenty of beaches which you would compare to certain areas of the Caribbean. Barafundle Bay offers a great variety of terrains, with lakes, forests and an exceptionally stunning view once you reach the bay.
There are plenty of large beaches to excite those that love sand, however for a more secluded and cosier experience there are plenty of smaller coves to choose from, including Little Haven, a small bay with crabbing and rock pools. Be careful though as this beach can get extremely busy during the summer.
Pembrokeshire national park has one of the most beautiful estuary’s in the UK, with the joining of four different rivers it becomes an extremely interesting place to explore. Daugeleddau Estuary is known as Pembrokeshire’s secret waterway, the reason for this is due to a large amount of the Estuary being inaccessible to walkers. Walking is still one of the most popular methods of exploring the estuary, however an ordnance survey map would be required to get truly involved in a hike.
The estuary is surrounded by sloping hills and water banks thriving with all sorts of wildlife, birds enjoy nesting near the water as it gives them easy access to forage for food when the tides out. If you really want to discover some amazing secret locations along the estuary I suggest taking a kayak and exploring by boat. This gives you the chance to explore all the little crevices and areas that are inaccessible by foot, rest up on one of the banks and have some lunch.
When imaging what historic buildings could lie within the rugged Welsh landscape, images of castles and knights come to mind. Wales has a strong heritage and its easy to see with the number of castles situated all around wales. The density of castles in Wales make it one of the most historic places to visit, but its not just castles that attract so many visitors, places like St Davids Palace are pure examples of the churches power throughout history. This Medieval church and palace was built around the 14th century and is an important part of Welsh history. The ruined site is an open-air theatre and very popular with tourists, the palace is visited every year from over 300,000 people.
If its castles you truly need then one of Pembrokeshire’s most popular castles is Cilgerran, set overlooking Teifi Gorge a 13th century stronghold with over 800 years of history. Carew Castle is another well known structure in Pembrokeshire. The site on which the castle sits was revealed to have been constructed on an iron age settlement and has evidence of a Roman settlement also, this clearly shows the history which lies around Carew castle.
Depending on what part of Pembrokeshire you are in, there will be plenty of opportunity to explore the wonderful historic buildings, Wales is bursting with history!!
Wales is known for its quaint charm and old-fashioned appeal, therefore its not difficult to find charming towns and villages all around Pembrokeshire. Most of these charming places are coastal and that’s a common theme amongst Pembrokeshire’s hotspots. As mentioned before Carew castle is somewhere you must visit if you like your history and exploring the small Hamlet of Carew is something that can be experienced along side this historic hotspot.
Carew is not the only village that can be combined with an historic visit. The beautiful hamlet of Solva is situated only a short drive away from St David’s, one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Pembrokeshire map. This harbour village has some of the best views in Pembrokeshire and is beach friendly with plenty of little shops and restaurants to enjoy. The village is split into an upper and a lower section, so make sure you visit both when your staying in or nearby.
There you have it, there are so many reasons to visit this wonderful part of Wales and as I always say the best way to discover something new and exciting is to venture out and find it. Pembrokeshire National Park is somewhere you should combine both adventure and a sense of relaxation. As I’ve mentioned there are many walks and activities to do but make sure you save time for relaxing in a local harbour side restaurant or reading an enjoyable book whilst slowly drifting off in a deck chair. Whichever way you wish to experience Pembrokeshire National Park it certainly won’t disappoint.