The best things to do in Pembrokeshire -The ultimate staycation guide

The Pembrokeshire coast is the epitome of a great welsh delight and is one of the most beautiful destinations in Britain, if not the world. And you donโ€™t have to take just my word for it. Pembrokeshire has been voted one of the top two coastal destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Tourists from all over the world head to the Pembrokeshire coast each year to experience its unique beauty for themselves and after coming here myself, itโ€™s hard not to see why. The Pembrokeshire coast is home to a vast variety of dramatic landscapes from rugged cliffs, hidden coves, charming blue-flag beaches and rich greenery. 

If you are a thrill-seeker and adventure lover then the Pembrokeshire coast experience is for you. Whether you love surfing, hiking or have a love for nature and wildlife, there will be something for you to choose from. And, if you are particularly adventurous you also have the option to hike the entire Pembrokeshire coast path. All you need is a small 12-18 days to spare and a deep love for hiking ;).

With 299KM of the Pembrokeshire coastline to explore, you might be at a loss of where to begin. Iโ€™ve narrowed down some of my favourite spots in Pembrokeshire that you MUST visit if you head to this beautiful part of Britain.

Read on below to view my list of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire.

How to get to and explore Pembrokeshire

Full disclosure, there is no better way to get to the Pembrokeshire coast than by car. There are limited rural bus and train links in this area, that a few and far between. There is also so much to see along the Pembrokeshire coast and so many hidden little gems that are simply only accessible by car. 

If you donโ€™t have a car of your own I would recommend catching the train/bus (or plane) into Swansea (or another welsh city) and hire out a car for the duration of your trip. From Swansea, you get to drive to the Pembrokeshire border in around an hour.

The best time to visit Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is the kind of area you can visit all year round, as long as itโ€™s not raining! There are so many beautiful walks and beaches that you can visit whether it is winter or summer. Itโ€™s just a matter of whether that rain gets in your way, as a lot of these hikes would not be fun to do in wet and windy conditions. Now, I know this is hard because we live in the UK and the weather is unpredictable but try to plan your trip strategically to avoid the wet weather.

How long will I need to visit Pembrokeshire?

I would recommend a minimum of 3 days here. If you want to hike a lot and take it slow then I would probably say 5 days is a good amount.

Where to stay in Pembrokeshire

My two recommendations for places to stay on the Pembrokeshire coast would be around Tenby or in the district of St Davids. From each of those spots, you will never be more than 1 hour away from some of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire.

I stayed in the town of Penally which was just a 10-minute drive from Tenby. Click here to view my accommodation.


The best things to do in Pembrokeshire

Tenby

Number one on the list of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire is to visit the harbour town of Tenby. Tenby is one of the most iconic spots in Wales. It is most famous for the cute multicoloured buildings that line its harbour.

There are plenty of beaches to visit and activities to do around Tenby and here is a handful of the things that you can do below:

  • Visit the Harbour
  • Visit Castle Beach
  • Visit North Beach 
  • Visit South Beach
  • Go Fishing
  • Get fish and chips from โ€œFeccis of Tenbyโ€
  • Get the boat to Caldey Island
  • Walk the coast path to Saundersfoot and Monkstone

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I first saw this lagoon in an advert and got quite over-excited at the fact that it was in Wales. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Pembrokeshire, so ensure that this goes on your list.

Abereiddy was once a former slate quarry and was in use up until 1910, before being abandoned and flooded. It is now a hot spot for water sports such as diving and coasteering.

As well as the lagoon there is an adjacent beach with waves big enough to be able to surf. This is also a great starting point for some hikes along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. One route you can take is along the coast to the town of Porthgain.

Abereiddy is just an hours drive from the town of Tenby and once you get here you will have to pay ยฃ4 for parking.

Whitesands Bay

Whitesands Bay is a blue flag beach located in the St David’s area of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Come here on a sunny day to see water so blue itโ€™s like something you might find in the Mediterranean.

There is an onsite car park here which costs ยฃ5. This is CASH only so make sure to carry some on you. The toilets here also require 40p to gain entry.

If you are caught without cash (like me) there is a lay bay on the way in that you can park in. If youโ€™ve passed the decorated house with multicoloured buoys hanging in the trees youโ€™ve gone too far past the layby.

There are plenty of hiking routes from and through here! One of the best ones being the St Davidโ€™s Head and Whitesands bay circular route.

Church Doors Cove

Church doors cove is a rocky cove with towering cliffs where a โ€œchurch doorโ€ has been formed in the rocks by the force of the sea. This beach is best visited at low tide.

Next to church doors cove is the beautiful Sandy beach called Shrinkle Haven.

There is no dedicated path to Shrinkle Haven Beach so you can only access it via a hole in the rocks on the right-hand side of Church Doors Cove. Make sure to time a trip over here for low tide. Otherwise risk getting stuck, or very wet trying to get back.

There is a small car park free of charge on Lydstep Head or next to Manorbier Youth Hostel.

To get on to Church Doors Cove beach you must follow the Pembrokeshire coast path and then a long, steep set of concrete steps followed by a metal stairway that leads down to the beach.

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay is a remote Sandy beach located in Pembrokeshire. A golden stretch of sand and glittering emerald and blue waters make it a top one to visit. Barafundle has been voted many times as one of the BEST beaches in Britain. It has also been voted one of the best beaches In the world.

The area is managed by the National Trust so you can park up at the National Trust car park. The walk to the beach is approx a 1/2 mile from the car park.

The beach is isolated so there are no onsite faculties there. However, close to the car park, there is a village pub to stop off at if you get hungry.

Ensure to check the tide times before you go so that you are not trapped by the incoming tide.

Newgale Beach

Newgale beach is an enormous beach, with bright blue waters that stretch on for almost two miles. 

Apart from walking across the large stretch of sand, there are several sheltered bays you can visit on Newgale. To get to them simply head down the beach and cross the small pebble bank at low tide. 

This is a great beach for surfing and kitesurfing and there are a couple of places close by where you can purchase lessons.

If you want to get a birds-eye view of the beach (as seen in this pic) walk south down the beach via the main road. Cross the stone bridge, go up the hill and you will pass a house on your left-hand side from there you will see the entrance to the coast path.

There is ample parking available at Newgale and also a cafe to eat in.

Solva

Solva is another one of Pembrokeshire’s beautiful harbour towns. This is the best place to come for a spot of lunch and try some local Solva Crab. I would recommend eating at 35 Main Street. They are located right by the harbour and their Solva Crab sandwich is simply delicious.

Another recommendation would be to hike the Gribin Coastal Walk. On the walk, you will be able to get panoramic views of Solva harbour and village.

There is a large carpark right by the harbour so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a spot.

Skomer Island

Skomer Island is the best place in Pembrokeshire (and all of Wales) to see Puffin colonies. Not only can you see Puffins, but Razorbills, Guillemots and Seals too. Boat tickets to get on to the island cost around ยฃ40 and sell out very fast. Make sure you book in advance. If you miss out on a day ticket on to the island you can book a 1-hour boat trip around Skomer for ยฃ20. I went on the boat trip and whilst the views were beautiful, I didn’t see much wildlife, apart from a few Guillemots, but definitely not puffins. My advice would be to book in advance and get the day trip on to the island. Click here to book your tickets.

Travel Tips for Pembrokeshire

Make sure to carry change on you. Many parking and toilet facilities here take cash only. As you’ll be in very rural places a lot of the time with no access to a cash machine itโ€™s important to be prepared for this.

Looking for more staycation inspiration? Click here to read all about my trip to South Devon.

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