Where is Pembrokeshire?
Where is Pembrokeshire?
The south-west of Wales. The Atlantic surrounds the county on three sides, giving a literal slant to the old Welsh name, Pen Fro, or Land's End. But Pembrokeshire also includes several offshore islands famed for their wildlife: puffins, seals, dolphins and, in the case of Caldey, a population of monks. Historically, the county was divided by the Landsker line, along which the Normans built a series of castles, into the Welsh-speaking north and "Little England Beyond Wales" to the south.
Fabulous scenery with a laid-back ethos. Although perhaps less dramatic than other destinations, Pembrokeshire has it all, from majestic cliffs, sand dunes and vast estuaries to cascading streams, gently rolling hills and rocky outcrops. The national park, Britain's only coastal park, covers 225 square miles around the 180 miles of coastline with its jagged cliffs and coves. The northern coast sweeps inland to encompass the windswept heather and forests of the Preseli hills. The arc of St Bride's Bay boasts some of the best beaches in Wales such as Whitesands and Newgale. The park then follows the still waters of the Daugleddau estuary inland. The southern section sets stunning beaches against towering limestone cliffs and contains the popular resort of Tenby.
What's the weather like?
The Gulf Stream hits the coast, making the water and weather milder than other parts of Britain. This means most activities run throughout the year and, with an average temperature of 6C in January, you can try them without risking frostbite. The average rainfall is just a smidgen above London's, and the coast gets the same average daily dose of sun, making it one of the sunniest spots in Britain.
How do I get there?
It's a breeze, even on public transport. Trains run from Swansea to Tenby, Pembroke, Milford Haven Fishguard and Haverfordwest, and buses run daily between the major centres. Tenby attracts swarms of visitors with its picturesque harbour and award-winning beaches. But for water sports the best bases are St Davids or the Little Haven area. In the summer months, public transport run a little further afield: Look out for the St Davids' Coastal Bus or the Puffin Bus down the coast to Milford Haven.
What is there to do?
Golf, riding, biking, parascending, climbing, and plenty more: the list is a long one. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is something of a Mecca for walkers. It runs from Dogmaels to Amroth, providing 186 miles of challenging terrain and spectacular views. Pembrokeshire Walking Holidays have a central reservation service and organise transfers for both people and baggage. Water sports are huge. Adventure Breaks near Little Haven offer water skiing, sailing, snorkelling, paintballing, powerboating, fishing, surfing, and more besides. To explore the clear water and abundant shipwrecks, Dive Pembrokeshire cater for all levels and awards Scuba Schools International qualifications, which enable you to dive abroad. But leave time to try coasteering.
What is coasteering?
Coasteering, pioneered by TYF Group in St Davids, involves donning a wetsuit, helmet and life jacket and careering around the coastline by a combination of rock climbing, scrambling, swimming and cliff jumping. Decide how to traverse the terrain, test your climbing skills to the limit – and jump in if it gets too much. Coasteering is suitable for all ages and seasons. The point? Unclear – but who cares when it's this much fun?
Where can I find out more?
Visit www.pembrokeshire-holidays.com. Pembrokeshire Walking Holidays, 01437 760 075, www.pembrokeshire-walking-holidays.co.uk. Adventure Breaks and Dive Pembrokeshire, 01437 781 117, www.adventurebreaks.com, www.dive-pembrokeshire.com. TYF, 01437 721 611.