12 reasons why you need to visit Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

by Jan
20 comments

There are so many fantastic reasons why you need to visit Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, that you’ll probably want to go more than once. Located in West Wales, this beautiful British county has so many things to do that there’s something for everyone.

Take a look at our 12 reasons to visit Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.   I know you’ll want to go.

Stunning beaches

Saundersfoot Beach, Wales

One of the best reasons to visit Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is for the amazing beaches.  You will be totally spoilt for choice, as it has 52 wide, sandy beaches.  And even better, they are just picture-perfect.

It’s no surprise that many of these golden beaches have won Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards.  Imagine long stretches of golden sand, with rugged, limestone cliffs and hidden coves.  Not only are the beaches beautiful they are ideal for playing and sand-castle building.  What’s more, many have rock pools, full of sea life, just waiting to be discovered.

Our favourite beaches in Pembrokeshire include Saundersfoot and Manorbier.  However, if you fancy somewhere more secluded, head for Barafundle Bay or one of the many isolated coves the coast has to offer.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is a national trail running along the Pembrokeshire coastline.  It’s just one stretch of the Wales Coast Path which goes for 870 miles round the whole coast of Wales.  In fact, Pembrokeshire is the only UK national park that has been designated specifically for its coastline.

If you fancy a challenge, you could walk the full 186 miles of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.  The trail starts in Amroth in the South and goes as far as St Dogmaels.  This coast to coast journey would give you about 15 days of prime cliff top hiking and breathtaking views.

Or, you could just do different sections at a time to see the best bits of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.  Either way, you will be blown away by the spectacular landscapes and scenery on some of the best walks in Wales.    Honestly, it is heaven for walkers and nature lovers alike.

Coastal Path, Pembrokshire, Wales

Amazing wildlife

Another very good reason why you need to visit Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has to be for its fantastic wildlife.  The area has one of the biggest breeding colonies of grey seals in Britain.  We were lucky enough to spot some seals with their cubs from the cliff tops.

Even better, if you keep your eyes peeled, you can also spot porpoises and dolphins swimming offshore.

Bird sanctuaries

Puffin at Skomer Island

For wildlife enthusiasts, another good reason to visit the Pembrokeshire National Park is to see the colonies of seabirds nesting along the cliffs.  A great day out is a boat trip to Skomer Island, home to hundreds of puffins, Manx Shearwater and seals.  Though, remember, the trips are very popular; so book your excursion in advance.

Alternatively, you could do a sea safari around Skomer and the neighbouring islands of Skokholm and Grassholm.

If you’re not keen on boats,  look out from the mainland at Stack Rocks.  Here you can also see hundreds of razorbills and guillemots without leaving shore. Stack Rocks is a limestone rock pillar visible from the Pembrokeshire coastal path, near the Green Bridge of Wales.

The Green Bridge of Wales

The Green Bridge of Wales is one of the most famous natural attractions in Pembrokeshire.  It’s a natural rock arch, formed over many years by the sea cutting into the limestone rock.

The Green Bridge of Wales bears some resemblance to the iconic Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.

Green Bridge of Wales, Pembrokshire, Wales

Carew Castle and Tidal Mill

View of Carew Castle across the Tidal Mill

Wales is a land with a rich heritage and many splendid castles.  One of the finest examples in Pembrokeshire is the splendid Carew Castle.  After a walk around the castle’s lake, pop inside the Tidal Mill to find out how the original machinery operated.

Another impressive castle in the area is Pembroke Castle, the birthplace of King Henry VII.  Here, you can take yourself round the well-preserved remains of the medieval castle or follow a free guided tours.

Or you may prefer Manorbier Castle, an 11th century Norman castle, overlooking the little village of Manorbier from the cliffs.

St Govan's Chapel

I just adore St Govan’s Chapel.  It really is the most delightful chapel, wedged in the most unexpected of places – the cliffs.

When you are on the Coastal Path, you can stop for a look.  You have to access some very steep steps to get to it, but it’s totally worth it.  Just think of your legs!  Even better, admission is completely free, so it’s ideal if you are looking for free things to do in Pembrokeshire.

St Govan's Chapel, St Govan's Head, Pembrokshire, Wales

Adventure activities

Cycling the Pembrokshire coast, Wales

Cycling is another great reason to go the Pembrokeshire National Park.  There are only some sections of the coastal path where you can cycle, but Pembrokeshire has many other great routes.

Those in search of adventure may also enjoy coasteering or kayaking on the Pembrokeshire coastline.  Alternatively, head over to Freshwater West beach for some excellent surfing.

St David's

St David’s is the UK’s smallest city in the UK and the resting place of Wales’ patron saint, St David.

Although small in size, the city is very big in history and boasts the impressive 12th Century, St David’s Cathedral.  Whilst here, you should also visit the historic ruins of St David’s Bishop’s Palace, which are just next door.

Afterwards, follow the coastal path to the ruins of St Neon’s Chapel and the Holy Well.  Tradition holds that this was actually the birth place of St David.

St-Davids-Cathedral, Pembrokshire

Stackpole Estate

View of bridge across Bosherton Lake, Stackpole Estate

Stackpole Court house was actually demolished in 1963 and all that remains now is the estate, owned by the National Trust.  Nowadays, Stackpole Estate is home to some of the area’s most beautiful beaches and spectacular gardens and is a good reason to visit Pembrokeshire.

You’ll love strolling around the landscaped gardens and seeing the beautiful lily ponds at Bosherton Lakes.  It’s best to go in June or July, when the waterlilies are in bloom.

Make sure to take your beach gear, as the beaches here are stunning and far more isolated than some of the other popular ones.

Tenby

We always visit the pretty, harbour town of Tenby when we are in Pembrokeshire.  We now have a family tradition to hike along the coastal path from Saundersfoot, but usually take the easy option of the bus home.

One of the most famous views of Tenby is its pastel-coloured houses lining the clifftop road above the beach.  Tenby has great award-winning beaches, but take care with the tides, which can come right in.  If you wait until low tide, it is worth walking across North Harbour Beach to St Catherine’s Island, the home of a Napoleonic Fortress.

Alternatively, you could take a boat from the harbour to Caldey Island.  The island is home to the Cistercian monks of Caldey.  It is apparently one of the only holy islands in Britain.

Tenby is a medieval town and today you can still see its 13th Century listed walls and historic buildings.  Don’t forget to climb the cobbled streets and visit the National Trust’s Tudor Merchant House.  Or give this a miss and stop next door at the charming Plantagenet House for a pint.  This is believed to be the oldest house in Tenby.

Tenby Harbour, Tenby, Wales

Family-friendly attractions in Pembrokeshire

In addition to the large choice of natural attractions and amazing beaches, one of the many great reasons to visit Pembrokeshire for a holiday with kids is the vast choice of family attractions.

One of the best things to do with kids in Pembrokeshire is Folly Farm in Kilgetty, which doubles up as a zoo and theme park.  If you like animals, other family-friendly days out are the interactive Reptile Experience in Saundersfoot or Manor Wildlife Park near St Florence.

If you are looking for theme parks in Pembrokeshire, head to Oakwood Theme Park near Narberth.  This is Wales’ largest theme park and is full of thrill rides and roller coasters.

For the best photo spots in Pembrokeshire, have a look at Photohound.

Thanks for reading

Thank you for reading the reasons why you need to visit the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.  Have you been yet?

Please feel free to comment below.

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20 comments

Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi 27th June 2020 - 11:38 pm

Glorious!

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Megan - Truly Madly Kids 18th June 2020 - 2:02 pm

Just stunning. From puffins, cathedrals and geology – it’s got the lot! Great post and wonderful photos #culturedkids

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Jan 18th June 2020 - 5:58 pm

Thanks so much.

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Travel Bugs World 16th June 2020 - 11:54 am

oh the puffins are so cute. I would travel there just for them and the beautiful beaches.

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Jan 18th June 2020 - 5:59 pm

The kids think the beaches are the best in the world!

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Debbie Patterson 14th June 2020 - 8:48 am

We keep being foiled in planned trips to Pembrokeshire…but finally made it nearby last year to Cardigan Bay which we loved! We did make it to Tenby on our way home which was glorious. #culturedkids

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Hannah 12th June 2020 - 3:08 pm

What wonderful places to visit! I have to say I haven’t seen much of Pembrokeshire. I have been to Tenby though and this post brought back beautiful seaside memories. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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Jan 12th June 2020 - 4:39 pm

My boys love the beaches in Pembrokeshire. It’s one of the many reasons we keep going back.

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Kids of the Wild 12th June 2020 - 8:38 am

Thanks for the great reminder about this area of coastline. I’ve done quite a few things in your list during family holidays as a child but not been back with my own daughter. Skomer island would be brilliant to visit though we’re lucky to like near Northumberland’s Farne islands for staggering puffin spotting #CulturedKids

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Jan 12th June 2020 - 4:41 pm

Northumberland’s on my list of UK places to visit. And that was before I know they had puffins too.

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Lydia C. Lee 12th June 2020 - 5:57 am

I didn’t know Wales had puffins. I’d love to see those in the wild. How gorgeous with all the stone buildings too. #CulturedKids

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Jan 12th June 2020 - 7:48 am

It took us a few visits to realise too.

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Demi 10th June 2020 - 9:27 am

Amazing, I had no idea about any of these things, looks like Pembrokeshire Coast is a great place for nature lovers!

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Jan 10th June 2020 - 12:20 pm

It’s a fantastic place for nature lovers.

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John 10th June 2020 - 2:14 am

Jan it looks wonderful. So so much to do. I wouldn’t mind seeing more castles though. 😃 that little church is perfect too. I was planning to travel Wales in August but no idea if that’s going to happen now. Great blog and your photos are excellent too.

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Jan 10th June 2020 - 12:19 pm

You’ll never be short of castles to visit in Wales. There are plenty of good ones in Pembrokeshire.

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The Wanderer Pharaoh 9th June 2020 - 6:47 pm

What a wonderful list! So many beautiful places and landscapes. Thanks for sharing

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Jan 9th June 2020 - 7:26 pm

We keep going back, as it’s such a beautiful area.

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Linda Kouwenhoven 9th June 2020 - 6:28 pm

Fantastic collection of some stunning sites and scenery! Will definitely visit this area one day! Oh those puffins…adorable!

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Jan 9th June 2020 - 7:26 pm

I know, aren’t they so cute!

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