Pembrokeshire – Coast, Castles and Tranquil Beauty

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Pembrokeshire, the only specific coastal National Park in the United Kingdom. Nearly 250 square miles of sandy bays, stunning cliffs and inland are the rolling hills scattered with splendid preserved history. A pure escape to take in a beautiful corner of Britain.

Sea Stacks

The walled coastal town of Tenby has been a popular start for many to explore. It does not take a distance from here to reach views and dramatic experiences for on foot. Car parks are strewn along the coast for those on a tight schedule or wanting  to see more. Getting out on foot for a few miles though will open your eyes to sights that some cannot believe are abound on the British coastline. Sea stacks rising out dramatically from the swirling sea  or hidden sandy beaches that cannot be driven to and thus the reserve of the true beauty hunter.

Pembrokeshire Coast

Pembrokeshire Coast

Barafundle Bay is one in particular. A good miles lovely cliff walk from the nearest car park, golden sand, surf rolling in, with dunes and trees lining behind framing it in wonder. Or just a few miles away down the steps and onto the wide open sands of Broad haven Bay. These places whatever the season bring a perfect non commercialised escape with fresh air, sea and natural rocky sculptures. The coast goes on for over 180 miles, incredible!

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay

Broadhaven

Broadhaven

Venturing inland does not disappoint either. Castles? You can lose count of them and then signs for more. History hunters can have a field day. Within the town of Pembroke sits the remains of it’s castle. The birthplace of Henry VII. But is so much older and of course a visit there will take you not just on fantastic views over the area but through the ups and downs of the history.

PembrokeShire Castle

PembrokeShire Castle

Castles and buildings from the passage of time here remain proud to be explored. Manorbier Castle hidden since Norman times with cliff and sea views, or Carew Castle by the water popular with walkers, mill historians and nature lovers alike. The list does not stop there of course. So many to explore.

Manorbier Castle

Carew Castle

During my visit one place summed up a lot of the intrigue of this area, St Govan’s Chapel. You can be wandering high up on the clifftops then suddenly, down below near where the sea crashes the rocks sit a little old stone chapel. Why is it there and how? Of course there are now steps leading down for a peek, but, the fascinating story of how it got there can raise more questions than answers.

St Govan's Chapel

St Govan's Chapel

Tranquil is very apt for a stay in this gorgeous landscape. And staying in history can add to the whole experience. Celtic Haven, not far from Tenby, is a cottage holiday experience not to be forgotten. Self Catering comfort in buildings dating back to the Norman period, brought up to a gorgeous standard whilst keeping the structure and look of the period. Tranquil at its best, cliff top views, golf course, spa, indoor swimming pool and plenty more to lose yourself in. Relax? You cannot help yourself.

Celtic Haven

Celtic Haven

Celtic Haven

If You would like to see more of Paul Steele’s ramblings both in Britain and around the world you can follow him on Twitter @paul_steele, his Blog BaldHiker, Huffington Post and more VisitBritain posts

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41 Responses to “Pembrokeshire – Coast, Castles and Tranquil Beauty”

  1. Allen Boynton
    December 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Thank you for posting this, Paul. It caught my attention because of a little town in western Virginia near where I live. It is called Pembroke, and I have always wondered where the name originated. Perhaps it is Pembrokeshire!

    Lovely post and I am adding this to my places to visit in the UK.

    • Paul Steele
      December 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      Hi Allen thanks very much. Yes the name is Celtic in origin. I can assure you a visit you would not regret :)

      • Anna
        January 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

        Hi Paul,

        I am writing a dissertation for my Masters in Architecture and was wondering whether i could get your permission to include one of your photos of St Govan’s Chapel, Pembrokeshire. I would of course acknowledge you and give credit as the photographer. Please do let me know if this would be acceptable.

        Kind regards,
        Anna

  2. Johanna Bradley
    December 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    Many years since I was in Tenby but the surrounds look as beautiful as ever. Can’t resist a Welsh castle.

    • Paul Steele
      December 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

      Tis a lovely area, yes an untouched area to be revisited for sure

    • Sharon Bradley
      January 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Johanna,
      Was wondering if you’ve explored your family history in the U.K.
      and what you’ve come up with. I’ve done a bit of research.

      Sharon

  3. Cindy Vriend
    December 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    This is so beautiful!! Amazing how many wonderful things there are to explore in just a few miles. Stunning coast and that Chapel is truly amazing. Love it :)

    • Paul Steele
      December 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Thx Cindy, yes and I only showed such a small percentage. Lots more to show and see.

  4. Vicky
    December 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    One of my favourite parts of the country, truly world-class coastline, loads of history, castles, wildlife. Anyone who hasn’t been there, go!

  5. Glyn
    December 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Seeing these marvellous photographs brought back happy memories of my two years spent at R.N.A.S Brawdy, near St Davids, Pembrokeshire, when swimming from the wonderful beach at Newgale (depicted in your photographs) in St Bride’s Bay. The Duke of Edinburgh pub, in Newgale, was the first place I was able to drink draft Strongbow, back in 1965 – 1966.
    In more recent times, before my first wife was tragically taken from me by cancer, whilst on holiday near the lovely town of Tenby, I returned to the site of R.N.A.S Brawdy to find that the airfield had been given over to agriculture and the Naval Air Station itself it had passed through the hands of the RAF, to end up as an outpost of the US Air Force having shrunk to 1/100th of its size when I was stationed there as an Armourer in the Fleet Air Arm. Still, I will always have the happy memories…

    • Paul Steele
      January 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      What happy memories, thank you for sharing Glyn

  6. Ann Lowrey
    January 12, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    I recently stayed in the lovely town of Tenby in the fall. I saw the castle at Pembroke and other places of beauty. I hope to return again soon to walk the beautiful cliffs in Pembrokeshire.

    • Paul Steele
      January 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi Ann, yes I will be returning often. Great cliff walks

  7. Sandra Smyth
    January 12, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    What a wonderful part of England you have shared Paul. The history and geography are amazing. I am now planning a visit to England. What would be the best way to get around and explore these areas and more?

    • Paul Steele
      January 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Hi Sandra, great to hear you want to visit our countryside. Would love to help you

    • Marcel, of Switzerland
      January 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Oh sacrilege !

      Pembroke ist not in England, but in Wales !!!

      As we have friends in Henllan, near Newcastle-Emlyn, we have visited Pembroke a couple of times. Beautiful region. I now miss the Gipsy Museum.

      Love from rainy Zurich.

      • Paul Steele
        January 24, 2012 at 10:18 am #

        Sacrilage? Where do I say england? :) Hello Zurich

  8. Marg
    January 12, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    Great coast. Can you continue uninterrupted ? i mean can you camp and continue along the 160 miles? We have walked the Camino de Santiago and are looking for along walk in the UK.

  9. Paul Steele
    January 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    A great distance walk with cliffs and bays galore. As it is a national park wild camping could be difficult but I can assure you there are campsites all the way

  10. Stefan Dippel
    January 18, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I was there for 6 month in 1983 in a GB / German military camp near pembroke.
    The country and the cost were very nice.The photographs remember me very well.
    I met friends there and we still have a very good contact since 1983
    i visited GB for more than 6 times and its allways good to be there.

    Thank you for this.

    • Paul Steele
      January 24, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks Stefan, sounds like you have great memories :)

  11. isabelle PAILHES
    January 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    sounds great .. I”d love to go there
    have you any adresses for simple guest house/B.B kind of cheap ones ?
    thank you
    best regards
    isabelle from Bordeaux

    • Paul Steele
      January 24, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Hi Isabelle, The place I mentioned in the post is very reasonable actually. But just a couple miles away is tenby and they have hundreds of guest houses :) thx

  12. Josine Nieuwland
    January 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Hi Paul, how wonderful it all sounds! I’m from The Netherlands but will be visiting Pembrokeshire this summer, staying in a holiday park near Tenby for two weeks. Lots to see and do, I read! Looking forward to it!

    • Paul Steele
      January 24, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Yes Tenby is a wonderful base with lots of history and sights in itself too! :) enjoy

  13. Karin
    January 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Great to see photos of all these lovely places. I have spent many, many holidays in Pembrokeshire started to go in 1968 and my last holiday there was in 2003. Great coastline and wonderful people. I always staid in Dale. Hope to go there again one day.

    • Paul Steele
      January 24, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Thanks for the lovely comment Karin, yes I will be back soon too! :)

  14. paul broest
    January 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    I thought I had some nice pictures, but you have more.

  15. Leonardo
    January 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Hi Paul, where can I find information and maps about walking path in Pembrokeshire? I wish I will come sometimes for a trek. Greetings from Italy.

  16. Rob Williams
    January 20, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    As somebody living in Kuwait it is great to see the greenery of Pembrokeshire. It is a strangely biased vision, however, as it fails to recognise any sights north of the River Cleddau.Surely St.David’s cathedral, Pentre Ifan burial mound, the Preselli mountains, Strumble Head lighthouse, Skomer Island nature reserve and Fishguard, scene of the last invasion by a foreign military on mainland Britain are worthy of mention? Don’t worry there are road crossings at Carew and the toll crossing of the famously uneven Cleddau bridge to ensure your feet don’t get wet.!!

  17. Madaboutravel
    January 24, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Gorgeous pictures and writing. I wish I could’ve been there too! I’ll keep your recommendations in mind for my next trip to the UK ;)

    • Paul Steele
      January 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

      Thx so much. Yes you must experience it :)

  18. Kristi
    March 1, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Hi Paul
    I spent a few days last September visiting alot of places along the coast and I hope I can come back this year. I loved Tenby.

    • Paul Steele
      March 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      Hi Kristi, yes there is so much more to come back and enjoy isn’t there?

  19. East Jordeston Cottages
    March 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    A fantastic article about our wonderful county and some lovely photos to go with it. Barafundle is one of the best beaches in the area and it’s well worth the short walk to get to it :)

    The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has just celebrated its 60th anniversary and from May this year the Pembrokeshire Coast Path will link in to the Wales Coastal Path, the world’s first National Trail!

    As lifetime locals, we strongly recommend visiting the area outside of peak periods, when the coast path and the narrow country lanes are quiet :)

    Our holiday cottages are perfectly situated for exploring Pembrokeshire. We’re just a few miles outside Tenby in a peaceful countryside setting, a short walk from the village of St. Florence. If you’re looking for a 5-star-rated base (Visit Wales), please have a browse of our website!

  20. Joe Wong
    April 23, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Great pictures as always Paul. Can’t wait to visit Britain hopefully soon.

  21. Val
    April 29, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    ooh this pulls the heart strings – I miss Pembrokeshire. a piece of me lives there. thanks!

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