Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Sign

April normally brings National Parks fortnight here in the UK and National Park Week in the US.  Only this April is not normal.  It’s very far from normal.  We’re in the middle of fighting a pandemic, COVID-19.  And Instead of being able to get out and explore some of these places of natural beauty we are all trying to do our bit to help by staying at home (expect for some quite specific reasons).  

And stay at home we will.

We consider ourselves fortunate that home for us is right on the edge of a National Park.  The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.  But we’ll hold our hands up here and say that we are guilty of taking it for granted sometimes.  Maybe even a lot of the time.  But not right now.  Now we’re more grateful than ever that we live where we do.  And that compelled us to write this post about it.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is situated in Pembrokeshire in West Wales. In fact it’s as far west as you can go in the country.  And what a country it is.  Wales is home to no less than 3 National Parks but for the purposes of this post we’ll concentrate on Pembrokeshire.

Why is Pembrokeshire Coast a national park?

Mainly because of its coastline, which you can walk the entire length of.  Be warned though, it could take some time.  The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is 186 miles (299Km) long! 

The Coast

Green Bridge of Wales Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Because the majority of the park is on the coast you’ll see some spectacular examples of the power of nature.  In fact, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the only truly coastal one in the UK.  And with so much coastline there are plenty of beaches.

Beaches

There are over 50 within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, many of which have received awards such as Blue Flag or Green Coast.  Some of them are also regularly voted as the best around.  Tenby was voted Sunday Times beach of the year last year and Barafundle the best in Wales on Tripadvisor.  Talking of Barafundle, this beautiful beach regularly gets voted as one of the best in the world as it was here by Passport Magazine in 2017.

But Pembrokeshire is not just about incredible coast and stunning beaches.  In contrast to these are the rugged mountains, particularly, in the North of the County.

Mountains

At the Northern end of the Park proudly stand the Preseli Hills (Mynyddoedd y Preseli).  Like somewhere out of a Bronte novel this is an incredibly atmospheric place.  Great for exploring and being outdoors, there are some spectacular views to be had here.  Hill walkers, hikers and summit baggers will all appreciate the peaks at Foel Cwm Cerwyn, Foel Drygarn and Foel Eryr in particular.

There’s a lot of history in these hills.  It’s said that the Bluestones at Stonehenge were transported 140 miles from this very place (www.english-heritage.org.uk)  And speaking of history.

Prehistoric Sites

Lower down the Preseli hills, in Brynberian, is the finest example of a pre-historic Burial Chamber in Pembrokeshire, Pentre Ifan.  As it stands today it is estimated that the capstone, which is supported by three uprights, could weigh as much as 16 tons!  Fast forward to the Middle Ages…..

St David's City

Yes, really!  Pembrokeshire is home to Britain’s smallest City.  Named after the Patron Saint of Wales St David’s was given City status in the 12th Century.  The Cathedral is St. David’s final resting place and forms the main focus to the city.  But it’s not the only thing to see here.  The Bishops Palace, St Non’s Chapel and Caerfai Bay are just some of the many others, all within walking distance.    

Castles

From Cathedrals to Castles, The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is home to no less than 16 of them.  Possibly the finest of which are Pembroke Castle and Carew Castle.  Pembroke Castle is the birth place of Henry VII in 1457 and Carew Castle sits in a location that is almost picture perfect.

 www.pembrokecastle.co.uk  www.carewcastle.com

Planning your trip to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Don’t take this the wrong way but do not come to Pembrokeshire right now.  We all have to stay at home and beat this thing.  But when we do and the restrictions are lifted you will get a very warm Pembrokeshire welcome.  These are some of the ways you’ll be able to get here then.

By Road

Less than 2 hours from Cardiff by road, Pembrokeshire can be accessed from the East by taking the A40 from the very Western end of the M4.  From the north you can take a very scenic route through Oswestry and the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park on the A483 to Carmarthen and then take the A40 to Pembrokeshire.

By Rail

Train services run frequently from London Paddington and Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff and then on to Tenby or Milford Haven.  The Heart of Wales line runs to Llanelli and Swansea from Shrewsbury.  You can access Pembrokeshire from Shrewsbury by taking the heart of Wales line to Llanelli and changing for trains to Tenby or Milford Haven.  

By Air

You can fly into Cardiff International airport in Wales before travelling on by road or rail.  The closest Airports in England are Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Heathrow.

Thoughts

This a just an overview of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and only just scratches the surface.  Over the coming months and years we will continue to post about it but in more detail.

Feel free to share this post or leave a comment below.  If you enjoyed it why not check out some of our others on Wales like the ones below.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Clicking on them will result in no additional cost to you but may earn us a small commision.

16 thoughts on “Pembrokeshire Coast National Park”

  1. Beautiful article! I can’t wait to tour around this region someday. My bride and I always chat about ‘living in England’ and these sorts of trips make it more and more enticing! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for reading Anthony. Good point, didn’t think of it like that but since you’ve said………. We’re certainly looking at changes to our future plans.

  2. If the world were a different place, I would’ve visited Wales in April or June of this year!! Your post makes me want to visit Pembrokeshire as soon as I can. How gorgeous and how lucky you are. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for reading Lannie. Yes we do feel fortunate especially at the moment. Looking forward to the restrictions easing a little so we can get out and revisit some of theses places. Such a shame but don’t cancel, simply postpone.

  3. Love this! When deciding where to go next it’s so easy to forget about what our own country has to offer. I definitely want to explore it a bit more after lockdown!

    1. Thanks so much John. Yes, there are definitely similarities. They’re so close that on a clear day we can actually see Ireland from one of the peaks!

  4. Looks gorgeous here! We live between the Peak District – just outside of Manchester – and the Lake District. We totally relate about often taking it for granted but now more than ever it feels like the biggest blessing to be on lockdown in the Peak! Definitely adding Pembrokeshire to our list of adventures for when we can travel again! 🙂

    Tasha & Brett
    https://www.thetravellinguru.com

    1. Thanks for your comments guys! Wow what a place to live. We love the Peaks and the Lakes. On our list for next year we think. We’re planning to revisit plenty of places in Pembrokeshire this year and next.

  5. This is a lovely article! You never realise exactly how much beauty one national park in the UK can hold until you see it laid out so eloquently! I have to make sure I visit one day!!

  6. Great article on Pembrokeshire.
    Brynteg Holiday Cottage, Trefin, Pembrokeshire hopes to re-open on 13th July subject to Welsh Government Regulations. Bookings are now being taken.
    We would like to assure our guests that a strict cleaning protocols have been put in place for the safety of our guests. Hand sanitizer is provided. Also a minimum 72 hour buffer period between bookings is also in force.
    For further information visit http://www.pembrokeshire-holidaycottage.co.uk

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