Back in the summer we took advantage of a friend’s empty static caravan and escaped the drudgery of work, for a few days of fresh air. Wales isn’t a new holiday destination to me, but Pembrokeshire was, and it was BEAUTIFUL!
My boyfriend and I are currently saving for a deposit on our first house, so there were no foreign holidays on the cards this year (or for the foreseeable). It’s spoilt to say, but I was a bit gutted we weren’t going anywhere after working so hard, so when this opportunity for a cheap little stay-cation came up, I leapt at it.
The icing on the cake was that we had glorious weather for 80% of the trip, and the place itself far exceed my expectations.
We stayed between St Davids and Porthgain, at a quiet little campsite called Mabws Bridge Holiday Park. I hadn’t stayed at a campsite like this since my childhood (being taken for weekends away with my grandparents in their tiny caravan in the Cotswolds) but I’m quite pleased to report that they haven’t changed much, or at least not this one.
Upon arrival there was absolutely no ‘check in’ procedure and not a soul to be seen, so we used my friend’s instructions to locate the right plot and let ourselves in. We were hit immediately with that familiar musty smell which only caravans can emit, but I found it oddly welcoming and reassuring, like an old forgotten blanket.
The little door handles, tiny cutlery and unmistakably stiff furniture which you’ll never get comfortable on, and a teeny tiny TV with no signal. No phone signal for that matter either! Heaven. Total escapism, we couldn’t even make phone call!
Everyone raved about going to Fishguard, so we did, but my advice would be not to go out of your way to visit this particular port. Unless we missed something (and we walked around all of the streets we could see, down to the sea and back up again), there is literally nothing there, and the place doesn’t seem to have any personality or character. It’s all a bit bleak! Except for one little cafe called The Gourmet Pig, which sheltered us from a grey day with delicious freshly made Italian ciabatta.
Out of all the places we did explore, however Fishguard was the only one we weren’t as keen on. The rest, we LOVED!
Must See Spots
Right on the tippy tip tip of Pembrokeshire and pretty much as far west as you can get, what could be a completely cut off and forgotten place is actually really thriving (in the high season anyway).
We went on a speedboat trip with Blue Ocean Adventures out to see Ramsay Island (populated by just two wildlife lovers who happen to be man and wife – nutters if you ask me!). What I expected to be a fairly placid family boat trip, quite quickly turned into a white knuckle ride! Well worth doing if you like a bit of a rush, being bumped over the waves and thrust full force into the wind!
We also really liked the food in St David’s, there’s a wonderful little shop in the middle of the high-street which sells lots of foodie essentials, as well as fresh food for a fine picnic feast! We took advantage of this on one of the days, and took our scotch eggs and crisps to the nearest stretch of the coastal path.
There is one particular itinerary I’d really recommend. Head to Porthgain. Experience the amazing food at both The Shed, for life-altering fish and chips and The Sloop for upper-end pub food with a stunning sunset view (even if you have to go two days running).
Then, pitch up there again the next day and head to the left of the bay to pick up the coastal path, and soak up the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen in the UK. Rolling fields, turquoiuse waters – it felt like another world. And the good bit is you can’t really get lost, just follow the coast and make sure you clamber down to some of the more secluded beaches…Thailand aint got nothing on Pembrokeshire!
Here are some of my fav pics from Porthgain and the surrounding coast.
From Porthgain we walked to Abereieddy, and these were some of the sights we saw along the way…
Please note – these aren’t photo-shopped! The waters really were this blue, and it was so hot that when we spotted a little hidden sandy beach, I had to clamber down and take a dip in the sea. I probably only swam for a matter of seconds because it was bloody cold, but it was well worth it.
So, if you’re looking for somewhere to build sand castles, eat ice-cream, fish and chips and bask in the freedom of having absolutely no phone signal – this is the spot for you. We’ll certainly be back.
I even enjoyed the evening spent in the caravan watching the only DVD they had…Faulty Towers, and listening to the wind rattle around the windows. Sometimes a time warp is exactly what the doctor ordered. Retro holidays are the best!