Fabulous and fun days out in Pembrokeshire!1st June 2011
There’s so much to see and do for all the family in Pembrokeshire, so we’ve rounded up the best days out during a stay at Celtic Haven. From adventure activities and the best historic sites, to theme parks and wildlife zoos, and not forgetting the best beaches!
Historic days out in Pembrokeshire
Carew Castle has a history spanning more than 2,000 years. As well as the castle ruins set overlooking a 23-acre millpond, there’s a 11th century Celtic cross, the only restored tidal mill in Wales, a medieval bridge and a picnic area, all linked by a peaceful one-mile circular walk with views of the castle.
Dylan Thomas was one of Wales’ greatest writers and a giant in the 20th century literature community. Born in Swansea, Thomas lived at the Boathouse for the last four years of his life during which time many major pieces of his work were written – including Under Milk Wood. The house now contains audio-visual presentations, original furnishings and memorabilia, as well as a themed bookshop, tea room, viewing platform and terrace.
This mighty fortress is largely intact, and its endless passages, tunnels and stairways are great fun to explore. Plus a well stocked café, picnic area, Brass Rubbing Centre, and historic re-enactments with falconry displays mean there’s plenty to keep you occupied for the whole day.
Open since 1878, Tenby museum is the oldest independent museum in Wales. The displays chart the history of Tenby with archaeological and natural history exhibitions, plus the story of notorious Tenby pirates Black Barty and Leekie Porridge.
The site of St David’s Cathedral has been a place of worship since the 6th Century. The stunning religious building is set on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, and as well as being a fully functioning cathedral, there are guided tours, an art gallery and a great café/restaurant for visitors.
The ruins of Tenby castle stand on the headland west of Tenby, and although the remaining structure dates from the 13th century, the cliff top has been fortified since 1153.
Fun family days out
From rollercoasters and a haunted house, to crazy golf and a boating lake. This theme park has enough to keep kids [and adults!] of all ages entertained. Just remember to take a waterproof for those splash-down rides!
There really is something for everyone at the National Show Caves: three naturally created ancient caves to explore deep in the ground, an Iron Age Village complete with stone circles, a Shire Horse Centre, Mr Morgan’s Farm complete with a talking sheep dog [!], and one of the largest dinosaur parks in the world with life-size models of the most terrifying and graceful reptiles to ever walk the earth.
Adventure days out
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply looking for some family fun, this group of fanatical outdoor enthusiasts know the best parts of the Pembrokeshire cliffs to scramble around. So explore the coastline at sea level with rock hopping, adventure swimming, cliff jumping, scramble climbing and more.
With four treetop courses and two junior courses to go ape about, there’s plenty for every member of the family – from [very] big kids to children as young as six. There are rope bridges and swings at heights up to 40 feet to scramble around, before returning to earth by zip line. Plus a Sky Tower course for those feeling extra brave! [And for those not, there’s a cafe at ground level to watch all the fun.]
Wildlife days out
Don’t be fooled by the name, Folly Farm is not just about barnyard animals, there’s also a zoo [with 200 animals including the only giraffes in Wales], an indoor vintage funfair, and a whole host of indoor and outdoor adventure play for all ages [and weather conditions!].
As seen on ITV’s Anna’s Welsh Zoo and set in 52 acres of protected Parkland, this wild zoo for endangered species is also a paradise for native flora and fauna. And with a network of intimate tree-shaded walkways and wide open spaces for picnics and barbeques there’s plenty to explore and experience.
This indoor exhibition has more than 100 enclosures of reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians, bringing the exotic life of the rainforest and desert to people of all ages. From crocodiles, rattlesnakes and giant pythons to huge monitor lizards, giant tortoises and scary tarantulas.
Walking days out
A scenic boat trip from Tenby Harbour takes you to the beautiful and fascinating Caldey Island. Inhabited since the Stone Age, the island has been home to various orders of monks since Celtic times. Now owned by monks of the Cistercian Order, you can explore the island’s historic Old Priory and the medieval churches of St David and St Illtud, or join the free guided walk for a closer look at the island’s heritage. And don’t forget to pop into the island shop for some of the wonderful lavender or gorse perfume.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail twists and turns its way through 186 miles of breathtaking coastal scenery. From St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south, the trail covers almost every kind of landscape, from rugged cliff tops and sheltered coves, to wide-open beaches and winding estuaries.
The best beaches in Pembrokeshire
Backed by dunes and pine trees this golden sandy beach the beauty of this bay is its remoteness – it’s a half mile walk from the nearest car park. Barafundle has been voted many, many times as one of the best beaches in Britain and the world, and often likened to a Caribbean beach! Just remember to bring everything you need as there are no facilities, and it’s a long walk back to your car…
At low tide the sea reveals plenty a wide sandy beach, perfect for all those ball games without having to worry about the neighbours. At low tide, the low cliffs at the eastern end provide some nice private ‘bays’. A short walk away is surfers paradise Freshwater West, where Russel Crowe filmed scenes from the latest Robin Hood adventure and the last Harry Potter was briefly set.
At low tide a huge expanse of firm sand is revealed with plenty of room for everyone – and it can get busy during the summer months due to its safe bathing. Two cliffs either side shelter the beach, and a short walk away is Little Haven bay.