Last month we spent a lovely week in Pembrokeshire. Despite it being somewhere that I’ve always looked at and thought how beautiful it looked, it’s never really been on our radar as a holiday destination. The main reason being that we already spend a LOT of time in Wales due to family living there and although it’s a different area – it has always seemed to close for a holiday.
However after an extremely stressful trip to the south coast last year and an epic 10 hour car journey with a teething baby, a holiday only a short distance away was sounding more and more like my cup of tea.
From home to holiday, it was around a three hour journey so perfectly acceptable travelling time with a little one on board.
We booked a lovely self-catering cottage just outside Haverfordwest. It was located down a few windy country lanes so definitely one to avoid if you’re relying on public transport but as we had the car it was perfect.
We booked the cottage on looks, budget and of course whether or not it was family-friendly, we weren’t too bothered about the location but as it turned out it was ideal – it’s pretty much right in the heart of the county so everywhere we wanted to visit was never more than about 10-15 miles away, plus Haverfordwest itself had a decent range of shops including a giant Tesco, Aldi and an M&S for our holiday treats!
Weather-wise we couldn’t have picked a better week – probably the best week we had all Summer so we had a great time exploring many of the beaches in Pembrokeshire. Although it was beautiful weather, there were occasions when we had the place pretty much to ourselves – the joys of having a child that’s not of school age and can go out of season!
The first beach we came across was Newgale – this seems to be a popular spot with surfers and has a campsite right next to the beach. The views as you come upon this beach were absolutely stunning as you can see below:
We were disappointed not to see some of the beaches – E isn’t quite walking yet and some of the more spectacular of beaches along the Pembrokeshire coast are only accessible by long walks or steep climbs – not ideal with a buggy. We do have the sling of course, but she’s just getting a little bit too heavy for back-breaking treks! Also, some of the beaches are managed by the National Trust and operate car parks with a £5 charge. We wouldn’t resent paying if we were planning a day of it, but that’s not going to happen with the attention span of a 1 year old!
Instead we decided to save the beauty spots for another occasion when E is older – and more steady on her own two feet – and opted to go for the beaches with easy access and with free (or very cheap) parking!
Broad Haven was probably our favourite beach spot – not least because we were the only three people on it! It was lovely – such a broad (obviously) expanse of sand, which was clean and flat with no shingles so you could walk all the way to the sea completely barefoot without uttering all the swear words under the sun. E loved being on the beach – it was a shame she’s not walking as it would have been lovely to have her toddling on the sand here. Instead she just treated it like a giant sand pit as well as consuming a good few mouthfuls of it. She’ll eat anything this child.
Just round the coast (at low tide you can walk here – just make sure you take note of the tide times before doing so) is Little Haven, a pretty little fishing village with a couple of pubs and a cafe – we stopped at one of the former for a wonderful lunch of fish and seafood, enjoying the charming little seating area outside. E decided this would be a good time to poo all over her entire outfit – luckily the car was parked right next to the beer garden, so off daddy went to change her in the boot! (This happened on our last holiday too, I’m hoping it’s not going to be a theme!)
We visited lots of other places during our stay – including St. Davids, Tenby, Folly Farm and Bluestone – they all deserve a post of their own so I’ll be writing about these over the next few days. We always like to have quite a full itinerary on our holidays and Pembrokeshire certainly ticked all the boxes when it came to offering lots of interesting days out.
It’s definitely on our list of ‘places to go back to’ – although the thing with us, is that we’ve never been back to the same place twice. When it was just the two of us we wanted to explore lots of different places while we had the chance, but now we have E our holidays are different and the focus is mostly on her enjoyment, as well as ours.
So the likelihood is that we will return here as it’s definitely a family-friendly destination and one that I think she’ll enjoy more and more in years to come.