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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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