When I am working on the plane, holding a dinner party for 300 passengers at 35,000 feet, I often have the chance to meet lovely tourists making there way over to the UK to start discovering what Europe has to offer. London and Scotland are always on the agenda, but very, VERY rarely is Wales in the plan, and secretly I feel really disappointed as we really live in a beautiful part of the world. We have as much history as any other region, the smallest city ever and fire breathing Dragons for Pete sake….so why are we not on the map ?
I am an extremely proud Welsh girl and I am really excited to share what my beautiful homeland has to offer. So what a better place to start than Pembrokeshire in West Wales, which is also know as the coast with the most ! Many people often head up to the seaside town of Tenby, but I am going to hold fire on that and talk about some other pockets of interest around.
I am going to start with my favourite place called St Govan’s Chapel. This actually blew my mind as it is a tiny chapel on the side of the cliff, that goes back the sixth century and was once the home of Saint Govan, who lived in an adjoining cave. This small Chapel is only 20 by 12 feet, but is still very much there, with amazing views. You can access the rocky descent down to the sea, through the chapel and watch young spear fishermen catching Sea bass and several seals swimming around. Wear very sturdy shoes though, as it is a tricky path down.
We then drove down to a tiny little village called Bosherston, which is about a five minute run and enjoyed a real cup of tea at the local café and a nosey around a craft market before we headed down to see the beautiful Lilly pools and walk to Bosherston beach.You are able to leave your car at the café carpark and walk to the Lilly pools, as it is all within walking distance.
The Lilly pools are a beautiful site, originally a damn, these are now a tranquil pleasure on the eye, with damson dragon flies, butterflies and various other elements of nature hanging around. The small bridges over the ponds are best walked in a sober state, as they are very narrow, and can be fun trying to pass someone walking the opposite direction. The walk up to Bosherston beach, was around a 1.6k hike but the scenery was beautiful and the beach was worth it when we arrived ! Clean sand, clear still water and many happy children building sandcastles and body boarding were what greeted us at the beach, and we set up camp for an hour and had a well earned rest.
The sea air had my tummy rumbling often, so our next stop was at the beautiful Barafundel Bay beach, which is only reachable by a good ten minute walk. However, a food stop was desperately required and we had a delicious lunch at the Boathouse café, while we watched the learner kayakers and paddle boarders. So many courses are on offer in this region, and it really is worth having a look online to see what courses are running and to book up. The Boat house café is run by The National Trust, so prices are very reasonable. We ate a bowl of creamed sweetcorn soup with a cheese scone and a delicious bowl of traditional Welsh lamb cawl with a huge chunk of fresh bread, and this came to £15 including drinks, which I thought very reasonable.
I could of happily stayed at this beach for the rest of the day, but Tenby was on the list so we had a quick drive down and parked up. There are two main carparks in Tenby, and parking can be tricky, but park up in either spot and your looking at paying under £5 for the day.
Tenby Town, is a quant little fishing town but can turn into a party town over the weekend, which is great for the youngsters. The small streets are lined with local coffee houses, novelty shops as well as good independent restaurants and pubs offering really good grub. In the harbour there is a great fishmongers that sell the freshest of seafood and you will see many a folk walking around with a fresh tub of vinegar swimming cockles.
Local boat shuttles run over to the local Caldey Island and you can sometimes catch buskers and local plays in the old bandstand, which boasts beautiful views of the town. Tenby beach is surprisingly long but just be aware of the tidal times. Tenby itself is an old Victorian seaside town , so is adorned with some beautiful Victorian features and houses, so is really worth a visit.
Originally we were going to stay in Tenby, but we decided to stay in Freshwater east as it was bang in the middle of the places that we wanted to visit. We stayed at an old manor house called Portclew house and I was over the moon. The room was huge, clean and beautifully decorated, but the best part of the old house was the breakfast room, as it had huge windows that looked onto the sweeping lawn, and to eat a beautiful breakfast made with local Welsh produce looking onto such a nice setting was fantastic.
A five minute walk away was The Freshwater Inn that just has the best beer Garden. The folk that run this place produce decent grub in a well tuned manor, which many restaurants and busy establishments should follow. If you want to eat, you add your name to a list and when the chef is ready to cook your food, they will take your order. The food was not only delicious but piping hot, which always earns a big tick in my book.
I hope you have enjoyed this little venture into my this region, and I hope to bump into you here soon !
Welaf i chi’n fuan XX
Pick up some nice Welsh Mackerel and have a go at this Delicious pie.