May 6, 2021 | Visit Pembrokeshire
Travel PR is delighted to announce that it is representing Visit Pembrokeshire, the first Destination Management Organisation (DMO) in Wales, launched in November 2020.
Pembrokeshire is truly a year-round destination, offering an abundance of natural beauty, including the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path, stretching from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south. This delightful and desirable holiday region in south-west Wales also offers over 50 sandy beaches, jutting headlands, towering cliffs, ancient woodland and hidden valleys to explore, alongside ancient castles, standing stones and considerable cultural options.
In addition to the many characterful towns and villages – notably Tenby and Narberth – St David’s is the UK’s smallest city and home to Wales’ only cathedral library, with books and manuscripts dating back to the 16th century. Despite the city’s population (just over 1,600 people), it packs a hefty punch, with art galleries such as Oriel y Parc and community-minded St. David’s Gin & Kitchen, which produces its own seaweed gin. Twr y Felin is one of the finest hotels in the area, with its top-notch restaurant, Blas.
Pembrokeshire has something for everyone – adrenalin-fuelled experiences, wellness retreats, stunning landscapes, outstanding wildlife and flora, rich culture and heritage, and a great food and drink scene. Easily accessible from across the UK, Pembrokeshire is just four and a half hours’ drive from London and Manchester and two and a half hours from Bristol and the Cotswolds. Pembrokeshire can also be reached by train in four-and-a-half hours from London Paddington to Haverfordwest (changing in Newport).
Here’s a taste of what’s on offer in Pembrokeshire to help holidaymakers to plan their 2021 – or 2022 – staycation:
New for 2021 in Pembrokeshire
New for 2021 is Welsh Water Adventure at Llys-y-Frân Lake. Following a multi-million-pound refurbishment, the country park and reservoir will open in late spring with a new Outdoor Activity centre and Waterside Cabin for walkers, cyclists and watersports enthusiasts. On the lake itself, visitors can go swimming, sailing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and pedal boarding. On land, bicycles and Crazi-Bugz (six-wheeled off-road buggies) can be hired, and there is also axe throwing and archery. A campsite will open in 2022. http://www.llys-y-fran.co.uk/.
Popular Saundersfoot Harbour is being redeveloped and is now home to a new Marine Centre of Excellence, with an RYA sailing school on site, as well as the Harbour Bites Café, marine supply stores and workshop, and the Outer Reef Water Sports Centre, which will deliver a wide range of activities including paddle-boarding, kayaking, surfing, coasteering, powerboating and sailing. The centre is also home to Ocean Cabins – pod-style accommodation – plus a covered Events Plaza and retail shops, all of which plan to open by summer 2021.
Epic adventures and wonderful wildlife
Pembrokeshire is home to many adrenalin-fuelled outdoor activities, from cliff camping and coasteering to rock climbing and surfing. Try sea kayaking with pods of porpoises with guided adventure company Preseli Venture on a multi-day tour, staying in 5* accommodation with wholesome home-cooked food; take in stunning coastal views on an SUP adventure in Saundersfoot bay with Good Trails Paddleboarding; or why not learn to climb and cliff camp on the sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire – the finest rock climbing playground in Britain – with The Climbing Company?
Enjoy magnificent wildlife experiences such as whale and dolphin watching in the deep waters off Pembrokeshire (the Celtic Deep), where the nutrient-rich waters flowing in from the Atlantic are perfect breeding and feeding grounds for cetaceans; bird-watching expeditions on Skomer and RSPB Reserve Ramsey Island, where puffins and shearwaters proliferate; boat trips for seal watching around Caldey Island; or exploring the 264-acre Welsh Wildlife Centre and Nature Reserve in Cilgerran, where nature trails, bird hides, and varied habitats – including river valleys, ponds, marshes, woodland and meadows – are ripe for discovery on foot or by bike.
Breathtaking beaches and out-of-this-world views
Home to picturesque golden sand Blue Flag and Green Coast beaches, Pembrokeshire’s beaches are some of the cleanest and least crowded in Britain. With over 50 beaches and 186 miles of coastline (which is all walkable via the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path), some of the finest beaches include:
Marloes Sands: With interesting cliff formations, rockpools at the western end and a huge expanse of sand, Marloes Sands’ rock strata creates numerous mini bays; at low tide, the remains of a shipwreck can be seen emerging from the sea as the tide goes out. The beach was chosen as the location for ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, a Hollywood blockbuster featuring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart. The nearest parking is half a mile away – happily, this means that the beach rarely gets crowded, even in high season.
West Angle Bay: Located at the mouth of the Milford Haven Estuary, in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park, this is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, fishing, boating and rock pooling. The beach is right on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and there is a superb café, Wavecrest, serving fresh coffee, afternoon tea and light bites.
Pwllgwaelod beach is perfect combined with a long, seafood-inspired al fresco pub lunch at The Old Sailors, which overlooks the tiny cove. The beach is close to National Trust site Dinas island, and there is a walking route and spectacular coastal views from the peak.
Pembrokeshire’s coastline is protected with National Park status – 2022 will mark the 70th anniversary of its designation as a National Park – making its stunning landscapes truly unspoiled and a dream destination for photographers. Soak in the views at any number of spots, including Stacks Rocks, a dramatic limestone rock formation covered by clusters of chattering seabirds during spring and summer; the expansive seascape of Pwll Deri, with the view following the curves of the coastline right down to the St David’s headland summit of Carn Llidi; or the Strumble Head lighthouse, which stands imposingly on St Michael’s Island, an islet to the west of Fishguard.
Artisanal makers and food producers
Over many years, Pembrokeshire’s farmers, fishermen and local producers – including a new wave of independents – have earned a great reputation for their high-quality produce. Food producers include Bug Farm Foods – delicious insect-based foods such as cricket chocolate chip cookies; Lochmeyler Farm Ice Cream, which produces flavours such as Blackberry, Pistachio and Pembrokeshire Salted Caramel from the farm’s 350-strong dairy herd in Llandeloy (there is also a shop in Haverfordwest); and Loaf of the Land – handmade, wood-fired sourdough bread, stone-milled from wheat that is ground on site; it is run and owned by its members, the local community.
For delightful local tipples, there are two vineyards – the family-run Velfrey Vineyard, producing Pinot Noir and Seyval Blanc, and the Cwm Deri Vineyard, producing Welsh sparkling wine in a woodland setting with a restaurant and accommodation. There are several breweries, too, including the eco-friendly family-run Bluestone Brewery, in the foothills of the Bluestone Mountains, and HARBWR Tenby Harbour Brewery, a craft brewery and taproom based in a converted 18th century warehouse above charming Tenby Harbour; it has just launched a new beer named Tamar’s Tusk to celebrate Wally the Walrus’ recent appearance there and in support of the RNLI.
Experiences: from bushcraft to basket making
Holidaymakers can take advantage of a wide range of authentic experiences, from bushcraft to basket making: try coastal foraging courses with Craig Evans, or learn bushcraft skills such as woodland crafts, shelter construction and fire making in the ancient woodland of Cresswell Quay with Buzzard Chris Bushcraft.
Beautifully-produced artisan wares include woven rugs and textiles from Solva Mill, vibrant paintings and mixed media works by artist Alice Tennant, and gorgeous mohair scarves, hats and gloves at Preseli Mohair Centre. Look out for the Pembrokeshire Produce Mark when buying food, drink and other locally-made items in Pembrokeshire.
From camping and eco-pods to luxurious cottages and high-end hotels, there is a huge variety of accommodation from which to choose. The cosy bell tents at Warren Farm Bell Tents Bunk House, located right on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, are ideal for families or groups of friends, while Trellyn Woodland Camping offers a range of domes, teepees, yurts and camping pitches along with a sauna, wood-fired bread oven plus personal camp fires with great sea views. Fishguard Bay Resort, in North Pembrokeshire, offers gorgeous self-catering cottages and luxury lodges – some with hot tubs – as well as glamping, static caravan, motorhome and tent pitches at a beautiful coastal setting near the Preseli Hills. Excellent self-catering options include Quality Cottages, which boasts a huge variety of pet-friendly accommodation throughout the region – and, for a multi-generational large group break further ahead, Hafod Grove, an impressive Georgian mansion house with roaring fires, an Aga and idyllic gardens, sleeping up to 26 guests across two properties, may well tick the box.
Hotel options include five-star Grove of Narberth, a 25-bedroom boutique bolthole set in a secluded glade with views of the Preseli Hills, which is set to launch six new cottage rooms and suites in May; Penally Abbey, a Georgian-Gothic hotel and restaurant just outside Tenby, with views across Carmarthen Bay; and St Brides Spa Hotel, a marine-based spa hotel in Saundersfoot. The stylish boutique hotel Llys Meddyg – a Georgian townhouse near Newport – offers individually-designed suites, a camping yurt, an excellent restaurant serving the very best local produce, a cosy cellar bar, plus on-site smokery and foraging courses run by owner Ed. In Britain’s smallest city, St David’s, Twr y Felin is Wales’ first contemporary art hotel, located in a former windmill and decorated with over 100 pieces of specially-commissioned art throughout its 21 suites.
Events to look forward to
Pembrokeshire is home to a host of music, literary and food events which are growing in popularity year after year. Tenby Blues Festival, 12-14 November 2021, is a weekend dedicated to international blues music, while Narberth Food Festival, 25-26 September 2021 – subject to restrictions – celebrates the very best of Welsh food and drink, with vibrant food stalls, entertainment and cooking demonstrations by local chefs.
Notes to editors:
Pembrokeshire’s new Destination Management Organisation (DMO), Visit Pembrokeshire, is the culmination of nearly two years’ work. Members of the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership (DPP) – made up of Pembrokeshire Tourism, Pembrokeshire County Council, PLANED & The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority – worked closely together to bring the new DMO to life in order to drive growth and development within this key economic sector.
Visit Pembrokeshire is a trade-led organisation headed up by Chief Executive Emma Thornton and a board of nine directors; it specialises in tourism leadership and advocacy, destination marketing, campaign and project delivery, industry liaison and support, research and intelligence, plus event support.
The newly formed DMO will deliver the 2020-25 Destination Management Plan, launched in February 2020, and will support destination recovery across the county.
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