January 21, 2022 | Visit Pembrokeshire
From festivals and events to learning new skills, plus adventure, wildlife and gin-making experiences, Pembrokeshire is a destination – across land and water – for all tastes and all ages, with accommodation and foodie delights to suit all budgets
L-R: Broadhaven South (c: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority); Grove of Narberth Hotel; Milford Waterfront.
Visit Pembrokeshire, the DMO for the beautiful, year-round destination in south-west Wales, is excited to announce a thrilling line-up of new openings, events, anniversaries, stylish stays, foodie highlights and more, all happening over the year ahead.
Here’s a taste of what’s happening in 2022 around Pembrokeshire, to help holidaymakers plan an unforgettable staycation:
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park goes Platinum
2022 marks the 70th – Platinum – anniversary of the magnificent Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Wales Coast Path. The 186-mile stretch of Pembrokeshire coastline, stretching from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south, boasts over 50 sandy beaches (many of them Blue Flag), dramatic headlands, towering cliffs, ancient woodland and hidden valleys to explore, alongside ancient castles and historic standing stones. The wild Preseli Hills, in the north of Pembrokeshire, are the source of the Stonehenge Bluestones; history is alive in this delightful corner of SW Wales.
Stylish new stays
April 2022 will see the opening of the NEW 100-room Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront, marking the next phase of the Milford Marina and Waterfront’s transformation. The strikingly-designed, contemporary hotel will overlook the bustling marina and offer easy access to the independent shops and galleries that now line the waterfront. As well as stylish accommodation, the hotel will feature a restaurant and bar with a brasserie-style menu that showcases the best of Pembrokeshire produce from both land and sea.
Solva-based Quality Cottages has expanded its portfolio for 2022, to include a choice of new family-sized properties that are ideally located for exploring all corners of the county. From contemporary new-builds to sympathetically restored traditional cottages, many of the properties are also dog-friendly; each offers a great base for discovering both the region’s most popular spots and some hidden gems. New properties available to book for 2022 include The Old Cowshed, St Ishmaels – a rural idyll for families, sleeping up to eight guests, within easy reach of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, as well as the picturesque beaches of Marloes Sands and Little Haven. The Barn (sleeping five), near Narberth, dates back to the 1700s, and is surrounded by private woodland, orchards, lily ponds, and a lake, in an idyllic spot next to the River Marlais. Arendelle (sleeping six) is ideally located for families to enjoy the delights of Saundersfoot, with its sandy beaches, independent shops and excellent restaurants.
The five-star Grove of Narberth, a 25-bedroom boutique bolthole set in a secluded glade with views of the Preseli Hills, is renovating eight of its bedrooms in the final stage of the hotel’s refurbishment. Martin Hulbert Design will once again oversee the creation of these elegant new bedrooms, available to guests from April 2022. The hotel’s Artisan Rooms Restaurant will also be redesigned, making it even more warm, cosy and comfortable.
New dining experiences
A wealth of excellent local food producers, restaurants and cafés across Pembrokeshire are marking the region out as an up-and-coming foodie destination. The new Annwn Restaurant, run by renowned Pembrokeshire forager and chef Matt Powell (opened October 2021) serves up seasonal ten-course tasting menus with seriously low food miles. This wild food restaurant is set in an old potting shed based at the idyllic Little Retreat glamping resort, overlooking the Cleddau Estuary.
The buzzing market town and foodie hotspot, Narberth, is home to The Hwb (opened December 2021), a community dining hub with four kitchens serving up tasty local food and drink including Top Beef – the ultimate Pembrokeshire burger, Café Medina – delicious lunch and brunch dishes with Mexican, Spanish and Asian influences, Bee’s Thai Kitchen, and a space hosting a variety of independent pop-up eateries.
At recently-revamped Milford Waterfront, enjoy vegetarian and vegan bistro dining at the family (and dog-friendly) Green Genie, a 1920s vintage-style restaurant and ‘speakeasy’ experience at Madison’s Bar & Restaurant. The latest additions to Milford Waterfront’s buzzing café culture are Talouies Coffee Shop, as well as The Cheesy Cow, offering sweet and savoury take-away grazing boxes.
Pembrokeshire’s foodie reputation is also being bolstered by a series of food and drink producers across the region, including the award-wining Pembrokeshire Gin (owner Charlotte Clark has recently been awarded Young Achiever of the Year at The Spirits Business Awards 2021); vermouth producer Still Wild; Velfrey Vineyard producing Welsh sparkling wine; several breweries, including Bluestone Brewing, the microbrewery with sustainability at its heart offering bottled craft beers such as Red of Heaven and Bedrock Blonde; plus interesting seafood producers such as Andy Woolmer, owner of Atlantic Edge Oysters, which harvests oysters in Angle Bay.
Edu-tainment and voluntourism
2022 is the year of skills-based and volunteering holidays, with staycationers keener than ever to learn new things and to do good whilst having fun on holiday. Top of the Woods’ Wild Gin Glamping Break is perfect for those keen to learn about gin production and foraging, with a guided forage to collect ingredients, learn about botanicals and how to blend flavours, before crafting a signature tipple, followed by gin tasting.
Pembrokeshire artist, Jill Jones, offers Art Tuition courses giving budding artists the chance to begin to build a portfolio of artwork, with handy tips for painting sky and sea, learning about use of colour, observation of light, depth and perspective, and then working towards a finished piece.
Award-winning textile designer Sian O’ Doherty offers a range of textile workshops at her idyllic converted barn near Narberth, with her herd of alpacas providing some of the yarn and fleece for courses on how to create vibrant, sustainably produced pieces inspired by Welsh culture and heritage, using knitting machines and other tools.
In the Preseli Hills, North Pembrokeshire, the Lammas Ecovillage is a collective of eco-dwellings and smallholdings combining traditional farming and building methods with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture, where guided tours, courses and volunteer experiences are available to visitors keen to learn about living more sustainably.
Extraordinary wellness and off-grid retreats
The arrival of the New Year often creates an urge to do something out of our normal comfort zones, and the Pembrokeshire Coast is the perfect place to do so; it is the ultimate adventure and nature lover’s paradise, as well as home to the exhilarating sport of coasteering. Adventurers can conquer their fears on a climbing course, savour an epic wildlife encounter, or simply enjoy some hands-on fun with friends and family. Why not make 2022 the year to experience one of these exciting courses or life-changing encounters?
Connect with nature with a number of different wilderness adventures: Work out in the wilderness with Preseli Venture, and embrace your ‘inner wild’, with a uniquely exuberant blend of activities centred around the idea of ‘nature as a playground’, including coasteering, surfing, woodland running and wild sea swimming. Little Retreats glamping resort, overlooking the Cleddau Estuary, offers a three-night Feel Good Break, including a daily Pilates/yoga/stretch morning class, as well as guided wild swimming, paddle boarding, Welsh gin workshops and foraging sessions. Learn to get closer to the wild on a purposeful, adrenaline-fuelled weekend with Wild at Heart from TYF, mastering key skills and connecting with inspiring, like-minded people – or why not sample the Wild Women Weekend, a relaxed weekend focused on rejuvenation and self-care, featuring yoga, meditation, stand up paddling boarding and cold-water swimming?
If going off-grid for the weekend appeals, then Black Rock Outdoor Company’s bushcraft skill courses teach how to light fires, build shelters, find food and water, identify trees and learn key knife skills and knot tying; The Climbing Company offers rock-climbing taster sessions, teaching the basic movement skills along with techniques including how to tie into the rope, setting you up for future climbing adventures. Or why not get out on to the open water with Pembrokeshire Cruising and learn how to become a competent crew member or skipper? Would-be sailors learn how to develop boat handling, navigation and piloting skills whilst building confidence on the water in the spectacular location of the Milford Haven Estuary, one of the deepest natural harbours in the world.
The Pembrokeshire Coast is renowned for its seal-watching and bird-watching opportunities, from puffins and migrating seabirds on Skomer Island and the RSPB Reserve of Ramsey Island, to the magnificent spectacle of hundreds of Grey Atlantic Seal pups being born on the remote beaches of north Pembrokeshire in the autumn.
Experience a wildlife encounter in Pembrokeshire in 2022: try snorkelling with puffins, seals & sharks with Celtic Deep, a six-hour exploration of the nearshore islands of Skomer and Skokholm, featuring snorkelling with playful seals (and, fingers crossed, basking sharks too), and swimming with puffins, guillemots and razorbills. Top of the Woods’ glamping site, meanwhile, offers a Wild River Trek during which you can meander down the River Teifi by Canadian dug-out canoe – with the chance to spot otter, red deer, peregrine falcon, kingfishers, dragonflies, salmon and Sewin (sea trout) – including travelling through the Teifi Gorge, where you will be expertly guided through the gentle rapids towards the end of the trip.
Dates for the diary 2022
Pembrokeshire is host to a multitude of music, food, sport and literary events throughout the year in 2022, many returning for the first time since pre-Covid. The legendary Fishguard Folk Festival will return on the 27-29 May Bank holiday weekend, with a series of mostly free concerts, workshops, walks and sessions. St David’s Cathedral Festival will run on 27 May – 5 June, taking place over ten days in the beautiful city of St David’s on the Pembrokeshire coastline. The festival offers inspiring and entertaining, classical and contemporary music with talks, workshops and a Family Prom picnic on the Queens Jubilee. Then 3-6 June will see the return of The Big Retreat Festival, an adventure and wellbeing long weekend featuring wild swimming, gong baths, fire walking and sumptuous Welsh produce and drink. The Edge Festival will take place between 29-21 July, three days of great music, dance, poetry, food and literature. In September, the charming market town of Narberth will see the return of its popular Food Festival (24-25 September), and the iconic Victorian seaside town of Tenby will welcome the return of the epic Ironman Wales triathlon event (11 September). The thrilling World Rowing Coastal Championships 2022 will be held in Saundersfoot (7-16 October), a series of unmissable races taking place on the picturesque Pembrokeshire coast, finally the Tenby Blues Festival will make a welcome return from 18-20 November, it will see a fantastic line up of artists.
For information on any of the above, or to research and plan your next Pembrokeshire trip, see Visit Pembrokeshire for ideas and full details.
Notes to editors:
Visit Pembrokeshire is a trade-led organisation; it specialises in tourism leadership and advocacy, destination marketing, campaign and project delivery, industry liaison and support, research and intelligence, plus event support. Headed up by Chief Executive Emma Thornton and a board of nine directors, the Visit Pembrokeshire team is based at Llanion Cove, Pembroke Dock.