As we all continue to limp our way through the dreaded 2020 Chris and I finally managed a proper holiday! We’ve just spent a week in Pembrokeshire staying in a holiday cottage with our friends Yvey & Matt and Clare & Steve.
Pembrokeshire is a county which is located in the far south west corner of Wales. According to Visit Wales, the 186 mile Pembrokeshire coastline was voted by National Geographic as the second best coastline in the world.
Matt & Yvey had previously visited Pembrokeshire and throughout the week Matt acted as a knowledgeable tour guide, taking us all to some fantastic places. This is the first of three posts covering our week in the holiday cottage as we explored the South, Middle and North of the Pembrokeshire coast.
For ease I’ve divided the three posts into these three areas although this was our itinerary for the week:
- Day 1: arrival at the holiday cottage with dinner in the Trewern Arms in Nevern
- Day 2: Bosherton; Broadhaven South; St Govan’s Chapel; dinner in the Harbour Inn in Solva, sunset chasing to Whitesands Bay
- Day 3: Cwm-yr-Eglwys; Fishguard; picnic on Caerfai Beach; drink in St Davids; Newport Sands sunset; Yvey’s dinner
- Day 4: snack in Newport; walk along Newport Sands; Steve’s dinner
- Day 5: Marloes Sands walk and coffee on the beach; drink in Dale pub; picnic in St Brides; chilling in Broadhaven; dinner in The Royal Oak, Fishguard
- Day 6: local walk from River Cottage and afternoon walk along Newport Sands beach; Chris and Laura dinner
- Day 7: walk from Porthgain to Abereiddi (Blue Lagoon) and back; dinner in the Golden Lion, Newport
- Day 8: goodbye River Cottage, hello Tenby!
OK so not yet Pembrokeshire… we took our own cars and we met later at the holiday cottage. Chris and I took a scenic route (once past the M1, M6 and M54) and drove through pretty B roads through the centre of Wales, stopping for lunch at Aberystwyth.
We parked along the Victorian sea front promenade and nearly got blown into the sea as we stepped out of the car into a gale! Not sure where to go, we made our way to the pier where we found signs to a restaurant upstairs. We were anticipating a greasy plastic burger and chips joint however were pleased to be welcomed into a lovely restaurant where we enjoyed a tasty lunch of sizzling vegetable fajitas! The view was amazing too, overlooking the wide-stretch of Cardigan Bay.
The 13th Century castle was built in response to the First Welsh War however now lies in ruins overlooking the sea. It was interesting to wander around the ruins before continuing our journey.
Our holiday cottage was located near to Newport in the north of Pembrokeshire however with the extra Covid cleaning necessary we were not going to get the keys to the property until 5.30 pm which enabled a mid afternoon coffee stop at a little village called Aberaeron.
Further along in Cardigan Bay, Aberaeron has an attractive harbour which is surrounded by colourful Georgian houses. Whales, dolphins and leatherback turtles can be found in the sea surrounding Aberaeron.
More on the cottage later… our first full day was lovely and sunny and Matt suggested driving for an hour or so to the south of Pembrokeshire to Bosherton Lily Ponds, the beach at Broadhaven South and St Govan’s Chapel.
Bosherton Lily Ponds
Having parked at the National Trust car park in Bosherton we made our way down to the lily ponds, a spectacular mass of waterlilies! The best time to see the waterlilies is in June/July when they are in full flower. There are several trails around the lily ponds and coast and you cross the lakes by narrow wooden bridges.
Once you have walked past the lily ponds you arrive at Broadhaven South, a beautiful wide sandy beach.
Time for a swim… we were fortunate the weather was warm and sunny so we found a sheltered spot on the beach and Chris and Steve had a swim in the sea.
From the beach we walked back to the car and drove for a couple of miles around the coast to St Govan’s Chapel, ‘the church in the cliffs’. Entrance is free and you climb down a set of steep steps to reach the chapel. Apparently St Govan was a hermit who lived in the cliff and the chapel was built in the 14th century.
From the chapel you can climb further down to the rocks below where you can see the craggy coastline.
Tip: almost every car park comes with a charge and while some have an option to pay by card (by phone or app) they all take coins. It is therefore advisable to take a stash of £1 coins; many are around £3 for 3 hours. They do all have decent and clean toilets however!
Part 2 of our Pembrokeshire adventures will be covered in the next post however this post ends with some info about River Cottage, our base for the week.
River Cottage is an idyllic 4 bedroomed cottage located about half a mile down a track in a hamlet called Nevern. This gave us a wonderful feeling of isolation and ‘getting away’ although it was only a couple of miles from the nearest beach. The cottage had a river running the length of the garden and some walking trails nearby.
The cottage provided a comfortable base to return to after busy day’s exploring the coast.