Pembrokeshire: 5 memorable places to visit with kids.
We have just returned from a wonderful few days camping in Pembrokeshire, where we visited 5 beautiful and memorable places with the kids. I have seen so many photographs on social media over the last few months of Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline and I have read many posts about its wonders – I knew that we just had to visit.
Pembrokeshire is famous for its beautiful rugged coastline protected by Britain’s only Coastal national park, quaint villages and vibrant seaside towns. I genuinely believe it is a great choice for families, with so much to see and do from castles, beaches, adventure parks, gardens and water sports a plenty – Pembrokeshire doesn’t disappoint.
Our base was a campsite near the coast of Tenby, set in mature grounds with a small central lake. It had a real ‘natural’ feel to it and proved an ideal locations with a small number of attractions within walking distance of the campsite.
We only had three full days in Pembrokeshire but we managed to squeeze in so much in to those days, I just wanted to share our trip. We also stumbled upon a couple of hidden gems along the way….
Harbour Beach , Tenby
We headed to Tenby on our first day, on the hunt for traditional fish and chips and a picnic on the beach. Tenby boasts three beaches, North beach, Castle beach and Harbour beach. The Harbour beach is found at the rear of the harbour, amongst the many fishing boats dotted about. It is accessible by a steep slipway, or steps and it is only a short walk from Tenby town centre. We arrived late afternoon and it really wasn’t that busy, the children were visible as they made sandcastles and there were a few picnic benches to sit, have a coffee and admire that beautiful coastal view.
Tenby itself is a picturesque seaside harbour town boasting beautiful colourful buildings, cobbled streets and an abundance of shops, restaurants and cafes. Tenby’s harbour is the departure point for the Caldey Island boats and other fishing and boat trips. It is a town steeped in history and surrounded by medieval stone walls. A wander around the shops and a walk along one of the three beautiful beaches is always good for the soul.
We first headed to Church Doors Cove before realising that we could not access it due to the tide, so we headed on to the beautiful Manorbier beach. It is a beautiful beach backed by sand dunes and overlooked by Manorbier castle. It has a stream running down the Northern end (which the kids loved just as much as the actual beach!) Manorbier is south-westerly facing, making it a great surfing beach. The sun was shining this day and the children headed straight for the sea. They absolutely adored the waves, the stream and the super flat beach. I only wish we’d had a little surf board with us. We arrived back to our campsite with salty hair and sand in between our toes. It is a lovely beach, and the ice cream van in the car park is definitely an added bonus!
Please note there can also be strong currents so children need to be closely supervised.
Hilton Court Gardens
We found Hilton Court gardens on a dull dreary day, as we were looking for somewhere to enjoy a coffee and take shelter if it rained. It is safe to say that this was one of our favourite places that we visited while in Pembrokeshire. It is such a hidden gem.
Hilton Court Gardens is a tranquil, peaceful and delightful gardens set in 12 acres of beautiful grounds, overlooking the stunning St Brides Bay. There is a gallery, pottery, shops, gardens and a beautiful tearoom. The restaurant and tearoom offer a great menu of home made food, and we sat and enjoyed coffee, cake and a sandwich or two, before heading into the gardens (for a small fee) to explore.
The gardens feature a series of tiered ponds and is surrounded by woodland. As we wandered along the paths and darted amongst the trees in the woodland area we came across the most enchanting woodland houses. The new Badger Hall, Squirrel Lodge and the Elfi House are interactive woodland houses with rope swings, tree ladders, and tyre swings. Anyone who knows my girls and their obsessions with fairies, nature and magic, well…you can imagine how much they loved this place. My littlest boy loved to take in the scenery, too.
I would love to return – I only wish we had found this place earlier in the day, as we didn’t even scratch the surface.
Church Doors Cove and beach
Church Doors Cove, on the South Pembrokeshire Coast near Manorbier, is so named because of the two high arched caves in the sandstone cliffs which much resemble the doorways of a church. It is a small sand and rocky cove and access to the beach is at low tide via the coastal path.
We visited this beach on the first day and I was so disappointed that we could not access the beach due to the tide. The scenery is absolutely spectacular, and the cove was somewhere that we just had to visit; so the following day we checked the tide times and returned to enjoy a late evening picnic overlooking the beautiful coast. Way past the kids bedtime, we headed along the coastal path, and down the 140 concrete steps, (not an easy feat with three young children, one in a carrier, and the light fading), which then led to a metal staircase descending to Church Doors Cove. This has to be my most memorable experience of our holiday; watching the sun go down with our friends on a beautiful secluded beach backed by high rugged limestone cliffs…one word – breathtaking.
Pendine Sands is a 7-mile length of beach on the shores of Carmarthen Bay. Although I am sure there are many other more picturesque beaches to visit, what we loved about this beach is that you can drive and park on the beach, (dependant on tide) which I am sure you will agree is great when you have little ones, particularly a baby and a campervan. Parking on the beach is £3 and there are cafes and toilets nearby. The beach is popular for kite surfing and windsurfing and a lifeguard is on duty from mid-July to Early September.
Please note that this beach eastwards from the village is backed by dunes with MoD land behind and therefore MoD restrictions are in place for part of this beach most days including weekends.
Our stay in Pembrokeshire was short yet memorable. There is so much to see and do here, and there is absolutely is something for everyone, whatever the weather. Pembrokeshire boasts spectacular coastline, sorbet coloured buildings, clean flagship beaches, and vibrant towns – it will leave you wondering why you had not visited sooner.
Have you ever visited Pembrokeshire?
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