Hot on the heels from my own short break in Pembrokeshire, here, as promised, is the itinerary I crafted for your own skirmishes on the edge of Britain. Sometimes (often?) when I travel, I do so in a crazy, writerly way, rushing from hither to thither, interviewing people and getting up at 4am to get the best shot I can of a sunrise.
Luckily for you, this trip wasn’t one of those times, which is why I think it’s worth me sharing how I spent those 48 hours.
(Because I’m guessing that when you go to St David’s, you are looking to have a good time. And for most people, that doesn’t include four am starts.)
So, without further ado, sourced by trawling articles, blogs, Facebook, your own kind suggestions, the Pembrokeshire page on Visit Wales and advice from my in-laws, I bring you my weekend’s travel plan for a short break in Pembrokeshire. Enjoy!
Arrive in Britain’s smallest city just as the sun sets over this calm medieval masterpiece. Founded over 1400 years ago, the view the cathedral provides across the rising green hills is perfect for quiet reflection. That is, of course, unless there’s a concert or festival going on, in which case you can feel the stained glass windows heave with the swell of the music within.
Catch the annual Fishguard Music Festival if you’re lucky!
A r-e-l-atively early start in order to get to Skomer Island in time to wander around in the wilderness on the lookout for puffins. (It’s a natural park with no cafe so make sure you take everything you’ll need with you.)
Drive back along the coast, stopping for some jam and scones at The Druidstone in Druidston Haven for a stunning view across the cliffs.
Walk or drive to Whitesands beach for the morning, splashing around in rockpools if you have children or lazing on the sand if you do not.
Check out the best fish and chips in Wales at The Shed in the curious small town of Porthgain. (Formerly a hefty industrial port, it somehow pulls off the magic trick of greeting you with charm while keeping the key elements of its history alive.)
From there, drive to the pastel pretty town of Solva and head to the hills on the Welsh Coastal Path. Opened in 2012, somewhat unbelievably, it is the only path in the world that allows you to walk around the coast of a country uninterrupted. Of course, the whole 870 miles may be a bit much for an afternoon but do what you can before hopping into the car and heading home.
After all, in famed travel words, you can always come back!
This place goes straight into my special secret file of wonderful places to stay. The Penrhiw (don’t ask how you pronounce it, I never got that far) wears crushed silver and chocolate within the grounds a former nunnery. From a design point of view, it’s beautiful. Comfort and service? Personal, professional and very, very friendly. Parking? Free and easy (this may not sound much of a plus point but St David’s is both tiny and popular and Pembrokeshire is best explored by car so it becomes a real gift.)
You can walk into St David’s along a leafy (if steep) road and on your return relax in the lounge or library reading one of several sumptuous books about Wales. There’s free wifi throughout, with no code to mess around with. And with only seven rooms in total, the Penrhiw never gets crowded.
Tuck into laverbread for breakfast or else stick with the traditional Full Welsh instead. The best part about the Penrhiw? You have free access to the kitchen, fridges and freezers thus combining the best of the hotel world with the best of the (very well stocked) self-catering world. Perfect for late arrivals – and for preparing picnics for Skomer Island.
Disclosure: I arranged this short break in Pembrokeshire in association with Tourism Wales. I had complete freedom to arrange the itinerary and, of course, to write about whatever I liked. As usual, as always.
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com