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The coastline and heartland of Pembrokeshire

When staying in Pembrokeshire, the majority of visitors journey to the more well known south western regions of the area. But Pembrokeshire is a county of contrasts, with its relatively little-known northern region, we take a brief tour of the county.

Author: Lou Williams
Date: Oct 21, 2009 - 12:28:03 PM


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Pembrokeshire, well-known for its raw beauty, is one of the most visited areas in Wales. Attracted to its unexploited natural beauty, mile upon mile of golden sandy beaches, and the United Kingdom's only coastal National Park, the southern area of Pembrokeshire is a hoard of action in the summer months. Autumn and winter is a good period to take a holiday in Pembrokeshire, as the stark climate reveals its raw landscape, and in actual fact, is the inspiration of countless artists, who travel to the region to capture its icy scenery.


It's not difficult to locate accommodation to stay in when in Pembrokeshire, and depending on the areas you wish to visit and your budget, your choice varies, but there is always a lot to pick from. A popular choice of holiday accommodation in Pembrokeshire is staying in a holiday cabin. There is a profusion of holiday cottages to pick from, a number of the more famous sites have online booking tools as well as allowing you to examine the holiday cottage through a variety of multimedia. Camping is as well, a popular option for Pembrokeshire in the warmer weather and eco-camping has started to gain considerable momentum.


When travelling to the area, it is valuable to keep in mind that there is an unofficial split within the county of Pembrokeshire that divides the somewhat tourist industry geared south, and the predominantly agriculturally focused north. Both sides has its own atmosphere and culture, but to provide a more correct description, it would be fairer to roughly divide the county into a further three segments. This can be marked out by A40 which traverses and separates, very approximately, the southern 10 miles, longitudinally, of the county. And the A487 a road which separates the western half, latitudinally, by roughly 16km once more. The remaining interior borders some rather less active northern coast. Below we will explore all three sections.


The southern section is different from the rest of the interior in terms of both geology and ambiance. It is fair to say that this is the main tourism corridor, and draws the most holiday makers to the more heavily marketed places like Manorbier. Whilst it is perfectly possible to discover areas off the beaten track around here if you have intimate knowledge of the area, for the duration of the peak seasons this area is a hive of activity with plenty of popular things going on. This strip for the most part is more geared towards 'bucket and spade' family holidays.


The western corridor, our second section, has a very different atmosphere to it. Even though it is still somewhat busy in some locations, at this point you will start to discover the real hidden charms in Pembrokeshire. The ambiance is to some extent, more untamed and rugged with farther reaching places like St. Brides Bay, but is still suitable for family holidays. The further north you tour on this coastline, the more wild and less cultivated it feels. Ideal for individuals seeking a taste of true Welsh coastal life.


Now heading into the northern coastal tip of Pembrokeshire and the mid regions, you will find something different to the rest of the county's more well-known coastal areas. This area, although still more than suitable for family holidays, is an area for those who have an adventurous spirit and seek unspoilt, un-busy beauty. Aside from a couple of well known beach resorts there are countless small bays and sandy beaches to discover, and once found, you are practically guaranteed to be left undisturbed and un-bothered by another passer by. The central region is dominated by the Preseli Hills and surrounding upland and foot hills. Also part of the National Coastal Park, they are sadly overlooked by holiday makers and have a considerably more rugged feel compared with the more genteel south region of Pembrokeshire. This area is rugged, windswept and unspoilt, and scattered with prehistoric remnants. It is an area with its farming roots still highly prevalent. Being the highest point in Pembrokeshire, once you hike the peak of Foel Cwmcerwyn, in good weather, you'll be rewarded with views over the whole south west Wales peninsula, an awe-inspiring sight. On exceptionally clear days, you'll be able to see as far Swansea, Cambrian mountains and across to Ireland and the Wicklow mountains. The Preseli's are surrounded by ubiquitous undulating Welsh hills and valleys that are dotted with small villages. Those looking for an authentic sample of Pembrokeshire will enjoy the heartland.

Lou Williams resides on the apex of the old three counties of Dyfed. She is openly passionate about the land, and spends far to much time not working, and visiting the unknown gems she writes about. Whilst celebrating the joys and gems of Pembrokeshire holiday cottages  she aims to share those hidden places off the trampled track.


It's not difficult to locate accommodation to stay in when in Pembrokeshire, and depending on the areas you wish to visit and your budget, your choice varies, but there is always a lot to pick from. A popular choice of holiday accommodation in Pembrokeshire is staying in a holiday cabin. There is a profusion of holiday cottages to pick from, a number of the more famous sites have online booking tools as well as allowing you to examine the holiday cottage through a variety of multimedia. Camping is as well, a popular option for Pembrokeshire in the warmer weather and eco-camping has started to gain considerable momentum.


When travelling to the area, it is valuable to keep in mind that there is an unofficial split within the county of Pembrokeshire that divides the somewhat tourist industry geared south, and the predominantly agriculturally focused north. Both sides has its own atmosphere and culture, but to provide a more correct description, it would be fairer to roughly divide the county into a further three segments. This can be marked out by A40 which traverses and separates, very approximately, the southern 10 miles, longitudinally, of the county. And the A487 a road which separates the western half, latitudinally, by roughly 16km once more. The remaining interior borders some rather less active northern coast. Below we will explore all three sections.


The southern section is different from the rest of the interior in terms of both geology and ambiance. It is fair to say that this is the main tourism corridor, and draws the most holiday makers to the more heavily marketed places like Manorbier. Whilst it is perfectly possible to discover areas off the beaten track around here if you have intimate knowledge of the area, for the duration of the peak seasons this area is a hive of activity with plenty of popular things going on. This strip for the most part is more geared towards 'bucket and spade' family holidays.


The western corridor, our second section, has a very different atmosphere to it. Even though it is still somewhat busy in some locations, at this point you will start to discover the real hidden charms in Pembrokeshire. The ambiance is to some extent, more untamed and rugged with farther reaching places like St. Brides Bay, but is still suitable for family holidays. The further north you tour on this coastline, the more wild and less cultivated it feels. Ideal for individuals seeking a taste of true Welsh coastal life.


Now heading into the northern coastal tip of Pembrokeshire and the mid regions, you will find something different to the rest of the county's more well-known coastal areas. This area, although still more than suitable for family holidays, is an area for those who have an adventurous spirit and seek unspoilt, un-busy beauty. Aside from a couple of well known beach resorts there are countless small bays and sandy beaches to discover, and once found, you are practically guaranteed to be left undisturbed and un-bothered by another passer by. The central region is dominated by the Preseli Hills and surrounding upland and foot hills. Also part of the National Coastal Park, they are sadly overlooked by holiday makers and have a considerably more rugged feel compared with the more genteel south region of Pembrokeshire. This area is rugged, windswept and unspoilt, and scattered with prehistoric remnants. It is an area with its farming roots still highly prevalent. Being the highest point in Pembrokeshire, once you hike the peak of Foel Cwmcerwyn, in good weather, you'll be rewarded with views over the whole south west Wales peninsula, an awe-inspiring sight. On exceptionally clear days, you'll be able to see as far Swansea, Cambrian mountains and across to Ireland and the Wicklow mountains. The Preseli's are surrounded by ubiquitous undulating Welsh hills and valleys that are dotted with small villages. Those looking for an authentic sample of Pembrokeshire will enjoy the heartland.

Lou Williams resides on the apex of the old three counties of Dyfed. She is openly passionate about the land, and spends far to much time not working, and visiting the unknown gems she writes about. Whilst celebrating the joys and gems of Pembrokeshire holiday cottages  she aims to share those hidden places off the trampled track.



View all articles by Lou Williams

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