Caravan County: Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is beautiful and unique - surrounded on three sides by the sea. It has some of the finest beaches in the UK, with more seaside awards than any other county. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park takes in the entire coastal strip and offers dramatic landscapes, towering cliffs, stunning clean sandy beaches and wooded valleys that are a haven for wildlife. Lively towns and villages play host to a wealth of artists and craftspeople. Most of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park can be accessed by a 186 mile walking trail known as the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
In the north of the county are the Preseli Hills or 'Bluestone Country', a wide stretch of high moorland with many prehistoric monuments and the source of the bluestones used in the construction of the inner circle of Stonehenge in England. A highlight is Pentre Ifan, the finest megalith in Wales. This dolman dates back to about 3.500BC. The capstone is over 16 ft long and is balanced on three upright stones 8ft off the ground. The nearby wooded Gwaun Valley offers lovely walks.
One of the most visited places in Wales is Saundersfoot, which is loved for its sandy beach and harbour, offering safe water sports and fishing. Tenby is a medieval, walled town, with plenty of old-fashioned charm. Narrow streets wind between pastel-shaded houses and small, fascinating shops. During the summer months they close all the roads in the town centre to create a continental 'cafe culture'. The medieval castle overlooking the harbour is home to Tenby Museum and Art Gallery. Tenby is also blessed with great beaches: the North Beach is based around the picturesque harbour, the Castle Beach is a smaller, sheltered spot, whereas the South Beach is a huge expanse of golden sand stretching far out of town.
The historic town of Pembroke is dominated by Pembroke Castle, one of the largest and most impressive Norman castles in Britain, located on the banks of the Pembroke River. Across the estuary is Milford Haven - the second largest town in Pembrokeshire, with one of the largest natural harbours in Britain. Haverfordwest is the administrative centre of Pembrokeshire, and is overlooked by the ruins of its Norman castle. Haverfordwest Town Museum is to be found in its grounds and contains the heritage of the town from Norman times to the present day. A short drive inland at Narbeth is Oakwood Park, one of Wales' largest tourist attractions.
Situated on St. David's Peninsula is the smallest city in Britain. City status was granted to St. David's in 1995 due to the presence of its cathedral - in reality though, it is a very attractive small town which has been frequented by pilgrims since the 12th century. This is the birthplace of St. David, the patron saint of Wales, who founded a monastery on the present cathedral site in 589. The cathedral, stunning scenery, beaches and wildlife on the peninsula attract thousands of visitors each year. Fishguard is best known as a busy ferry port for Rosslare in Ireland. The town has good facilities for visitors and the quaint streets and cottages of the original fishing village still remain.
At the southern end of St. Brides Bay boat trips from Martin's Haven are available to visit Skomer, Skokholm, and Grassholm Islands to see seabirds, porpoises, seals, puffins, and even dolphins. Boat trips are available from St. David's to Ramsay Island RSPB Reserve, which is home to the second largest grey seal colony in Britain. Off Ramsey Island it is even possible to go on a whale watching tour! Apparently minke, fin, and orca are regular visitors. An intriguing place to visit is Caldey Island. It is one of Britain's holy islands. The Cistercian monks of Caldey continue a tradition which began there in Celtic times. More than a thousand years of prayer and quiet living have made this remote and beautiful island a haven of tranquility and peace. The monks and islanders of Caldey are pleased to welcome day-visitors to share the delights of their island home throughout the summer season.
Pembrokeshire offers some of the best environments for a dozen or more adventurous activities, whether it's climbing or kayaking, windsurfing or scuba diving, sailing or surfing. Freshwater West, Newgale and Whitesands are all considered to be excellent beaches for surfing. Coasteering is a new sport developed in Pembrokeshire which involves climbing a cliff, jumping off the top of the cliff(!), then swimming to the next cliff... Alternatively, you could take a spectacular canter through the surf on horseback. ‘Beach Riding’ is now a popular sport on many Pembrokeshire beaches...
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