Few regions of Wales can compete with Pembrokeshire. It might take a little effort to get there, since the county is located in Wales’ most southwestern tip, but once there, oh, the gems that you’ll find! One third of the county is covered by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, including the entire coastal strip heading two miles inland. There are many excellent caravan parks in Pembrokeshire to suit every visitor.
In the southeast of the county, visit Tenby, one of the prettiest towns in Wales and a great place for caravan holidays. It's a medieval walled town with a maze of narrow little streets, and more 'recent' colourful Georgian townhouses. There are three Blue-Flag beaches and the opportunity to take boat trips to Caldey Island, run by Cistercian monks that live in the 12th century priory there.
Further west are charming seaside villages such as Manorbier, which was a popular haunt with writers George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf, and Stackpole, where you can try geocaching and coasteering from Stackpole Quay. Visit Barafundle Bay, a part of the National Trust-owned Stackpole Estate, is considered one of the best beaches in Wales.
Ferries from Pembroke Dock to Rosslare in Ireland, depart from the end of a secret, inland waterway, the several-pronged Daugleddau Estuary that penetrates deep into the countryside, celebrating the confluence of four rivers. It's a spectacular place of immense natural beauty and great for spotting native wildlife, whether on the steep wooded banks of the upper reaches or the creeks and mudflats close to the mouth of the estuary.
One of the best ways to experience the serenity of this part of Pembrokeshire is by kayak or canoe. Alternatively, take to the coastal waters to see the offshore islands of Skokholm, Skomer and Ramsey. All three are classified as major nature reserves (Ramsey is an RSPB reserve) with native and migrating birds together with the chance of spotting a grey seal. Go seal-spotting with the Sea Safaris that depart from Martin's Haven.
Around the corner of the extensive St Bride's Bay, with a plentiful supply of individual coves and some of the best sandy beaches you'll find anywhere, you can visit St David's, the UK's smallest city. The 12th century St David's Cathedral dominates what is, in size, a large village, named after the patron saint of Wales. Make time to visit the impressive Bishop’s Palace, next to the cathedral, and the Oriel y Parc Gallery within the National Park Visitor Centre.
To make caravan holidays to remember, it's worth trying to see porpoises and bottlenose dolphins off the coast from St David's Head to Strumble Head further north. Here, the national park turns inland to cover the Preseli Mountains. The highest point is Foel Cwmcerwyn at 1,758 feet and the entire upland area is filled with the evidence of Celtic roots. The wild moorland makes exhilarating walking, and one of the best waymarked routes is The Golden Road. This 8-mile ancient track dates back to Neolithic times and was thought to be the main route to Ireland for pre-historic travellers. If those ancient travellers could see the wonderful campsites in Pembrokeshire today, they'd be amazed!
Top five things to do in Pembrokeshire
When you've booked one of the,campsites in Pembrokeshire for your caravan holidays in Wales why not walk the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path – or at least some of it. Considered one of the best long distance paths in the world (by Lonely Planet), the route takes in the coastline from St Dogmaels in the north to the glorious beach of Amroth in the south. There are lots of opportunities for circular walks too.
Stroll through the 40-acre woodland garden when you visit Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire. Here you’ll see some of the largest and oldest trees in West Wales, ferns, woodland shrubs and wild flowers in addition to large collections of rhododendrons and azaleas for late spring colour.
Try paddle boarding in Pembrokeshire to explore quiet rivers and estuaries; it’s considered one of the best ways to see the Pembrokeshire National Park. Beginners can take up a short course at various venues within the county while more advanced paddle boarders can make the most of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline, where many watersports are popular.
Visit Pembroke, the medieval walled town, where you can enjoy the impressive Pembroke Castle, birthplace of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty. A castle moat extends around much of the town.
Sup a pint or two in some of the Pembrokeshire pubs. Try the Tafarn Sinc in Rosebush, a ‘tin shed’ pub that was, in theory, a temporary structure made of zinc to house quarrymen. Alternatively, The Harbour Inn at Lower Solva, is located as its name suggests – overlooking the harbour that stretches into St Brides Bay. With a log fire in winter, you’ll find sitting outside a sun trap at all other times.
When to visit Pembrokeshire
Music festivals in Pembrokeshire cover a broad spectrum of musical tastes, beginning in February with the Narberth A Capella Voice Festival. The only music event of its type in Wales, this is not just about watching and listening. Visitors to this festival of unaccompanied singing can join in!
No spring in Wales is complete without the annual festivities on the 1 March to celebrate St David's Day.
Pembrokeshire focuses on feasting and music. It begins during the Spring Bank Holiday weekend when the Really Wild Food Festival ‘springs’ into life. It champions all things rural, allowing visitors to really get in touch with the countryside.
In late June the feasting turns fishy with the Pembrokeshire Fish Week.
In July Fishguard welcomes the International Music Festival, a classical feast of orchestral concerts, live opera and intimate chamber recitals.
Also in July is St David’s Folk Festival, utilising the attractive Bishop’s Palace as a venue.
In August it’s the turn of jazz and blues, back in Fishguard with the Aber Jazz and Blues Festival.
In September Tenby welcomes the toughest of triathlon athletes for Ironman Wales, when participants compete in a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle ride and 26.3 mile run. Mad or what?
At the end of September, Pembrokeshire's edible entertainments end with the Narberth Food Festival.
November's musical highlight is the Tenby Blues Festival.
How to get to Pembrokeshire
The M4 crosses into South Wales north of Bristol, with access from the southwest and north via the M5. The M4 travels as far west as Pontarddulais, 7 miles west of Swansea, where the A48 picks up to Pembrokeshire. Tolls for the Severn Crossing on the two Severn Bridges apply westbound only, so you have to pay to get into Wales on this route, but you can get out for free! There is no extra charge for towing a caravan. Of the two, the Second Severn Crossing (the M4) is direct to Cardiff and beyond, and the best to use for travelling to Pembrokeshire.
The M50, a spur off the M5 near Tewkesbury is a useful alternative route from the northeast, with the A40 and A449 dual carriageways providing a usually quiet and very picturesque route to join up with the M4 at Newport.