holidays in Pembrokeshire

Half term fun during your

holidays in Pembrokeshire

Half term is the perfect time to enjoy holidays in Pembrokeshire.  It’s not as crowded as the summer months, and autumn and spring are lovely times to see this stunning coastal county in all its natural glory.  October sees the end of seal season, where you’ll find inquisitive young pups bobbing around their pupping beaches, getting used to their human neighbours.  And Easter is when Pembrokeshire emerges from winter with gorse and heather springing from every hedgerow and the red kites put on displays over rolling fields.

Don’t just take our word for it, though.  From Atlantic View, there are plenty of fun things for all the family to do during your holidays in Pembrokeshire.  From little ones to not-so-little ones, this picture-perfect area of the UK is packed with activities and adventures.  Here are some for you to try out during your stay with us.

Splash out!

Think the sea might be too cold in October?  Think again!  It’s had all summer to roll in and out over hot sand, making October the perfect month to have a swim.  On average, the sea temperature in October is 15 Celcius, which is the same as it would be in June and July.  So, there are no excuses!

Why not try these water activities?

holidays in pembrokeshire

Surfing:

The wild coastline of St Bride’s Bay offers fantastic waves and draws surfers from all over the world to its tumultuous shores.  Why not pop into Haven Sports in Broad Haven to hire or buy your family some surfboards and wet suits?  They’ll make sure you’re well prepared for a splashing time!

If you’d rather have instructors for your wet adventures, then give Dragon Activity Guides a call.  They do everything from surfing lessons on Broad Haven beach to Pembrokeshire’s original watersport, coasteering along the cliffs of this stunning coastline.  Suitable for most age groups (coasteering is not for toddlers), these guys also offer a BBQ package so that you can enjoy fresh seafood pulled from the very waters you spent your day in!

holidays in pembrokeshire

If you’d rather be on the sea than in it, then why not book one of the popular boat trips?  Suitable for all the family, trips leave from St Justinians and St Martin’s Haven and traverse the beautiful coastline as well as its popular islands; Skomer, Skokholm and Ramsey, and even out to Grassholm and beyond!  Dale Sailing offer trips from St Martins Haven, south of Atlantic View, whereas if you head north to St Justinians, you’ll find multiple operators including Falcon Boats who will take you to visit the seals, porpoise and thousands of sea birds who call these shores home.

One of the biggest advantages of staying at Atlantic View is your proximity to the sea!  You’re a mere 300 metres’ walk away, giving you plenty of opportunities to dip your toes in the water whenever you like!

Go back in time

holidays in pembrokeshire carew

It’s not all about the coastline here, although it is dotted with many historical remnants of Pembrokeshire’s fascinating past.  You’ll notice the undulating ramparts of several iron age forts dotted along the coast path, but if your kids prefer their castles more intact, then there are several great examples to choose from during your holidays in Pembrokeshire!

Carew Castle is a half-hour drive from Atlantic View and is quite a sight to behold.  Sitting on a large tidal millpond, it’s open to the public to view its 2,000-year-old ramparts and learn its history hands-on with activities for children such as storytelling and being a knight for the day!

holidays in pembrokeshire pembroke

It would be a travesty to come to Pembrokeshire and not visit its most famous castle, the Tudor-dynasty’s home castle at Pembroke.  Pembroke castle was built in around 1093, chosen for its defensive position facing the bay at Milford Haven.  But it’s most well-known for being the birthplace of Henry Tudor who would later be known as Henry VII.  With guided tours, exhibits and events all year round, Pembroke castle and the surrounding town has plenty to keep the whole family occupied.

holidays in pembrokeshire henllys

For a more immersive day out, it’s worth the 40-minute drive north to the incredible Castell Henllys.  This reconstructed iron age fort sits on the site of an original settlement and is its only kind in Wales.  Travel back in time with interactive exhibitions and talk to Celtic inhabitants who will tell you the history of the roundhouses.  Train as a warrior (complete with warpaint), watch woodmen carve or try your hand at archery – there’s so much to do, and with a café on-site, it’s all set up for a really fascinating day out.

Get back to nature

holidays in pembrokeshire bosherston

The main reason that people flock to Pembrokeshire is that it’s completely unspoiled, leaving you to have wild adventures in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.

A short drive away from your holiday accommodation you’ll find Bosherston Lily Ponds, which are located on the old Stackpole Court estate and are now managed by the National Trust.  The beautiful 2-mile round walk circumnavigates the lakes, taking you out to Broadhaven South beach and back along the nature reserve.  These lakes and walks were created by the Cawdor family in 1760 and are popular with locals and tourists to this day.

If your children are more into Harry Potter than toad on lily pads, then head over to Freshwater West.  You may recognise it as the resting place of Dobby the House Elf – the famous scenes of the sweeping beach and its shell house were filmed here.  This is a fantastic place for a windswept walk, and don’t forget to try the famous lobster roll from Café Mor, the most delicious beach food venue in Wales.  It’s a must!

And while Pembrokeshire is famous for its stunning coastline, let us now forget about its sturdy spine, the Preseli Hills.  Shrouded in mystery and immortalised in Welsh folklore, these hills are said to be the resting place of King Arthur and are the origin of the bluestone used to construct the outer circle of Stonehenge.  For the best views across Pembrokeshire, why not take a picnic and climb Foel Eryr, its tallest peak, or the fantastically named Angel Mountain, or Carn Ingli, high above the beautiful village of Newport?

holidays in pembrokeshire preselis

For information about family attractions such as visiting the only giraffes in Wales or one of the tallest wooden rollercoasters in Britain, please take a look at our blog “Five family attractions in Pembrokeshire”.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook too for updates and information to help make your holidays in Pembrokeshire as memorable as possible.

South Pembrokeshire

Atlantic View is perfectly placed in the centre of Pembrokeshire’s dramatic coastline. With beautiful Broad Haven beach 300 metres from your front door, the coast path leading to Newgale nearby, and historic St Davids only a 20-minute drive away, South Pembrokeshire can often be forgotten. If you’ve been to visit us before, and you’ve exhausted your immediate surroundings, then a day out ‘down South’ is a great change of scene.

 

Going to South Pembrokeshire really is a change from the Northern territory. It’s well-known that the dialect and topography of Pembrokeshire change when you cross the Landsker line, the invisible border between the Welsh-speaking North and the English-speaking South. The rocks become a darker, clay-like red, the cliffs more sudden and dramatic, and you’ll see remnants of Flemish chimneys on vernacular buildings where the Normans brought immigrants to fight the Welsh princes. 

 

There are some fantastic things to see if you head south from your award-winning accommodation – here are six places to explore in South Pembrokeshire.

 

  1. Marloes Sands

 

A 22-minute drive south from Atlantic View brings you to Marloes Sands, a hidden gem protected by the National Trust. With undisturbed cliffs and surrounding wetlands, this area is a haven for wildlife, including stonechat, snipe, and peregrines. It’s also a designated marine conservation zone, and from the seal pups that thrive in the coves along this rocky red coastline, you can see why! The National Park car park is a short walk away from the sands itself – enjoy the heather-lined path to the beach.

After a walk and lungs full of sea air, why not pop to nearby Runwayskiln, an award-winning eatery by the sea, for more stunning views and even better lunches?

 

2. Martin’s Haven

 

A few minutes drive further south than Marloes and you’re in Martin’s Haven, the launchpad for exploring Pembrokeshire’s spectacular islands. From here, take Dale Sea Safaris to the Skomer where you can land and go to visit the puffins during the summer months, or out to Grassholm, the island 8 miles out to sea that is steeped in Celtic Mythology. Take in gorse-laden clifftops, caves, grey seals, porpoise, and perhaps even a minke whale on your epic sea voyage. 

 

3. Dale

 

Surrounded by bucolic countryside farmed by established families on one side, and the large estuary filled with bobbing boats on the other, Dale is an unspoiled village right in the heart of South Pembrokeshire. It’s also a popular spot for sea angling, sailing, and kayaking. The safe, red pebble beach is great for little ones, and the bay is shallow, so perfect for a quick dip. Peek at Dale Castle, a private establishment since 1910, in the distance. The Griffin Inn is more than just a local pub where you can get a good selection of locally brewed ale, it’s one of the best spots for fresh fish in West Wales, and a great stop for a hearty dinner.

 

4. The Green Bridge of Wales

 

What do tanks and chapels have in common? Well, in South Pembrokeshire, you can find both on the coastline at Stack Rocks. The military base allows access to the coast when they’re not firing at the range, and you can safely go to visit the dramatic natural rock arch and surrounding stacks known as the Green Bridge of Wales. A mile or so walk away, you’ll also find St Govan’s chapel, dedicated to Govan who lived in his hermitage in this tiny sixth-century place of solitude that clings to the rock face. Count the steps down and then back up again – it’s said you’ll get a different number! This wondrous area is only a 30-minute car drive from Atlantic View.

 

5. Pembroke

 

A little closer to your home from home is the colourful town of Pembroke. This fantastic market town is steeped in history. It’s the birthplace of Henry VII and its Norman castle, perched atop a rock overlooking a lake, is a fantastic place to take the children to see what being a knight was all about. The castle is very large and hosts gigs and festivals in the summer, as well as talks and falconry displays year-round. The town itself is full of artisan cafes, traditional grocery shops and butchers, quaint inns, and boutique art galleries. You have the choice of three excellent antique shops to browse or hire paddleboats to take in the imposing view of the castle from the millpond itself.

 

6. Tenby

 

A tour of South Pembrokeshire wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Tenby. It’s the jewel in the south’s crown, with colourful houses, fantastic restaurants, a harbour full of bobbing boats, and two beaches set within the fantastic walled town. It was a popular Victorian seaside escape, and the promenade is full of grand hotels and views across to Caldey Island, home of the Cisterian monks. Take freshly cooked fish and chips along with your bucket and spade down to the seaside for a quintessentially British day on the coast.

 

Autumn Wildlife Watch

Pembrokeshire is home to some incredible wildlife that you have to see, and in Autumn, everything becomes just a little bit more magical. Autumn makes all of the leaves on the trees change from bright greens to warm browns, reds and oranges. This change in colour makes all the views seem completely different. There are so many things for you to spot on your Autumn wildlife watch from Atlantic View. 

What Wildlife Can Be Spotted in Autumn?

Your Autumn holiday at Atlantic View is the perfect time to go on an autumn wildlife watch adventure. There are so many incredible animals and flora and fauna to be found. Try your luck in spotting travelling sea birds, Atlantic Grey seals, dolphins, porpoise and so much more. 

Where Can You Spot Seals? 

During the autumn Atlantic Grey seals will come ashore to give birth to their brilliant white pups. They can be spotted in many different secluded coves and beaches across the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Take a walk along the coast path and keep your eyes peeled, you never know what you might find. 

Take your binoculars and cameras with you to help you get a good look and capture the moment on your autumn wildlife watch. When watching the seals make sure you don’t get too close. If a mother seal sees you getting close to her pup she will abandon it. 

Where Can You Spot Porpoise? 

Porpoises can be spotted just off the coast of Pembrokeshire all year round. One of the best ways to spot porpoises is from the sea. So why not book a boat trip with Falcon Boats to kick off your autumn wildlife watch, it is just a thirty-minute drive from Atlantic View. The boat trip will also help you spot puffins, shearwaters, dolphins, whales, seals, jellyfish, and much more!

Where Can You Spot Dolphins?

Just like porpoises, dolphins can be spotted all year round but are easiest to spot during the months of June to October. They can be spotted when walking around the Pembrokeshire Coast Path but again are easier to spot out at sea. Take a Dolphin and Whale Voyage with Voyages Of Discovery for your best chance to spot any dolphins. Dolphins are something you just have to see on your autumn wildlife watch. 

Can You Spot sea birds?

Another fun thing to look out for on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is sea birds. When you go out onto the Pembrokeshire Coast Path make sure you take your binoculars with you to help you get a closer look at the seabirds. There are many seabirds you can spot on the coast such as gannets, peregrine falcons, choughs, shearwaters, ravens, guillemots, razorbills and much more. 

What else can you spot? 

Still looking to see more incredible animals? You’re in the right place! Every year Pembrokeshire is lucky enough to attract incredible creatures. This includes orcas, blue whales, blue sharks, basking sharks, turtles, various colourful jellyfish and Risso’s dolphins. 

 

With all of this incredible wildlife to spot this autumn, it would be a shame to miss out. Make sure you book your Autumn stay with us to go on an autumn wildlife watch of your own. Take a look at our News page on our website and Facebook page for more ideas on what to do for your autumn holiday at Atlantic View. 

summer staycation

This past year has been difficult for everyone; going in and out of lockdown has left many people in a state of stress. We know everyone deserves a break this year to relax and unwind and Pembrokeshire is the perfect place for your summer staycation. There are so many amazing things to see and explore and plenty of places to rest, too! Whether you are an adrenaline junkie, a foodie, or nature lover, we can guarantee there is something for everyone!

Get back into nature.

Atlantic View holiday cottages are in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which is the only Coastal National Park in the UK. There is an abundance of stunning scenery and plenty of magical places to visit. Getting back into nature on your summer staycation has never been so beautiful or so easy. Head to one of Pembrokeshire’s 39 award-winning beaches for a day in the sun, but don’t forget the sunscreen or the picnic! Not your kind of thing? Take a walk on any of the 186-mile long Pembrokeshire Coast Path to explore the rugged coastline and view the deep turquoise oceans like never before. It doesn’t matter whether the sky is blue and the sun is out or whether the sky is grey and gloomy, it’s always picturesque. 

Taste all of the wonderful food.

Pembrokeshire offers an abundance of freshly made, delicious food, so you better bring some big appetites with you on your summer staycation. Whether you are a fish lover or prefer something sweeter there’s plenty to choose from. Take a trip over to Pointz Castle for some mouth-watering ice cream made on the farm with views over St Bride’s Bay. Visit Café Môr for a delightfully delicious lobster roll and explore the popular beach at Freshwater West with full bellies!

There are also plenty of amazing restaurants with delightful menus dotted around the county offering something everyone will fancy. The Haven Brasserie has a selection of small bites and snacks and big meals to fill you up after a long day of exploring. It’s only ten minutes from Atlantic View holiday cottages too!

Take to the sea.

With so many things to see and do on your summer staycation, you have to make sure you take to the sea. Why not go on a relaxing boat ride to Ramsey Island to take a better look at this fascinating isle just off the coast of St Davids Head? You can even spot a seal or a puffin, too! Not quite your speed? If you are more interested in thrill-seeking, you can have a go at the current hype in watersports, coasteering. What better way to explore the Pembrokeshire coastline? 

There are also plenty of fabulous sandy beaches right on your doorstep (literally – Broad Haven beach is 300 metres away!) at Atlantic View cottages that you can visit for a day out. You can even hire a surfboard or bodyboard from our friends at Haven Sports so you can enjoy the ocean without going too far out! 

Watch the Wildlife.

Our holiday cottages are surrounded by wildlife. There are so many different animals you can see in so many different places. Take to the coast path to watch the seabirds in their natural habitat. Maybe you’ll even spot a seal or two. 

Want to spot a dolphin? Head over to Mwnt, just north of Pembrokeshire in Cardigan Bay for a day full of adventure, as it’s one of the best places to spot dolphins in Pembrokeshire. The best time to spot dolphins is between May and September. For another wildlife-packed day out, visit the Welsh Wildlife Centre. The centre is home to a wide range of wildlife, including their famous water buffalo, and is all ready to explore on your summer staycation. 

Want more information? Read through the rest of our blogs and keep your eyes peeled for new ones, so that you can find more things to do on your Pembrokeshire summer staycation! 

lifeboat station

Here in Pembrokeshire, the only coastal National Park in the UK, we welcome millions of water-loving tourists to our infamous shores every year.  With glorious clifftop cottages, stunning sandy beaches, islands full of rare wildlife on each horizon, and the Irish sea pushing substantial waves towards crowds of eager surfers, you can see why this is such a popular spot for those who love watersports.  Whether you’re bringing your dog to explore some of the 186 miles of coastal path that stretches the length of the county or the kids just want to take the bucket, spade, and some sandwiches and explore the rock pools at your favourite sandy cove, the sea is the biggest draw for our guests at Atlantic View.

But if you’ve been following BBC2’s popular program ‘Saving Lives at Sea’, you’ll know that time spent on the coast means being at the mercy of Mother Nature.  Thankfully, The Royal National Lifeboat Institute has many thousands of lifeboat stations dotted across the UK’s cliffsides, including at Little Haven.

Covering the twin beaches of Little Haven and Broad Haven, this vital lifeboat station started life in a small, sheltered building near the waterway in 1882, just 52 years after Sir William Hillary founded the RNLI in 1824.   Despite a bigger lifeboat station being built in 1903, and a slipway installed on the beach nearby, it was hard to find crew members in such small communities, and the station closed in 1921.

But as watersports grew more popular and tourism began becoming an economic institution in Pembrokeshire, the lifeboat station at Little Haven was reopened in 1967 and named the Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat Station.  It was in this year that the inshore D Class Lifeboat, still a model used by the existing RNLI station, was introduced to Little Haven.  Don’t worry, it’s not a 50+-year-old boat – the Jack & Edith May, a new D Class d-766 lifeboat was installed at Little and Broad Haven lifeboat station in 2014.

lifeboat station

Here in Pembrokeshire, we feel extremely lucky to have the RNLI close by so that we can keep our guests safe and allow us all to enjoy the majesty of the sea.  But our vulnerability to the power of the water and nature itself should not be taken lightly. Our local lifeboat station crew have been presented with four awards for gallantry in recent years, and we should repay those who volunteer to brave dangerous situations to save our lives by showing respect to them and the sea.  As the largest maritime charity in the UK, it is still incredulous that this invaluable service still runs solely on charitable donations.  As well as rescuing on average 23 people per year, the RNLI also provides flood rescue services as well as training and providing equipment to our shoreline’s lifeguards.

We urge visitors to Atlantic View to participate in the plethora of watersports available right on the doorstep, including our very own invention, coasteering.  But we ask that you do so carefully, responsibly, and respectfully.

Here are a few links that can help you to stay safe on the water: