Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Camping in St Davids, Pembrokeshire

I'm going to overwhelm you with beautiful photographs of our camping trip to St Davids in Pembrokeshire (SW Wales), while telling you the best and worst of our holiday. I hope you've got a cuppa handy and have given the kids a big box of Lego! Yes? Right, then let's get started...

Firstly, it goes without saying, it was just stunningly beautiful. Rugged yet not barren, imbued with all the jewel colours you could imagine. That sapphire sky! Those emerald cliffs! And the sea, oh the turquoise of the sea.

Pembrokeshire is also full of pretty, ice-cream coloured towns and villages. There are the tacky bits, but most of it is the sort of place that makes you wonder about moving there. Look, I even dressed nautically for the occasion (let's pretend it was happy happenstance instead of my usual embarrassing need to theme everything).

We had a beautiful day out in Tenby. The beach, well just look, are words needed? I highly recommend the little walk around the headland that the tourist office there suggests. You get to see the most amazing lifeboat you'll probably ever see.

It's got all the little nooks and crannies you'd hope for, whether those in the town or down on the seashore. I'm not sure how to say this without sounding like a snotty southerner, but Pembrokeshire will appeal to you if you like Cornwall!

Another highlight, during the second half of our week, was the most beautiful coastal walk along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. It really was my most favourite part of the holiday. The Little One and I caught crickets, we all watched in awe as coasteering teenagers appeared through gaps in the cliffs, we ate ice creams at the beautiful harbour of Porth Clais, and marvelled at every new view as the path twisted and turned.

It was worth the holiday alone. And that's saying something, because on our second night at the campsite half the tents were irreparably damaged by a huge storm, and ours was broken too. We were lucky to find somewhere to fix our broken tent poles. Being huddled in a tent with screaming winds around you, frightened children clinging to you and your husband and mother outside wrestling guy ropes while being battered by the elements does not appear in the dictionary's definition of 'holiday'. When the second storm hit 48 hours later, we weren't going to take any chances so we packed up our entire tent and luggage, drove to the nearest Travelodge for the night, and then came back the next day to set everything back up again. This does not appear in the dictionary under 'relaxing' either.

But just look at those views! It was almost as though the coast was apologising to us. And, battered though we were, we crumbled under the pressure of such beauty and forgave it.

The second half of our holiday also included a trip to the surfer's Whitesands beach for paddling, wave jumping, sandcastle building, and, of course, wind breaking.

Some geometric castles were built! For this one my husband was the put-upon assistant. I helped with the square and circular variants but I think his was best (don't tell him I said that).

Some beaches were sat on and, dare I say it, slept on. Some fields were flown on by kites and chasing boys. The wind did have some uses after all. And the football! Oh a lot of that was played too. I'm sure our neighbours on the campsite remember the odd ball hitting their tents (why do boys always forget to keep it in the middle of the field!?)

Possibly the most beautiful yet missed part of our visit was St Davids Cathedral. We briefly saw it (just look at those cloisters!) when searching for somewhere to eat lunch between rain showers (it has an impressive refectory) but because the weather truncated our holiday sightseeing, we missed out on a proper visit. I'm sure this was fate's way of getting us to go back to St Davids again.

We stopped off, near the end, at Pembroke Castle which has to be one of the best I've ever visited (and I've visited a lot). It was stunning. Truly stunning. Even under grey skies and with the highest sections shut due to the wind speed. Our boys relished the chance to be knights and kept in character all the way around our exploration of battlements and rooms.

They even have a giant map of Wales and giant chess knights to play with! I don't know exactly what they were in those boys' eyes but they played very earnestly with them for a good twenty minutes!

Go. I suppose that's the two letter word that sums this all up. Just look at those skies below! Just look at the sun on the calm sea. Even with all the hell thrown at us in the first four days, we came home slightly in love with the place. Though if we book to go again (and we stayed at St Davids' Caerfai Farm campsite, which was organic and a little basic in places but just what we were looking for and exactly what we'd recommend) we'll change our minds at the last minute if storms are forecast. We're fair weather campers from now on!



The Twinkle Diaries

13 comments:

  1. Wow, lovely post and photos of the wonderful Welsh coast. I've never visited that part of Wales but always hear that its a stunning place and hope that we get to go there one day! You were unlucky to have two bad storms whilst there - great idea to stay elsewhere. #twinklytuesday

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    1. Thanks Julie, that's very sweet of you! I think we'll have to go back once the memory of those storms has properly faded!

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  2. I'm so glad you finally wrote your Pembrokeshire post Katie! Love your photos! It certainly sounds like you were battered by the elements - I always find the wind very harsh down there, but I still love it - it's so invigorating. We always stay in a cottage though - I don't think I could cope with a tent! As you've probably guessed from my blog we're big fans of Pembrokeshire too. We like to stick to the north now, which is quieter than the south - we stay near Pwl Derri, which is about half an hour's drive from St Davids. You must go back and visit the Bishops' Palace there - your boys would love it. If you go back again I'd also recommend the walk from Porthgain to Abereiddy (which I keep meaning to blog about). We don't usually venture much into the south as it's so much busier than the north, but we did go to Tenby last time to meet some friends who were staying there - the beach was amazing! I love your sea side look - I usually theme my look too when I'm there and I'm sure I scream 'English southerner' from a mile off. We always want to move there too - but lack of jobs and the general remoteness of it all puts us off. Sorry for the rambling comment - I love it there so much too xx

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    1. Thanks for the great suggestions Lizzie. I'd love to explore the north. From a cottage not a tent, obviously!

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  3. Wow! Stunning photos, but so sorry to hear about the storms. I would have headed to the nearest Travelodge too! I've done the coastal path and it is incredible x #twinklytuesday

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  4. Ah we had a wonderful holiday in Pembrokeshire too, must have been a different week to you though and we rented a cottage rather than camping! If you do go again I'd recommend a boat trip to one of the islands, we went to Skomer and had a wonderful day (it's costly for a family of 5 but worth it) spotting seal pups.

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    1. Oh my boys would have loved a boat trip! Thanks Mary, that's going on the 'one day when we go back' list! xx

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  5. We just got back from Pembrokeshire where we stayed in a static caravan and that had a couple of breezy nights shall we say so hats off to you in a tent - one to laugh at in a few years eh? ;)

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    1. Hello Sam, nice to meet you! Yes, I'm definitely planning on laughing about it one day once the horror of that we're-going-to-be-blown-away feeling has left me!!! x

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  6. What a beautiful place. I've heard that Pembrokeshire is definitely a place to visit and I want to visit even more, after reading your post. Kudos for camping, and staying through a storm ... how brave! Fair weather campers sounds good to me. :-) #CommentLuv

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  7. Brave or foolish?! But yes, bring on the fair weather camping! Thanks for your comment. x

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  8. Lovely photos! Hope your tent is all fixed now after the storms! We head down that way quite a few times a year and we all love it! Always find something new xx

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