Day 1 - Up close to the coast
Morning: Coasteering at Ceibwr
Coasteering was invented in Pembrokeshire, and our favourite home-grown watersport has spread all around the Welsh coast. No family holiday is complete without a shared adventure (minimum age is usually eight): a blend of shore-scrambling, swell-riding, nature-watching and, if you’re brave, cliff-jumping. Adventure Beyond set out from various locations including Ceibwr, a tiny cove, beloved of smugglers, in the wildest and least-visited stretch of Pembrokeshire National Park coastline. As a bonus, a huge collapsed sea cave, the Witches' Cauldron, is a short walk down the coast.
Afternoon: Walking the Coast Path
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path was ranked by National Geographic as one of the world’s best distance walks, but its 186 miles (300km) is easily broken up into manageable chunks. The stretch between Abereiddi and Porthgain is a good example: at one end there’s the Blue Lagoon, an old slate quarry that’s been spectacularly swamped by the sea; at the other is a pretty harbour with a truly epic fish and chip restaurant. In the middle, steep steps lead down to the gorgeous cliff-backed beach at Traeth Llyfn.
Day 2 – Ride the sands and the waves
Morning: Riding on the beach
Riding a horse through the surf is one of those bucket-list experiences, and the vast beach at Druidston Haven is pretty much the perfect place to tick it off. Nolton Stables run trips down at low tide to suit all abilities. It’s an exhilarating blow in the saddle for advanced riders at low tide – the going is good, so horses are more confident to canter. For beginners the beach-ride is a sensory overload of wide open spaces and fresh salty air.
Afternoon: What’s SUP?
Stand up paddleboarding, that’s what. Newgale is a vast shingle-backed beach at the top of St Brides Bay, where Big Blue run the full array of watersports hire and tuition. You can choose what’s best on the day. If the surf’s up, go surfing. If it’s not, give SUP a go. And if the water’s flat but the wind’s blowing, try kite surfing. They also run beginner SUP classes in the calmer inland waters, which is a lovely way to explore the meandering nooks of the rivers.
Day 3 - A day at sea
Morning: Around Skomer Island
Skomer and Skokholm islands lie just off the southern tip of St Brides Bay, and together make up one of the world’s most important sites for sea birds. You can see a lot of the action from a walk around the Deer Park on the headland, and also glimpse a third island, Grassholm, gleaming on the horizon (the white ‘gleam’ is actually gannet poo). But to get close to the action, a boat trip from Martin’s Haven is the way to go. It’s most popular during the puffin season (May to July) but there are also seals, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks to spot.
Afternoon: Fishing in Tenby
Fishermen who come for premier-league sea-fishing trips from Milford Haven and Pembroke dismiss mackerel as kids’ stuff. Exactly. While a crab line in the pretty harbour is fine, there’s more family fun to be had on a fishing trip in Tenby – you don’t need to book nor have any skill with a rod. Fishermen sail daily in summer and provide lines to dangle in the calm bay off Caldey Island. So, there’s no gear to buy nor messy bait to hook (mackerel fishing is with a lure), just an odds-on chance of a line twitching with silver-blue fish. If you’re game there might also be barbecued fish for lunch. Yum.