Coastal Charms: Pembrokeshire’s Top 10 Hidden GemsComments Off on Coastal Charms: Pembrokeshire’s Top 10 Hidden Gems
Pembrokeshire, a coastal gem in Wales, has earned its place on the world map not just for the charming rainbow houses of Tenby and the majestic St David’s Cathedral, but also for its 186-miles of coastline boasting over 50 pristine, and at times wild, beaches. Recognised by National Geographic magazine as the second-best coastline globally, Pembrokeshire attracts travellers year-round, offering more than just picturesque postcard scenes.
Beyond the well-known attractions lie hidden treasures like rocky headlands, towering sea stacks, monumental cliff archways, and secluded coves, contributing to the extraordinary beauty of Pembrokeshire’s diverse landscapes.
1. St Govan’s Chapel
St Govan’s Chapel, a mysterious place defying logic, tells the tale of a humble monk, St Govan, who found refuge from pirates in a miraculously opened cliff. Remaining in his rocky cell, St Govan survived on fish and water from a sacred well. The chapel, unique to Pembrokeshire, holds a fascinating legend and architectural intrigue.
2. Bosherston Lily Ponds
Just a stone’s throw from St Govan’s, Bosherston Lily Ponds in the Stackpole Estate, associated with King Arthur’s Excalibur, offer a rich habitat for swans and pike. The vibrant colours of waterlilies in summer and the autumn hues reflected in the lakes create a picturesque setting, accompanied by the occasional otter sighting.
3. Barafundle Bay
Barafundle Bay, often described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Pembrokeshire, captivates visitors with its cobalt blue and turquoise waters. Owned by the National Trust, this isolated beach between Broad Haven and Freshwater East offers a tranquil, unspoiled landscape, occasionally revealing the ghostly shipwreck, the Sea King, every decade.
4. Church Doors Cove
Tucked away at Skrinkle Haven, Church Doors Cove boasts a high arched sandstone cave resembling a church doorway. Its remote location, backed by cliffs, provides an unspoiled environment with the sound of waves crashing against rocks, making it a hidden gem for those seeking a serene coastal experience.
5. Carn Ingli
The largest mountain in West Wales, Carn Ingli, features a Neolithic hillfort and a legend that promises angelic encounters to those who sleep on its summit. The hike to the top reveals panoramic views of the Irish Sea, Newport Bay, and the Nevern Valley, offering a glimpse into the area’s prehistoric activity.
6. Elegug Stacks
Elegug Stacks, dramatic limestone cliffs resembling pillars, host a variety of sea birds and rare butterflies. The surrounding unspoiled environment makes it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking the beauty of nature.
7. The Green Bridge of Wales
Adjacent to Elegug Stacks, the Green Bridge of Wales, a natural archway formed by erosion, stands out with its dimensions, earning recognition as one of the UK’s most spectacular arches. Surrounded by a protected area, it offers a glimpse into ancient fossils and pristine landscapes.
8. St Justinian’s Harbour
St Justinian’s Harbour in Porthstinian is a quaint starting point for the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The area, featuring maritime heath, grasslands, and wildflowers, holds historical significance, including the ruined chapel of St Justinian and connections to St Davids.
9. The Witches Cauldron
Known as Pwll Y Wrach in Welsh, The Witches Cauldron is a collapsed cave or crater near Moylegrove. Accessible by hiking or kayaking, it offers a chance to explore intricate tunnels and witness seals and choughs. Legend warns of a sea witch using the cave as her lair.
10. The Blue Lagoon
Abereiddy Beach’s Blue Lagoon, a former slate quarry, showcases vibrant aqua blue water against dark slate cliffs. Remains of the quarry buildings and cottages add historical intrigue, making it an ideal spot for coasteering and cliff climbing.