Seashore foraging picnics at some of the most stunning beaches in Wales, celebrity chefs demos, and learning to fish – just a few of the events which make Pembrokeshire Fish Week one of the most popular festivals in the country.
Voted number one in VisitBritain.com’s top 10 food festivals, Pembrokeshire Fish Week is devoted to celebrating freshly-landed fish and shellfish, the spectacular local coastline, and the county’s maritime heritage.
From June 23rd to July 1st, the festival attracts thousands of visitors keen to enjoy some of the 250-plus activities throughout the county – from beach and river walks to snorkel safaris, harbour fun days, and lots more.
And for foodies, there are lots of opportunities to tuck into the freshest seabass, mackerel, crab, or lobster – enjoy seafood extravaganzas, paella suppers, fish tapas nights and many more.
New this year is a celebrity masterclass demonstration featuring some of the British culinary world’s most highly regarded chefs at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven.
Confirmed to date are Bryn Williams, winner of the BBC’s Great British Menu, Alyn Williams, Michelin-acclaimed proprietor of The Westbury in Mayfair, and Anthony Evans, presenter of S4C’s ‘Stwffio’ cookery programme.
The chefs will be fishing and diving for sustainable seafood off the Pembrokeshire coast, and transforming it later that day into inspiring dishes in a masterclass in front of a theatre audience. ‘A fair fish for a fare dish’, the evening will be presented by food writer and broadcaster Simon Wright.
Also new this year is the chance to learn about Indian fish cookery from acclaimed Kerala-born cookery star Anand George, founder of Cardiff’s New Purple Poppadom.
Anand will be holding two Indian fish curry masterclasses, and presenting an Indian fish cookery demonstration at Pembrokeshire Fish Week’s opening day at Milford Haven Marina.
Young chefs can also enjoy learning to cook with fish in new cookery demos this year at Folly Farm adventure park with ‘Ant and Al’. S4C presenters Anthony Evans and Alun Williams will be dishing up family-friendly recipes and plenty of fishy fun.
Pembrokeshire Fish Week opens with a great day for families and food-lovers at Milford Haven Marina on Saturday, June 23rd, with lots of activities, demonstrations, food, craft and produce stalls, drop-in music and art workshops and live entertainment. The day will feature a new pop up restaurant featuring a selection of top local restaurants, and a live music stage.
For the first time, guided tours will be available aboard the heritage tug ‘Brocklebank’ from Merseyside. The tug escorted the Royal Yacht Britannia into the Mersey and pushed and pulled countless liners, warships freighters and tankers around the docks.
Pembrokeshire Fish Week will close with a new Saundersfoot Harbour ‘Festival of the Sea’ on Sunday, July 1st.
Simon Wright said he was impressed by the ‘sheer breadth of activities’ in Pembrokeshire Fish Week.
“Fish Week is an example of how food festivals can achieve something dynamic that adds richness and character to the culture of an area,” he said. “Above all it highlights the rich harvest available off the Welsh coast.”
The award-winning Pembrokeshire Fish Week, now in its 12th year, is organised by Pembrokeshire County Council.
The 2007 film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is centred on the lives of two terminally ill men. They conceived a list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”, cue lots of sky diving, motor cycle riding and laughing.
Well this film got us thinking – What has Pembrokeshire got that we can recommend are experienced before shuffling off this mortal coil? We limited ourselves to only choosing things that were invented in Pembrokeshire, are unique to Pembrokeshire or have become so synonymous with the county it’s hard to imagine Pembrokeshire without them.
This is our Pembrokeshire Bucket List:
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Britain’s only coastal National Park and Wales’ oldest National Trail, the Pembrokeshire Coast national trail twists and turns its way around 200 miles of truly spectacular coastal scenery, don’t worry we’re not suggesting you walk the whole thing! With excellent summer time bus services and handy placed car parks it’s easy to just walk sections of the path. One of our favourites is the walk from Whitesands car park out to St Davids Head. Can you spot the fossilised submarine?
Why stand on the cliff path looking down when you can get up close and personal with often inaccessible stretches of Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastline.
Often described as extreme rock-pooling, Coasteering involves exploring a stretch of coastline in the zone where sea meets land. Scramble climb along the rocks, investigate the rocky shore, when passable dry routes run out, jump in and adventure swim across channels and bays. The Pembrokeshire coast has some awesome water features, including the “washing machine”, “Jacuzzi” and “toilet bowl”. Jump into a boiling turmoil of rocks and water or gently swirl in a turquoise blue pool. Not forgetting the low level belly flopping and higher cliff jumping.
After all that excitement perhaps something a little more relaxing.Barafundle beach was recently named the most beautiful beach in Britain and ranked in the top 10 beaches in the whole world. “A jewel of a beach, set between limestone cliffs and backed by dunes and woods. This secluded bay can only be reached by a cliff path walk from Stackpole Quay.” say the National Trust.
Snorkelling / diving St Brides
A small cove that benefits from clear water. Set in idyllic surroundings it is very easy to lose track of time here. We have spent many happy hours in the water, exploring the rocky shore. If you time it right you may be treated to a carpet of spider crabs. It has a sandy bottom, with a narrow mouth to the bay, with kelp starting at the mouth of the bay.
If you spend enough time on the coast in Pembrokeshire it’s almost certain you’ll spot one of these beautiful creatures. While surfing at Broad Haven we were treated to a mother and calf leaping from the waves, crossing the entire bay in this fashion. Why not support the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre Dolphin research by booking a “Dolphin Survey Boat Trip”.
Horse Riding on the beach Nolton Stables have a large selection of horses and ponies and take pride in our ability to provide suitable mounts for needs as diverse as a young child, who is experiencing horse riding for the first time, through to those who have owned their own horse – and of course all those in between!
The 1.5 hour rides are our most popular because we can accommodate all abilities. The 1.5 hour beach ride goes to Druidston Haven. This peaceful and majestic natural beach is situated just over a mile from the Stables. Druidston is nationally renowned for its fascinating geological features and ‘Telly Tubby House’ (you will only understand what this means by coming and seeing!) When the tide is right out there can be up to a mile of sand and we are able to ride on it all year round.
St Davids Cathedral
1500 years of prayer and worship has left St Davids Cathedral with a definite atmosphere. In their own words “in this cathedral we strive to keep the faith which Christ and his apostles taught, to be joyful in our expression of gospel messages to the hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims who come to this cathedral”. We recommend the guided tour to learn about how ‘cowboy builders’ are not a modern phenomenon and also remember local legend states that two trips to St Davids is the equivalent of 1 to Rome! Why not couple this visit with a stroll around Britain’s smallest city, St David’s itself.
Idyllically set on the banks of the river estuary, this mighty fortress is largely intact, and its endless passages, tunnels and stairways are great fun to explore, plus there are super exhibitions, which tell the tale of its medieval life. Once the seat of a succession of major barons who played leading roles in shaping Britain’s history, this historic showpiece is the birthplace of Henry Tudor, father to the infamous Henry VIII and grandfather of Elizabeth I.
Spend a day, and picnic in the beautifully kept grounds or from St. Anne’s Bastion, enjoy views along the estuary while partaking of refreshments from the snack bar. Visit the Brass Rubbing Centre and quickly and easily, make an attractive souvenir. Complete your visit with a walk around the medieval town walls and millpond, and from the opposite bank of the river, view the castle in all its splendour, surrounded by this peaceful stretch of water.
A pint at Bessy’s
Long a legend in Pembrokeshire “The Dyffryn Arms” aka “Bessy’s” is best described by the article “pint to pint” in the Daily Telegraph by Belinda Richardson.
This is by no means a complete list. If you know of other Pembrokeshire treasures that we haven’t thought of, please add them in the comments below.
Here’s a list of our top 10 recommended attractions in Pembrokeshire – open out of season.
1. Battlefield Live
Awesome – paintball without the paint (pain).
You have played Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo games and now it is time to live them! Gamers kit up with weapons and sensors firmly attached to caps and guns.
Guns are always loaded ready to respond when you’re ready. There is no need to cart ammo around. As there are no physical projectiles, like a paintball pellet, shots are not affected by the wind, players do not have to wear masks, do not get hurt, and are not weighed down with heavy padding and protective gear. The mission feels for real.
2. Heatherton World of Activities
Brilliant day out – adults and kids will have a wicked time.
Heatherton has both leisure and sport activities on site, with the option of adrenaline, relaxed, Sports and family fun activities for the customer to choose from. The Sports Park is an ‘All Weather Attraction’ with a large proportion of activities under cover, to provide a service both in the summer and winter periods.
3. Tree Tops Trail Adventure
Feel the primal instinct.
Tree Tops Trail will without doubt give you an exciting high wire adventure to remember. With four high ropes adventure courses and two junior adventure courses to test your skills, you will be swinging through the trees on rope bridges and tarzan swings at heights up to 40 feet before returning to earth via the numerous zip lines.
6. Canaston Bowl & Crystal Maze
Ten Pin Bowling, The Crystal Maze, and Game Zone are available to keep you busy. A food counter, licensed bar and lounge area are also available for you to take some time out to relax and refuel before taking on the next activity.
7. Silent World Aquirium & Reptile Collection
Housed in an attractive 19th century chapel of rest in peaceful and unusual surroundings.
Over the years the collection has grown, Silent World is now home to marine life from around the Pembrokeshire coast and many exotic
8. Ritec Valley Quad Bikes
Unlike the vast majority of hire operations in the UK that think they’re the best by running a large fleet of Yamaha 125cc Breezes or Grizzly’s, we believe we can offer you the best quad biking in the UK. Running a fleet of bikes ranging from 50cc to 250cc, no other hire operation in the UK does it like us.
All ages and abilities are catered for and we start at age 6.
9. Sycamore Ranch
Sycamores Ranch is Wales’s only dedicated Western Riding Centre, located in historic Llawhaden village. Book a trail ride, led by an experienced trail leader, to suit your ability. If you can walk, trot and steer unaided, chose an hour’s trail through picturesque woodland. If you’re an experienced rider, book a full day and find out just how stunning Pembrokeshire is from the saddle.
A magnificent 13th century Norman castle, idyllically set on the river estuary, just minutes from the breathtaking beaches of the Pembrokeshire coast. Exciting displays of medieval life, events, see website for details.
Picnic area, snackbar, brass rubbing centre, giftshop.