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?
CoasteeringWhy 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.
Barafundle beachAfter 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 BridesA 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.
Dolphin SpottingIf 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 beachNolton 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 Cathedral1500 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.
Pembroke CastleIdyllically 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’sLong 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.