Pembrokeshire county is full of gorgeous small towns with rich, unique history. It’s also home to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which is Britain’s only coastal national park. I spent a week exploring this area of Wales at the end of March this year and fell in love with many of the stops along the coastline.
All of these places — with the exception of Skomer Island — can be reached by either hiking the coastal path, by car, or by public transportation. The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was recently voted the second best walk in the world and it’s definitely worth adding to your bucket list. Whether you are hiking or driving, make sure not to miss these eight stops along the Pembrokeshire coast.
8 Places to Visit in Wales
St. Davids is the smallest city in the UK, but it’s more like a small village. Besides the cathedral — with is definitely worth a visit — I highly recommend taking a drive (or walk) out to the Chapel of St. Non where you will also find St. Non’s well. This spot marks the birthplace of St. David and near the ruined chapel sits a gorgeous modern chapel and retreat. This rugged part of the coastal path is also worth a stroll.
While in St. Davids, I recommend booking a dinner reservation at St Davids award-winning restaurant, Cwtch. I stayed just a short walk from the St Davids Cathedral at Penrhiw Hotel — a lovely 19th-century mansion turned boutique hotel. This 7-room hotel is decorated with tasteful modern art and the staff really goes above and beyond for their guests.
I searched for photos of Wales before my visit and multiple images of the Blue Lagoon kept popping up in my search. Despite its name, this lagoon always has a deep green hue, which is caused by slate in the quarry. In the summertime, you’ll find kayakers and swimmers — and even cliff divers — enjoying the lagoon. You can continue on the coastal path here and following it north will take you to Porthgain — about a forty-minute walk.
Porthgain was once a small commercial harbor used for exporting stone from the nearby quarry, but is now a popular spot for tourists and locals. If you don’t have a car, you can reach Porthgain by taking the Strumble Shuttle coastal bus service. Porthgain has a couple of restaurants, art galleries, and it’s a great spot for launching kayaks.
Tenby is a gorgeous medieval city, which has been named the “People’s Favorite Place” in Wales. Even for a popular tourist destination, I didn’t find Tenby to be overcrowded, however, I didn’t visit in summer. Tenby overlooks two islands, the closest of which is St. Catherine’s. This island can be reached by foot at low tide. The harbor, North Beach and South Beach are all worth a visit.
Skomer Island is a photographer’s paradise and one of the few places in the world where you can get up close to Puffins. During certain times of the year, you can even stay overnight on the island. It’s a great getaway for those looking for some peace and quiet.
St. Govan’s Chapel
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love this place as much as I did. I visited on a windy day in March and I was the only one around for miles. This thirteenth-century chapel was built into the side of a limestone cliff.
I tried to imagine what it must have felt like for Saint Govan to live in a cave where the chapel now sits. As an introvert, I’m intrigued by hermits and wonder if that could have been me in a past life.
Saundersfoot, oh how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Colorful buildings, long stretches of sand, harbor boats, Mermaid on the Strand, St. Brides Spa Hotel, and Glen Beach come to mind when I think of this adorable seaside town. I stayed at St. Brides for three nights with a view overlooking the town and I didn’t want to leave.
I first viewed Solva from the air on my helicopter ride with Fly Heli Wales and it definitely caught my attention. Lime kilns from the medieval period are preserved in the harbor area and can be seen if you look closely toward the upper left of this photo. This harbor village is a great spot to spend the day hiking, shopping, or tasting fresh seafood.