Monday, 28 March 2016

A little trip to Pembrokeshire // Wales

I recently took a little holiday over to Pembrokeshire in South Wales with my family. Being in Gloucestershire, we live fairly close to the Welsh border so it's quite easy to take a trip into Wales from time to time. My Grandparents grew up in Wales (making me quarter Welsh!) so it's a place I hold quite dearly in my heart. It's also such a fantastic place for beautifully scenic walks, especially along the coast.

We stayed in a small barn conversion cottage, set within a tranquil little valley in Pembroke. It was very much 'off the beaten track' so phone signal was just not happening, and the wifi was fairly non-existent! I really could have moved in and lived there though (apart from perhaps the lack of wifi!), it was such a cosy and stylish little place and the views of the valley, even in March, were so idyllic. I was only staying for three days, but managed to fit in a fair amount of walks and trips to some beautiful places! 

St. Govan's Bay
Inside St. Govan's Chapel
On the first day we visited St. Govan's chapel, nestled between the cliffs of a small rocky bay which also happens to be owned by the MOD. The bay is partly included within a military firing range, which I must admit, is slightly un-nerving when you hear the sound of explosions echoing in the distance!

Next, we drove along the coast to Stackpole and the famous Bosherston Lily Ponds, although the lilies were unfortunately not blooming as March is far too cold for them! A beautiful little stream trickles out from the ponds and winds its way down to the ocean on Broad Haven beach. Here Leo & Lola played in the sand and sea to their hearts content and I did a little beach combing!

Lola & Leo (look at his face!) taking a breather on Broad Haven beach

Wish I had bought this! It had such quaint little descriptions 

Soo many amazing vintage coats
On the second day we drove to the lovely little town of Narberth and explored a few of the boutiques and flower shops, we found one particularly amazing antique shop which we could have spent the day in! It was filled with corridors and hidden rooms of trinkets and objects from Welsh history, and I think the shop was actually, formerly an old quirky townhouse.

After lunch at a little cafe, we drove North-West to the tiny village of Abereiddy, and walked up to the Blue Lagoon, which a friend had recommended seeing. The lagoon was formed when a disused slate quarry was opened up to the sea and water flooded in to create this magically blue pool.

The Blue Lagoon just casually living up to its name

The bay adjoining the Blue Lagoon is particularly well known in the geology/paleontology world as it is apparently the perfect place to find a type of fossil called Graptolites. Naturally, we found one within about 5 minutes of being on the beach! It's just so incredible to think that these tiny animals are over 300 million years old.

Graptolite fossils in two slate halves
This was lit every night in the cottage without fail!
On the final day we walked over the headland from Stackpole Quay to Barafundle bay. It was one of the most blustery walks I think I've ever been on (Leo was not amused). But the view across the bay was worth it, even on a grey day, the sand glowed and the water was a deep turquoise blue. My Grandparents used to spend a lot of time here :)

We then moved along the coast for one final walk along Freshwater West (where Dobby is buried!) I spent a bit of time roaming around the rock pools and collected a few dog whelk shells in the pouring rain!

An insanely blustery walk over the headland to Barafundle bay (but worth it for this view!)

Found a cute little book on the Fairies of Winter & Spring!

Even without sunshine, the coast can be a very beautiful and inspiring place. It was nice to explore these places without the huge crowds of summer, as long as you don't mind braving the cold, I would definitely recommend visiting out of season! Walking along the shore of a huge sandy bay without a soul in sight is very humbling. Pembrokeshire is such a serene place that seems locked in a permanent state of dreamy seaside days out and enchanting countryside and woodland walks.