See Pembrokeshire’s best kept secrets in ONE DAY (FOR FREE!)
Here’s the ultimate guide of how to see 10 of Pembrokeshire’s most interesting places between sunrise and sunset.
1. Penally Headland Sunrise.
Trying to get a coastal view of a sunrise to the East can be a difficult task in the western-facing peninsula of Pembrokeshire, but one perfect place to start this trip would be catching some of that golden light at Penally Headland.
After parking (for free) in Penally train station it’s just a short wander up the coastal path alongside the shooting range. When you reach the cliff top you’ll see the sun rise from over worms head and the Gower. (Don’t forget your warm socks!)
You’ll get to see the sun pop up over land and immediately ignite the ocean with its deep haze. There’re plenty of spots to sit and enjoy its stages from twilight to fully risen… or if you want to keep moving, you could always explore the former training trenches scattered over the fields to the West!
Once You’ve spent some time being handsomely rewarding yourself for waking up before the birds did, you’ll want to head back down the track to the car and set off for spot number 2!
2. St Govan’s Cliff Chapel.
A short drive along very quiet coastal roads will lead you to a large (and again free) car park just above the picturesque chapel in the cliffs.
To get into the chapel you’ll want to find the steps down to the open doorway. (make sure to count the steps)
St Govan’s Chapel is one of history and mystery, with local tales being told involving King Arthur, Pirates and St Govan’s own golden bell! What-ever is said about St Govan’s Chapel, one fact is definitely true… There is a golden bell hidden inside one of the boulders below (you can check for yourself).
After climbing back up the stairs and recounting them to discover a different number to the one you first counted (seriously it’s always different… part of the magic) you’ll have a few choices.
Choice 1 – Discover some abandoned military vehicles! To the West (see adventure map for specific instructions)
Choice 2 – Walk along one of Pembrokeshire’s most fantastic cliff lines! (To the East)
Choice 3 – Get on with your tour! Proceed to point 3.
3. Green Bridge of Wales.
Pembrokeshire’s best natural wonder the Green Bridge is often overlooked by tourists and some locals for being out of the way, but this gorgeous arch is a must-see for everybody, especially if you’ve ended up 2 miles down the road at St Govan’s!
Driving past Castlemartin army base and taking a left turn will put you in the carpark just a hundred yards from the cliff edge and viewing point where you can see the fantastic bridge.
Weathering every year, soon enough this giant archway will collapse to become one of the stacks that surround it. In the spring these stacks are completely covered with flocks of birds nesting and raising their young on fish, which creates quite the spectacle… But it has to be said that any time of year this is an amazing place to witness.
4. Cresswell Quay Stepping Stones
This next spot will take you further through Pembrokeshire along the Cleddau river, to where at low tide you can get a glimpse of and try out the stepping stones for yourself. Which will lead you along the river bed to the ruins and woodland beyond.
Further up along the river there are the ruins of a 13th Century castle and some other buildings which are fun to explore.
This is a great place to spend a little bit of time wandering through the woods or just playing some hopscotch before you make your way on to point number 5.
This 13th century Castle is among one of the nicest ruins to look around in the county. Its well preserved tall walls, floors and structures can be seen from inside by the modern additions of stairs and walkways.
The courtyard offers panoramic views of the ruin including the very prominent front arch way.
If you’ve skimmed the other spots, you may want to stop for some breakfast or a cuppa before coming here – As this ruin is gated you won’t want to turn up before they open.
6. Fynnone Falls and Preseli Mountains
Pembrokeshire’s best waterfall which hides many other secret flurries beyond its pools can be found after a drive through the spectacular Preseli Mountains. (see map for specific location)
You stop in a gravel car park just outside Boncath and follow the path along a river consisting of several small man-made reservoirs until you start to head up hill, past the cockerels and down into the depths of the wood – where you’ll hear the gushing falls.
At these falls you can traverse the stable and ever changing ‘bridge’ system which crosses over the river or simply wade through. Once you’re on the other side I’d suggest taking some extra time to explore beyond, where you’ll get to see the truly magical smaller falls which are hidden above the main cascade.
7. Rosebush Crystal Lake
This former slate mining village hides another of Pembrokeshire’s best features – a crystal clear lake concealed amongst slate pile hills.
Following the bumpy track to the base of the quarry, you will find a set of ruins where you can park and follow the road on foot before turning right up the track in the slate piles. Soon enough you’ll turn a corner and be amazed by the colour contrast between the perfectly blue lake and the grey slate which surrounds it.
During winter you will find this lake frozen with icicles surrounding the water’s edge, but in the summer it is a particularly vibrant and wonderful spot.
After you’ve looked around the lake you can always head on to explore the other mine shafts in the quarries behind which are fun to look around.
8. St David’s Cathedral
At the heart of the smallest city in the UK, a quaint but spectacular cathedral can be found. With astonishing architecture, an incredible bell tower and staggering Bishop’s Palace along side, St David’s Cathedral is an amazing place to spend hours exploring.
Housing 10 bells (one of which weighs more than a ton!!) the Cathedral’s campanology is extremely impressive and so is the interior.
While there is nothing secret about this place, tens of thousands of locals have never even been to St David’s let alone stepped foot inside the cathedral. But I cannot suggest it enough!
9. Blue Lagoon
Our second to last stop is to the Blue Lagoon (the real, natural one). A very large slate quarry whose outer wall gave way filling its depths with sea water.
A popular spot for coasteerers, this tidal body of water is impressive whether you’re there to jump in or just look around.
I know this was only mean to be 10 points but while you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon it would be a great shame to miss this small fishing village with its incredible harbour-side mining structures.
As well as this spot’s amazing beauty it’s a nice chance to stop and grab some traditional fish and chips before heading to the finale.
10! Strumblehead Lighthouse
The best sunset in Pembrokeshire can be seen from this fantastic lighthouse. Set on its own little island only accessible by a bridge you will often see wild horses grazing as the sun hits the horizon.
Whatever the occasion is (even if there isn’t one) this is the place to be before twilight. Whether you’re tired after a long day of exploring and want to sit in the car and polish off your chips, or head out and wander along the coastal path to see the horses, you’ll get the best view of the golden hour from this location.
I had the super difficult task of narrowing down Pembrokeshire’s vast list of beautiful spots into one post, but perhaps soon I’ll do a top 50 things to do in a week.
To plan your own ultimate adventure using my adventure map click through to: THE MAP
Hope you enjoyed!
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