As a Dane, coming from a pancake-flat country here we were self catering in one of the great independent hostels of Pembrokeshire. Our first meeting with the Pembrokeshire coastline was truly impressive, the tide of the Irish Sea, rises against fifty shades of sharp slate. Hundreds of fluffy white sheep act as natural lawnmowers on a cover of lush green. The sheer wildness of this rugged coast is jaw-droppingly beautiful and I will never forget my first short walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
This stunning part of the Wales Coast Path was one of the main reasons behind our decision to visit West Wales. My girlfriend and I came here from a busy life style in Madrid, in search of fresh air and freedom. We found both while staying in an Independent Hostel, a creative and comfortable walker’s nest, set in a historic building in Trefin. This small village is very conveniently located between the ferry port of Fishguard and Britain’s smallest city, St. David’s.
Trefin proved to be the perfect base for us while experiencing Pembrokeshire. From our hostel we could take ten minute strolls to the local bay, or go on to explore the nearby villages of Abercastle and Porthgain. Porthgain quickly became our favourite walking destination, for its pub and its small galleries. Further south we found the ‘secret’ beach of Traeth Llyfn and the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy. From there we could regularly witness brave men and women, challenging the rough landscapes on coasteering expeditions.
Though the area was quite remote, regular bus services made it possible to cover longer distances – by taking the bus out in the morning and walking back on the coastal path. This gave us the opportunity to stay longer in the hostel, and getting to socialize more with the other guests. We met many friendly and open-minded walkers here, from as far away as New Zealand and Australia. People were always happy to share life stories and travel tips.
With the bus we could easily reach Fishguard where we found enticing galleries of local crafts and paintings, as well as a couple of high quality cafés. St. David’s became our favourite though. We completely fell in love with the sight of St. David’s Cathedral – nestled between the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace and the streets of Britain’s smallest city. From St David’s you can book a wide range of sea safaris to nearby islands, in search for seals, dolphins and the colourful puffin, the pride of Pembrokeshire.
If you love wildlife and prefer to experience animals in their own habitats you’ll love this place. We were lucky enough to be around for the seal breeding season (which runs from September to November), and even in our local bay, we could see the snow white seal pups, basking on the beach on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the attentive moms were hunting and keeping an eye on their babies. What a treat it is to see a wild seal feed her cub.
We were both inexperienced walkers when we arrived in Pembrokeshire, but we quickly became addicted to walking the coast path. Our boots will be eager to return and we’ll never forget the memories we made here.
Look here for details of hostels and bunkhouses in Pembrokeshire.