Without question Solva must be one of the most charming and attractive coastal villages in Britain. Just east of St Davids head. Solva is a beautiful rocky inlet which floods at high tide providing a sheltered, safe anchorage for yachts and pleasure craft. Not surprisingly, this fine natural harbour has given this village a long seafaring tradition, shipbuilding and maritime trade flourished here until the railway arrived in Pembrokeshire in the middle of the 19th century. In its heyday the busy port had a thriving import and export business, nine warehouses, twelve lime kilns, a direct passenger service to New York and played an important role in the construction of the two remote lighthouses erected at different times on the smalls, a treacherous cluster of jagged rocks lurking 21 miles off Pembrokeshire’s coast. In 1848 a one way fare to New York was £3, for this you were guaranteed a bed but had to take your own food and the voyage could take up to 17 weeks. Today Solva has a selection of charming shops and places to eat. The harbour is home to a handful of commercial fishing vessels of which one is owned and operated by the owner of Felingog, supplying fresh shell fish and fish to the cafe. There are rare occasions were guests can experience a day’s lobster potting (2 max, conditions have to be favourable) but please ask a polite no is the worst you will get.
Solva is an excellent place to join the Pembrokeshire Coastal path, as the cliff scenery on either side of the inlet is magnificent. If you fancy an easy stroll you can walk along the harbour or take the footpath from our doorstep which takes you to the top of the Gribin, a strip of land between two valleys, where you can see the site of an Iron Age settlement and superb views of the village and harbour
Broad Haven is a beautiful sheltered Beach. It offers excellent parking for those visiting the beach or for those using it as a gateway for the areas many fine walks. Approx 6 miles
Little Haven is a small sandy cove with a slipway for small boats. There is a pay and display car park close by and numerous facilities including pubs and other useful shops. Approx 7 miles
Nolton Haven is a beach of sand and shingle with cliffs on either side. A red flag flying warns of danger to swimmers, parking can be found above the beach. Approx 6 miles
Newgale is one of the most popular beaches in Pembrokeshire at low tide there is about six miles of beach, exposed to the Atlantic gales the beach acts as a magnet to surfers, kite surfers and other water sports enthusiasts. During the summer lifeguards designate the areas for swimmers and patrol this excellent beach. There are several car parks as well as a couple of cafes, pub, beach shop and for most of the year ice cream van Approx 3 miles
Whitesands is consistently rated as one of Wales very best seaside resort. A large sandy beach in a stunning setting. The beach is renowned for its views, glorious sunsets and crystal clear water. It is understandably popular with safe swimming and designated areas for surfers and other board users. The beach is patrolled by life guards during the summer months. There are some magnificent walks close by which will give you memorable views of Ramsey Island and the surrounding area. Approx 5miles
Abereiddy is found a few miles up the coast towards Fishguard not the prettiest of beaches as it is covered in black sand, as a result of the waves constantly pounding the slate cliffs on either side. Nearby you will find the Blue Lagoon a flooded slate quarry. For the more adventurous there are some great areas to cliff jump from.
Pembrokeshires premier attractions
Pembrokeshire is fortunate to have many top class attractions which will enhance any holiday whatever the weather. There are top fanily attractions such as Folly farm, Oakwood Theme Park, The Dinosaur park, Heatherton and Manor House Wildlife park now owned by Anna Ryder Richardson. If the weather takes a turn (which it has been known to do) the new Blue Lagoon development at Blustone offers the best wet fun under a dry roof. Below are some links to the more popular attractions.
Pembrokeshires Islands and wildlife
Pembrokeshire certainly has many virtues, one of its main attractions is the outstanding natural beauty of its coastline and surrounding islands. The wildlife to be found in the area is a major reason for the large number of visitors. The islands such as Ramsey, Grassholm, and Skomer are positively teaming with extraordinary wildlife, on land and in the air. There are several boats which can take you on a spectacular journey around these islands. Below are just a few
Voyages of Discovery 0800 854367/01437 721911 www.ramseyisland.co.uk
Thousand Islands Expeditions 01437 721721
Dale Sea Safaris 0800 0284090/01646603109
Arts and Crafts
Pembrokeshire is well known for its wealth of creative talent with an array of arts and crafts as diverse as the landscape. So whether its candle making, wood turning, paintings, photography or pottery your after you will find it all here. The following is a brief guide to just some of the many attractions to be found across the country.
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery established in 1878, this award winning museum has two galleries with regular changing exhibitions.www.tenbymuseum.org.uk
White Lion Street Tenby Paintings and original prints together with some sculpture and ceramics by some of the best Welsh and British artists in a uniquely relaxed and welcoming environment. www.artmatters.org
The Old Smithy Welsh Crafts and gifts including Welsh Royal Crystal, Pembertons Chocolates, Caldey island products. Silver Scenes and Celtiv Jewellery. 01437 710628
Hilton Court Gardens www.hiltongardensandcrafts.co.uk
Window On Wales- Window On Wales has two branches, in Solva and St Davids, both being housed in traditional stone buildings, which are filled with wide ranges of clothes and gifts deliberately chosen to be unlike the high street. 01437720659
Solva Pottery 01437 720516
Raul Speek Gallery www.raulspeek.co.uk 01437 721907
The best known footpath is the Pembrokeshire Coast path, which winds its way around the magnificent bays and spectacular headlands. The 186 mile, 299km trek is a strenuous undertaking if you want to complete the route from start to finish.
Thanks to the introduction of the Puffin Shuttle between St Davids and Milford Haven some excellent stretches of the coast path can now be tackled without the need to do a circular route Use the shuttle to travel to your furthest destination and walk back to where you started. So for example The bus could be taken from Solva to Newgale, walk back to Solva and Felingog is 50 yards from the coast path.
For those who are walking large sections of the coast path we can arrange for your bags to be picked up from previous accommodation or delivered to your next stop for a minimum charge.
Some other possible walks:
Strumble Head is a wild and unpopulated stretch of the path with some spectacular cliffs. Start at the car park at Garn Fawr 2 miles south of Strumble Head and follow winding country lanes all the way to Strumble lighthouse. Continue along the coast path to the Youth Hostel at Pwll deri and return to the car park via the hill top where you get magnificent views of of the Pen Caer peninsular youve just walked around 5 miles. Catch the Strumble Shuttle the walkers bus.
Either start at Abereiddy or at Porthgain, a safe haven harbour with a good pub (the Sloop) Theres plenty of interest on th way including old stone quarries, the Blue Lagoon, a flooded slate quarry and the secret beach of Traeth Llyfn. Returning to your your starting point via Barry island Farm Total distance 4 miles
St Davids Penisular start behind the Cathedral and follow the lanes north along the valley. When you reach Treleddyd Fawr continue across country until you reach the coast path which you can then follow all the way around the peninsular to Caerfai before returning to St Davids. This route covers 15 miles
Tenby Golf Club hosts the oldest golf club in Wales, where the Burrows offer a superb 18 hole links course. This is a truly fantastic golf course which is very testing. 01834 842978
Trefloyne Golf Course is a family owned course located in the small village of Penally just outside Tenby. Trefloyne offers guests an 18 hole challenging Parkland course set in mixed woodland. I haven’t played it so can’t comment www.trefloyne.com
St Davids City Golf Club established in 1902, one of the oldest clubs in Wales. A nine hole course with fantastic views, great greens not particular challenging. 01437721751
Milford Haven a superb 18 hole par 71 meadowland course with panoramic views of the haven 01646697762
Preskilly Forest Golf Club nine hole course set in mature parkland 01348840276 others preferred
Newport Golf club recently converted to an 18 hole course with magnificent views of Newport Bay 01239 820244 www.newportlinks.co.uk
Haverforwest Golf Club 18 hole parkland course good test of golf, good pro shop and warm welcome my home course. 01437763565
If you are prepared to travel Ashburnum which is situated 25 minutes from Carmarthen is a real test of golf and in my view along with Tenby the two best courses around.