One of the best qualitites of Pembroskeshire is the sheer amount of beautiful countryside and hidden history to explore. Many of the finest sites are seldom busy even in the high season, representing a wonderful chance to get away from the crowds and rediscover some delicious scenery at your own pace. Indeed, for anyone who enjoys heritage attractions and beautifully preserved countryside, Pembrokeshire has more National Trust sites than you can shake a membership card at. Here are a handful of our favourites for great days out in South West Wales:
Colby Woodland Garden (near Amroth, SA67 8PP)
Great for: Family walks, stream dipping
You might hardly guess so from outward appearances, but this pretty, leafy site has a dirty secret as part of the region’s mining history. These days though, as fascinating as the heritage is, this visitor site is equally popular for birds, bees and blooming flowers. Excellent for a gentle walk, a picnic or taking younger outdoor lovers for a taste of summer.
The old toll sign, now displayed at Colby (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Welshbabe)
Besides natural wonders though, it's also worth stopping to explore various remnants and curiosities from past times. Highlights include an old tramway and the "Trompe L'oeil" -an artistic optical illusion found in the walled garden. A tearoom and lively program of outdoor activities and events are another bonus. See the official site for more details here.
Cleddau Woodlands & Estuary (Haverfordwest SA62 5HE)
Great for: Walking, wildlife and bird watching
For those prepared to leave their creature comforts in search of the wilder side of Wales, this site has a uniquely varied mixture of life. Discover ancient oak trees and tidal waters; big skies and craggy little creeks. In spite of invading Normans and later the timber industry taking its own cut from the landscape, these woodlands are still here to enjoy, now a recognised conservation area. Lots to explore here, from lovely estuary views at Lawrenny, to spotting wading birds at West Williamstown.Click here for further details on the area.
The Tudor Merchant’s House (Tenby)
Great for: History buffs and rainy days
Have you ever been curious as to what a typical family house might have been like some five centuries ago? What this Tenby heritage attraction lacks in size, it more than makes up for in fascination. Marvel at the workings of a household of the 1500’s, complete with rare artefacts and authentic costumes. This is about as real as it gets without the use of time travel. Find out more, including opening times and tours, here: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tudor-merchants-house
The Solva Coast (SA62)
Great for: Photography, history walks
The Solva Coast presents a mixture of local culture and idyllic seclusion (Picture Credit: Martyn Harries/ Wickimedia commons)
Breathlessly tranquil and seldom overly busy, this area is well worth a look, not just for some extremely pretty scenery and National trust protected land, but the village itself. Take time out to admire the pretty harbour and local shops, or stop at Solva Woollen Mill, a working piece of history. There’s also a carpark in Solva itself.If you're prepared to walk there are some beautiful little coves and wild beaches too. See the National Trust site for a taste of the Solva area, history and ongoing conservation projects.