A guest post by Mr Mini Travellers Mum about her holiday in Pembrokeshire with her daughter and her grandson, Joseph.
We hired a cottage near St David’s. With hindsight we should have chosen a place in central or south Pembrokeshire as most of the things we really enjoyed were in the South.
Our favourite activities were:-
The Iron Age Hill Fort at Castell Henllys between Fishguard and Cardigan. This is a great day out for children of all ages and very good value. A fee of about £14 for all 3 of us included an adventure session as an Iron Age slave for 7 -12 year olds. This lasted 2 hours and the children were in role throughout (eg. “You are a 12 year old? Why are you not married yet?”). They were preparing for a visit by a rich family.
They ground flour, made bread rolls and cooked them on a griddle; made part of a wattle round house and daubed a clay / mud mixture on to make the walls; had their faces painted in woad and learned to use iron age weapons. They learned a lot of history as they were actively busy.
There was a similar activity for under 6s and the adults also got a tour of the 5 round houses and had iron age life explained. Allow at least 3 hours. The activities ran at 11.30 and 2pm.
Walking part of the Pembrokeshire coastal path. We parked in the National Trust activity centre at Stackpole on the south coast and walked ¾ mile through lovely woods and sand dunes to Barafundle Bay – one of the best secluded beaches in Wales. A quicker route to the beach is to park at Stackpole Quay and walk less than ½ mile to the beach. This is a lovely, sheltered bay with golden sand and very safe swimming – without the big breakers that are common on the West coast. Then we walked up the path at the western end of the beach and along the top of the cliffs to Broad Haven South, another lovely, sandy beach. The views were spectacular and the walking very safe as rather than a narrow path near the edge, as is the case on many parts of the Path, there was a broad, grassy hill top all the way along. From Stackpole Quay to Broad Haven is less than 2 miles, but we walked a circular route back to the National Trust Centre – a round trip of about 3 miles. Our 7 year old loved it.
The lovely beaches. We visited five and our favourites were Whitesands Bay near St David’s for the sand and surf. Body boards were on hire for £3.50.;Barafundle as above and Manorbier for its pebbles and fantastic rockpools at low tide. A cliff walk near Marloes led to a lovely beach but it is not very accessible at high tide.
All 7 year old boys love castles. We went to three. Pembroke Castle, where Henry VII was born was huge and good for exploring but there was not a lot to do there. We preferred Carew Castle , North of Manorbier. There was a great treasure hunt organized and searching for the clues led us all round the castle and taught us some of its history. There were children’s activities including playing medieval games (eg Nine Men’s Morris),making tiles and clay pots and calligraphy.
We also enjoyed Picton Castle near Haverfordwest. The highlights here were the adventure playground and climbing wall suitable for children up to about 8 and a great ‘jungle walk’ on planks though undergrowth and trees. There was a maze and lovely formal gardens in which the Granny was happy to sit in peace.
All our activities were out of doors and we found plenty to do without paying extortionate fees for the many theme parks, adventure centres and novelty farms. These would have been a useful refuge if we had had wet weather.