The 10 best things to do in Pembrokeshire holiday cottages

The 10 best things to do in Pembrokeshire

Laura 21 October 2021

Pembrokeshire is packed full of places to go and visit for a special day out. There are plenty of amazing attractions and must-see places in Pembrokeshire just waiting to be explored, so what are you waiting for? 

Skip to:

To help you with your discovery, we’ve rounded up a top 10 list of what to do and see in Pembrokeshire come rain or shine. We also have a wonderful collection of places to stay while you explore this magical county. 

Pembrokeshire cottages

1. Visit one of the UK’s best beaches

With more award-winning beaches than any other county within the United Kingdom, a trip to one of these beautiful beaches is a must for your visit to Pembrokeshire. 

Tenby Castle Beach

Tenby Castle Beach

This is one of four of Tenby’s award-winning beaches! Postcard-perfect Castle Beach has understandably been crowned the Sunday Times Beach of the Year, beating off competition from 422 other UK beaches.

Castle Beach is a family favourite with great facilities and amazing views of St Catherines Island, and it is within easy reach of the quaint seaside town centre of Tenby, a classic for a seaside family holiday. Picture golden sands, delicious ice creams, friendly locals, fantastic places to eat, and sandcastle fun and games. 

Tenby cottages

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay Beach is so pristine it could easily be mistaken for the Caribbean! 

Frequently popping up on lists of the best beaches in the world, this golden beach has dune-backed sand, crystal clear water and beautiful scenic views. It is an idyllic beach but requires a bit of a walk to get to it (it's worth it, trust us) and has no facilities - so be sure to pack a picnic to enjoy if heading there for the day.

Barafundle is also dog friendly all year round, so your dogs can enjoy the beach as much as you! 



This picturesque expanse of beautiful beach is vast and breathtaking. It is fantastically framed by the imposing headland of Carn Llidi, you can’t miss it. 

It has a reputation for being one of the best surfing beaches in Britain, and is a favourite with dog walkers in the quieter months and swimmers in the warmer months, with plenty of sand for beach games and catching some rays. 

To the northern end of Whitesands, buried beneath the dunes, lies the remains of a 6th-century chapel said to be one of the places that St Patrick may have used to embark on his last voyage to Ireland.

More top beaches in Wales

2. Explore the UK’s only coastal national park

Surrounded by the sea, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is understandably the only coastal national park in the UK and is crammed full of fantastic things to do!

Strubmle Head

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Experience endless miles of spectacular coastline and wonderful wildlife within the amazing Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

You will find curious coves, craggy cliffs, magnificent monuments and dazzling beaches. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a haven for walkers, surfers, kayakers, sailors, and anybody hoping to get away from the hustle and bustle and get back to nature.  

US National Geographic Traveler rated the Pembrokeshire coast as one of the top two coastal destinations in the world! Along with having the most Blue Flag beaches in the whole country, it also has the highest number of Green Coast Awards in Wales!

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a world-renowned, long-distance path that mostly lies within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. 

There are 186 wonderful miles of some of the most magical scenery in the whole world! Be prepared for a mix of terrains with rugged cliffs, sheltered coves, hidden bays, fantastic flowers, wonderful wildlife and of course all those beautiful beaches on this joyous journey.

3. Meet the animals at Folly Farm

Folly Farm is by far one of the most popular attractions in Pembrokeshire.

Folly Farm

Families will love this playground of adventure and adults will love learning all about the roaring lions, rare rhinos, ginormous giraffes and playful penguins. 

The lovingly restored vintage fairground is a must, and kids both big and small will love the go-karts, pirate adventure cove and enchanted wood-themed indoor play area.

4. Visit St Davids, the UK’s smallest city 

St Davids may be the UK's smallest city but you can easily spend a day here browsing the quaint shops and having your fill at some of the amazing places to eat. 

St Davids Cathedral

Set in the heart of St Davids, the magnificent St Davids Cathedral has a long history dating back to the 6th century. Nowhere else in Britain can you find a more ancient cathedral settlement. 

Wander around this special place to discover St David's Shrine, the breathtaking organ, stunning stained glass, ornate ceilings, and much more. Refresh at The Refectory for a scrumptious afternoon tea at the cafe or a delicious three-course meal at the restaurant.

5. Dive in with Coasteering

Jump into the Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy, a flooded slate quarry with beautiful turquoise waters, and try out a splash of coasteering around Pembrokeshire’s spectacular coast with Celtic Quest, TYF, or one of the many other activity companies which offer this not-to-be-missed experience. 


Coasteering is an invigorating and wild way to experience Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline from a unique angle. Combine jumping off cliffs, climbing, swimming, and splashing around in rapids for a truly memorable coastal experience! 

6. Discover the enchanting Preseli Hills

Pembrokeshire is a land of mystery and enchantment and is full of myth and legend. From the supposed site of King Arthur’s grave at the stone circle of Bedd Arthur (Arthur’s Grave) in the Preseli Hills to the birth of St David on a clifftop during a fierce storm, not forgetting the story of St Govan escaping pirates by squeezing into a cleft that opened up in the cliff, you'll find history here in abundance. St Govan’s tiny chapel can be found built into the cliff, and legend has it that the number of steps to the chapel is never the same!

Carn Menyn Preseli Hills

It is believed that Stonehenge’s inner circle of bluestones were first built at Waun Mawn in the Preseli Hills before being taken to Stonehenge. Legend has it that the famous wizard Merlin magically transported the massive Stonehenge stones from Ireland, where giants had assembled them. Carn Menyn is a rocky outcrop found in the Preseli Hills and its dolerite rock is the famous bluestone used to build Stonehenge's inner ring.

Pentre Ifan

Pentre Ifan is a neolithic tomb and its sense of mystery is heightened by its beautiful backdrop. Pentre Ifan neatly frames the Preseli Hills, and the famous Pembrokeshire bluestones were also used in the making of this fascinating burial chamber too.

The magical mountain of Carningli can be found to the north and dominates the landscape around Newport. The old names for the mountain have been translated as “the rocky summit of the angels” and according to 6th-century legend, St Brynach would climb the summit for serenity, to pray, and to “commune with the angels”. It's believed by some that if you spend a night there, you may dream of angels like Brynach.

If all this myth and legend has inspired you to visit the Preseli Hills, then a walk along the 7-mile Golden Road which runs along the spine of the Preseli Hills is a fantastic high ground walk in Wales. Experience ancient monuments and fantastic views as far as Ireland, South Wales and towards Snowdonia. Discover the suspected site of the Stonehenge stones, King Arthur's grave, and the battle site of King Arthur and the wild boar Twrch Trwyth!

A visit to the uniquely placed Tafarn Sinc in the heart of the Preseli Hills is also a must-visit, with its authentic, traditional olde-worlde charm. 

7. Hit the water

Surrounded by the sea on most sides, a dip in the sea is a must in Pembrokeshire.


Whale and dolphin watching boat trips

With so much gorgeous coastline to explore, it’s definitely worth taking a boat trip to experience a different perspective of Pembrokeshire’s glorious coastline.

Spot the wonderful wildlife that calls this special county home. Try Tenby harbour for trips to Caldey Island, Saundersfoot for sea fishing trips, New Quay and Cardigan Bay for dolphin-spotting trips, St Justinian’s for wildlife trips, and Dale Sailing for trips around Skomer Island. 


Surfing at Freshwater West

Experienced surfers will love a bit of wave action at Freshwater West, popular with surfers due to its strong currents.

Outer Reef Surf School offers surf lessons here for all abilities. They also offer paddleboarding sessions in popular, calmer locations, such as Barafundle Bay, Tenby and Saundersfoot. 

Harry Potter fans will no doubt want to visit the site of Shell Cottage and the final resting place of Dobby the house-elf. Freshwater West has also been used in other Hollywood blockbusters such as Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and it was also used as a double for Dunkirk in Their Finest.

If you get peckish then you’ll love the award-winning Cafe Môr seaweed kitchen!


Paddleboarding and kayaking

Try staying on top of the water rather than in it and have a go at some leisurely paddleboarding. 

Good Trails in Saundersfoot offers taster sessions or guided SUP safaris, or you can hire out kayaks, dinghies and snorkelling equipment from a multitude of local providers, including Celtic Sea Watersports in Dale.

Watersports in Wales

8. Go island hopping

Spot puffins on Skomer, seals on Ramsey, and monks on Caldey. The Pembrokeshire coast is awash with plenty of amazing islands to discover. 


Photograph a puffin on Skomer

Skomer is packed with brilliant bluebells in spring and perfectly pretty puffins in the summer.

With all this amazing nature, along with plenty of fresh sea air, Skomer National Nature Reserve is a very special place to visit. You may even spot seals relaxing in the sheltered bays, along with porpoises, dolphins and the largest Manx shearwater colony in the world! 

Catch a 15-minute ride to Skomer from Martin’s Haven from April to September with Pembrokeshire Islands Boat Trips.

Caldey Island

Caldey Island

Take a 20-minute boat trip from Tenby Harbour or Castle Beach to the beautifully tranquil Caldey Island.

Caldey is home to Cistercian monks who make their own delicious chocolate and fine fragrances, which you can buy in the shop.

You’ll surely feel the peaceful tranquillity of this idyllic island just off the coast of pretty seaside Tenby, one of Wales' prettiest towns

Ramsey Island

Ramsey Island

The RSPB owns and protects this special National Nature Reserve which is a haven for seabirds.

Pretty Atlantic grey seals have their cute fluffy little pups here in the autumn, and the island's high cliffs are ideal for the peregrines and choughs that nest here in the spring. A wonderful carpet of sublime heather blooms here in summer, attracting the attention of beautiful butterflies and bees.  

Wildlife adventure boat trips to Ramsey depart from the old RNLI Lifeboat Station at St Justinians, and one of the lovely RSPB staff will give you plenty of information about Ramsey, along with a map for you to explore. 

Take a boat trip around Pembrokeshire’s amazing islands with Voyages of Discovery, who also run whale and dolphin spotting trips, along with fishing trips.

More mystical Welsh islands

9. Conquer a castle

Be the king, or queen, of your own castle with a fairytale trip to one of Pembrokeshire’s many magical monuments, which are among the finest castles in Wales.

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle

Looming over the town of Pembroke, on the banks of a glistening millpond, the mighty Pembroke Castle is one of the finest historic sites in Pembrokeshire.

It was the birthplace of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and you can explore the labyrinth of passages, tunnels, stairways, 80ft high keep, huge cavernous cave, medieval dungeons, and gatehouse rooms with inspiring historical displays.

Refresh at the cafe after all that adventuring and take a trinket of your day home with you from the lovely gift shop. 

Carew Castle

Carew Castle

Wander the mile-long path around the spectacular Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, set right on the banks of the Carew River.

Dating back to the Iron Age, the Tidal Mill, with its family-friendly displays showing how it used to function, is the only one in Wales to be restored and is only one of five in the UK. 

The Nest tearoom, in the walled garden near the castle entrance, is a great place to grab a bite and is named after Princess Nest, renowned for being the most beautiful woman in Wales and one of Carew Castle’s most famous residents.

The causeway is a great spot to go crabbing, and there are lots of events held here throughout the year, from outdoor cinemas to apple pressing!

You can also stop off across the road at the historic Carew Inn and admire views of the spectacular castle while enjoying a hearty meal and your favourite tipple. 

Picton Castle

Picton Castle and Gardens

Picton Castle and Gardens is a peaceful spot and is surrounded by a gorgeous 40-acre RHS Partner Garden, full of surprises for the whole family.

You'll also find Maria’s Courtyard Restaurant, a fabulous place with mouth-watering dishes. The Welsh Owl Garden is located in the beautiful bluebell woods, with lots of different species of owls and other exotic birds to admire.  

10. Tuck in

Last but in no way least is the amazing range of places to eat in this coastal gem.

Roast dinner

The Qube, Tenby

Nestled in the heart of Tenby with a roaring fire and great food is The Qube

The hearty menu is packed with Welsh favourites. All these delicious dishes are set within a lovely relaxed setting with super-friendly service. The menu is delicious and diverse and caters to all tastes. There are vegetarian and vegan options, and the chefs use locally sourced meat, vegetables and fish straight from the harbour. 


Blas Restaurant, St Davids

The Blas Restaurant is a super-stylish, two-AA-Rosette restaurant specialising in fine dining.

Expect seasonal delights using fresh local produce and a fabulous dining experience. Indulge in an amazing afternoon tea, sip on wonderful cocktails, celebrate that special occasion with some champagne, and enjoy some fine wines and mouth-watering desserts. 

Saundersfoot Harbour

The Mulberry, Saundersfoot

Set in the lovely village of Saundersfoot, The Mulberry offers a warm and inviting atmosphere with an eclectic menu.

Options range from fresh local seafood to sizzling steaks, curries and tasty tapas. The presentation of the dishes is perfectly instagrammable and reflects the attention to detail that goes into creating these wonderful flavours. 

Holiday cottages in Saundersfoot

Lexden Terrace Tenby

Retreat to Pembrokeshire

Make the most of this colourful county and stay in one of our luxurious Pembrokeshire cottages. Discover cosy couples' cottages, spacious retreats for all the family, and dog-friendly Pembrokeshire cottages where furry friends are just as welcome. 

Luxury Pembrokeshire cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

10 of the top Shropshire cottages 

As ABTA names Shropshire one of its top 10 destinations to watch in 2024, we’ve rounded up ten of our top cottages in the county

Christmas markets in Wales

Get the most out of the festive season with our ultimate guide to Christmas markets in Wales.

The UK's most common place name elements, mapped

We've been on the hunt for the UK's most common place name elements!
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Sugar & Loaf is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Sugar & Loaf | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.