Wales is naturally quite spectacular and has everything you could possibly wish for in terms of a holiday destination. From magnificent mountains and dramatic cliffs to secluded coves and rolling fields; it’s difficult not to fall in love with the place. For those of you that keep coming back to Wales, we’ve decided to share some local knowledge so you can enjoy them too!
We asked Anne Incledon, a Freelance Copywriter, Juliette Shepperton, the Owner’s Team South Wales Rep and Sue Brindley, the Photographer for their local insight on hidden gems around the country they call home!
What is your favourite spot in Wales?
Anne: ‘Stackpole Quay is the smallest, most picturesque little shingle cove carved out of the rugged south Pembrokeshire coast with an even tinier historic harbour, just big enough for two fishing boats to snuggle down behind the breakwater. It is a popular spot for sea kayaking, coasteering and a rest stop for walkers on the coast path. The Boathouse Tearoom provides morning coffee and cakes, light bites, lunches, afternoon tea and ice-cream. Take a 10-minute stroll west from here across the grassy topped headland to reach the exquisite multi award winning exotic Barafundle bay.’
Juliette: ‘My favourite spot in Wales is King Arthurs Stone at the top of Cefn Bryn, Reynoldston, Gower. It is an ancient burial ground, and there are many legends surrounding the stone and how it got there from King Arthur to the Druids. It is Neolithic in origin and was the first Ancient Monument to be protected; that counts for something I think. There are 360 ° views across to Devon, Pembroke and the Brecon Beacons too. Any time of the year it is a peaceful place full of wild ponies and sheep, occasionally cows. I can wander all the way to the way point and look down on Three Cliffs Bay, the best views are here.’
Sue: ‘My favourite spot in Wales is Manorbier. I love the church and castle which both over look the beach. The beach is dog-friendly, great for rock pooling, surfing and winter sunsets are spectacular. Manorbier village has all you need including, a Post Office with a well-stocked shop, The Castle Mead Hotel, The Castle Inn (a good ‘locals’ pub) and the best tea room in the area – Beach Break Cafe.
What is your favourite beach in Wales?
Anne: ‘Broad Haven South beach near the scattered village of Bosherston in south Pembrokeshire has so much going for it. Natural beauty, a vast sandy shore, rugged rocks, rock pools, boulders, caves, sand dunes and a fresh water stream with glorious views of Church Rock standing sentinel in the bay. Access is via a beautiful footpath skirting Bosherston Lily Ponds or down a steep flight of steps clinging to the seacliff. Dogs are welcome all year round.’
Juliette: ‘My favourite beach in Wales is Three Cliffs Bay. It can only be approached on foot, from either Parkmill along the gently meandering river valley under the watchful gaze of Pennard Castle or down a steep path from Penmaen. The Penmaen route is my favourite as it brings back childhood memories of long days on the beach as a child. My father would sweep up my little sister and put her on his shoulders; he would carry the BBQ and cool box and tuck the dog under his arm for the last scramble down the rocks to the hot soft sand as we children straggled along with my mum. We would stay all day long, retreating to the rocks some evenings to BBQ and then swim amongst the luminescence, bright sparkling green in the evening sun – magic times…’
Sue: ‘My favourite beach is Tenby South Beach.’
Which hidden gem would you say is a must-visit for QC customers?
Anne: ‘A hair raising flight of steps hewn out of the towering limestone seacliff on St Govan’s Head south Pembrokeshire leads steeply down to tiny St Govan’s Chapel at the edge of the sea. No more than a robust stone cell with one open doorway and two small glassless windows it was built sometime between the 6th and 13th centuries by the hermit Govan. The legend goes that Govan was being pursued by pirates. He prayed to God and to his amazement and great relief the seacliff opened enough for Govan to conceal himself. After the danger passed Govan set about constructing the chapel as a way of giving thanks. He remained there for the rest of his days. It is said that if you count the steps going down and then again going up the number is never the same.’
Juliette: ‘Bishopston Valley, Gower is wooded and shady and leads to Pwll Du Bay, a white pebble beach which is sheltered in most winds. The walk follows the river through deep vibrant green woods and then the light bursts out as you arrive at the beach. No cars can reach the beach, and most days you share it with maybe a dozen people and happy wet dogs. We have a small boat and often head over here from Mumbles for picnics tied up in the sheltered bay. Cwm Ivy is a great place for a dog walk and to hunt for all manner of fungi in autumn, delicious edible mushrooms can be found here, after your forage head over the dunes to walk on wild Whitesand Bay with views across to Laugharne and Pembroke sunsets here can be awesome. Finally double back on yourself to Llanmadoc to the Britannia Inn for great food and a pint and watch the night skies fill in, you feel as if you are at the ends of the earth.’
So, if you’re planning a stay in our holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire, be sure to check out Sue’s favourite spot in Manorbier or visit Anne’s favourite beach, Broad Haven South, while Juliette has you covered if you are heading to the Gower Peninsula! Do you agree with some of these spots or do you have your own favourite places to contribute? We’d love to know, so let us know via the comments!