12 Days Out in Pembrokeshire for the Whole Family
From centuries-old castles to spectacular coastal landscapes, Pembrokeshire is one of the most enchanting counties in Wales. On the hunt for days out in Pembrokeshire? There are endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, whether you want to explore scenic trails, scale sea cliffs or learn to surf. If you prefer a slower pace, you’ll find charming towns, chocolate-box villages and friendly pubs in spades.
History is alive in Pembrokeshire. As well as dozens of castes, the county will captivate you with beautiful churches and cathedrals. Not to mention a swathe of Celtic ruins and prehistoric archaeological sites.
Travelling with kids? You’re in luck. There’s plenty to entertain little ones, whether it’s family days at Pembroke Castle or fun in the sun on Barafundle Bay. With so many amazing family days out in Pembrokeshire, why not head to Wales for your next getaway?
Looking for more inspiration? Read on for the ultimate guide to days out in Pembrokeshire. We’ve got options for all ages, interests and fitness levels. Plus, most activities can be customised to fit the unique needs of your group. Let’s get stuck in!
The complete guide to days out in Pembrokeshire
1. Visit a centuries-old cathedral
Unlike other cathedrals that take pride of place in the town centre, St David’s is tucked away in a valley. It’s unassuming setting didn’t stop it from being raided by the Saxons. But that doesn’t make it any less impressive. From the moment you walk through the Tower Gatehouse you’ll be amazed by the soaring stone walls and pointed towers.
You can practically feel the history in the air. After all, the site has been a place of worship for more than 14 centuries. The interior will dazzle you with gravity-defying Norman Romanesque arches and an intricate carved wooden ceiling. Enjoy delicious homemade scones in the refectory café and don’t forget to leave a donation if you can. The cathedral costs more than £2700 a day to maintain!
2. Castle hop around the county
From medieval strongholds to fairy tale fortresses, Pembrokeshire is dotted with castles. Dedicate a day to castle hopping around the country and discovering postcard-worthy icons and hidden gems. Spectacular Pembroke Castle is easily the most famous. It has a long history dating back to the 11th century and is the birthplace of Henry VII.
Explore secret passages, stroll along the ramparts and check out engaging exhibits on the castle’s turbulent history. Looking for family days out in Pembrokeshire? The castle hosts family-friendly events throughout the year. Attend medieval re-enactments, falconry displays, Christmas markets and more.
Next on the ‘must see’ list is Carew Castle. This Norman stronghold looms over a tidal river and is a 10-minute drive from Pembroke Castle. Pint-sized explorers will be in their element with endless towers, dungeons and ramparts to discover. It may not be the best-preserved castle in Wales but there’s something magical about the imposing limestone ruins. Visit in summer to take part in events like battle re-enactments, archery competitions and theatrical performances.
Looking for more castle-themed days out in Pembrokeshire? Cilgerran Castle watches over the Teifi Gorge and dates to the 13th century. A pair of enormous round towers rise up from the grass-covered keep and recall the castle’s former grandeur. Wander around the ruins and discover 800 years of history.
3. Bask on one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain
Gold sand and crystalline water earn Barafundle Bay comparisons with the Caribbean. This stretch of sand regularly features in countdowns of Britain’s most beautiful beaches and it’s easy to see why. Rugged cliffs and pine-covered dunes frame the beach and give it a secluded feel. Pack a picnic lunch – you won’t find any facilities here! Alternatively, the nearby village of Stackpole has a lively pub. If you feel like a walk the path to Stackpole Head is beautiful. It ends at a lookout where you’ll enjoy dramatic views over the coastal cliffs and rock arches.
4. Sail to Ramsey Island
Ramsey Island, or Ynys Dewi as locals call it, is a sanctuary for seabirds. Rugged cliffs encircle the island, which is an official Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) nature reserve. It’s also one of the best days out in Pembrokeshire for nature buffs. Board a boat from pocket-sized St Justinian harbour to visit the island and explore the walking trail. If you have time, it’s worth upgrading to a longer boat trip. You’ll venture further offshore and have the chance to spot dolphins, porpoises and even whales.
5. Get up close with Welsh wildlife
Meet otters, badgers and more at the Welsh Wildlife Centre. It’s set in the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve, which protects a patchwork of woodland, marshland and riparian habitats. Waymarked trails wind through the reserve, most pram and wheelchair friendly. Head back into the riverside village of St Dogmaels for lunch. It’s hard to resist the Ferry Inn, an atmospheric pub on the banks of the River Teifi. We love the “everyone is welcome” philosophy so don’t hesitate to turn up with your dog or in a pair of muddy boots! Explore more things to do in Cardigan Bay on our blog.
6. Discover prehistoric landscapes
The Preseli Hills aren’t just beautiful. They cradle thousands of years of history. As you explore the prehistoric landscape, you’ll discover Iron Age hill forts, Bronze Age burial chambers and ancient stone circles. The area is a walker’s paradise, with trails for every age and fitness level. Short and sweet, the hike up Foel Eryr rewards you with panoramic views over the surrounding moors, heaths and grassland. On clear days the views stretch all the way to Snowdonia and Ireland. Pack your own lunch and this is one of the top free days out in Pembrokeshire.
The Golden Road is longer and follows an ancient Neolithic travel route. Charming villages and hamlets pepper the hills and make great pitstops. For a quintessentially Welsh experience don’t miss the Dyffryn Arms (aka Bessie’s Pub) in Pontfaen. You won’t see any steel kegs here. Instead, beer is poured straight from wooden barrels and into traditional jugs. And yes, it’s room temperature. Just the way Bessie likes it!
Looking for a different way to explore the Preseli Hills? Saddle up for a horseback riding adventure. There’s nothing more evocative than exploring the heather-strewn hills and sun-dappled bridleways on horseback. And yes, some tours include a stop at Bessie’s Pub. Bottoms up! Or “Iechyd da” as they say in Wales.
7. Explore the Bosherston Lily Ponds
Kids love exploring the wooden bridges and boardwalks that criss-cross the Bosherston Lily Ponds. Look for otters splashing in the water and see if you can identify one of the many species of dragonfly. Venture into the ruined manor house to see bats hanging from the ceiling.
Visit in June and July to see the lilies in full bloom. Not to worry if you miss peak season. The ponds are beautiful year round and there’s always plenty to see in the surrounding woodlands. The ponds are an easy walk from Bosherston village, where you’ll find a cosy pub and a fantastic tearoom. The scones, jam and clotted cream are divine! Alternatively, park in Barafundle Bay and enjoy a scenic two-hour walk to the ponds.
8. Scale limestone cliffs
If there’s anywhere in Wales that will sate your appetite for adventure, it’s Pembrokeshire. Sheer limestone cliffs make the county a mecca for rock climbers. There are hundreds of routes to discover, including loads of low-grade climbs for beginners. If you’re looking for adrenaline-charged days out in Pembrokeshire for adults, look no further.
Get started with a one-hour intro session at The Hangout in Haverfordwest. Once you’ve found your groove, it’s time to hit the outdoor walls. Guided sea cliff climbing courses are a safe but exhilarating introduction to the sport. Looking for action-packed family days out in Pembrokeshire? No need to hold back. Family climbing courses cater to all ages and skill levels.
9. Take a plunge in the Blue Lagoon
Soaring stone walls surround the Blue Lagoon, a former mining pit flooded with seawater. It lives up to its name with dazzling blue water. The lagoon is a 30-minute walk along the coast from Porthgain, a cute coastal town with a handful of shops and cafes. Along the way you’ll pass ruined quarry buildings and cottages built in the mining heyday.
10. Meet furry friends at Folly Farm
If the kids start to feel a little ‘castled out’, switch gears and head to Folly Farm. It’s one of the top family days out in Pembrokeshire and home to more than 700 animals, including giraffes, rhinos and a pride of lions. Marvel at adorable meercats and watch penguins zoom around the saltwater pool. The petting farm is packed with barnyard favourites. From miniature ponies and Mangalica pigs to donkeys, goats and cows, this is one fully stocked barn. Bottle-feed the adorable lambs and learn to milk the cows like a pro.
The fun doesn’t stop here. The vintage fairground recalls the nostalgia of yesteryear. Take a spin on the Big Wheel and climb aboard the enchanting Golden Gallopers carousel. Themed indoor and outdoor play areas make Folly Farm a great day out, no matter what the weather. The enormous Carousel Woods adventure playground challenges little ones with rope walks, climbing nets and slides. Got a need for speed? Channel your inner Lewis Hamilton on the Follystone Racetrack.
11. Hike the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
From short strolls to overnight adventures, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path has been wowing walkers since the 1970s. It stretches for more than 180 miles and takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales. Get ready for rugged limestone cliffs, long sandy beaches, glacier-carved valleys and enormous volcanic headlands that look like they’ve been created by giants. No wonder it’s one of the best free days out in Pembrokeshire.
The lively village of St Dogmaels near Cardigan marks the northern end of the path. It continues south to Amroth, a picturesque village on Carmarthen Bay. Most of the path is set in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This ensures coastal flora and fauna thrive. Most people hike bit-sized sections of the path. Download the Coast Path mileage chart to keep track of your progress. Over the years, many people find they’ve walked the entire path!
Pro tip: take advantage of the coastal bus service. It connects towns, villages and rural communities along the path and makes it easy to return back to your car after a long walk.
12. Enjoy foodie days out in Pembrokeshire
Forget foodie hubs like London and Edinburgh. Pembrokeshire will tantalise your palate with incredible flavours. Chefs are passionate about local produce and menus are laden with ingredients from just down the road.
Looking for unique days out in Pembrokeshire for adults? Make reservations at the Twr Y Felin Hotel on the on the St Davids Peninsula for a fine dining experience in Wales. Head chef Sammy Owen designed the menu from scratch and shines the spotlight on seasonal produce. In Narberth, The Fernery is fronted by Michelin starred chef, Douglas Balish. Head south to Coppet Hall Beach to visit its sister restaurant, Coast. It’s a little more relaxed but the food is divine, and the views are sensational.
Like Devon and Cornwall, Pembrokeshire knows a thing or two about high tea. Penally Abbey, a beautifully renovated manor house set in flower-filled gardens, is one of our favourite places to enjoy finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones and looseleaf tea. Stay the night in one of the elegant suites to enjoy the sumptuous breakfast.
If tasting menus are more your thing, don’t miss Annwn in the tiny village of Lawrenny. Chef Matt Powell is at the helm of this small and intimate restaurant. He’s passionate about locally foraged, environmentally responsible ingredients. The seasonal 10-course tasting menu is the talk of the town. Expect to see dishes like beetroot served with sea buckthorn sauce, oysters with pepper dulse powder and crab apple ice cream on the menu. Yum!
Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or laidback beach vibes, you’ll find days out in Pembrokeshire for every occasion. Looking for a place to stay during your trip? From farm stays and family caravan parks to coastal cottages in Pembrokeshire, there’s something to fit your preference and budget.
Nick, your trusted guide to Wales travel and exploration, shares a deep passion for this enchanting land. With years of exploration, Nick offers expert insights into the best of Wales. Join him on a journey through its captivating history, culture, and hidden gems, as he inspires you to create unforgettable Wales travel experiences.