Holidays in West Wales
PEMBROKESHIRE is probably unique in Great Britain in that it has more Blue Flag Beaches or Seaside Award Beaches than any other County. With over 50 beaches in Pembrokeshire, with activities such as sunbathing, sailing, yachting, surfing, kite surfing, parascending, coasteering, fishing, diving, snorkelling, seal watching, dolphin watching, bird watching, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, horse riding or even making sand castles, Pembrokeshire’s beaches have it all in buckets and spades. Pembrokeshire’s beaches were named “second best on the planet” in 2010 by the National Geographic magazine. Don’t forget, Pembrokeshire is the only Coastal National Park in Britain and with an 186 mile Coastal Path around Pembrokeshire, and if you are so inclined, you can also walk on almost every beach. The Pembrokeshire Coastal path is number three in the world according to a 2011 guide to the best walks in the world in this Daily Express article.
CARMARTHENSHIRE is located in the South West of Wales and is the third largest in Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford. The county town and administrative centre of Carmarthenshire is Carmarthen and the most populous settlement is the area in and around the town of Llanelli. With its fertile land and agricultural produce, Carmarthenshire is known as the “Garden of Wales”. However there’s a lot more to Carmarthenshire than just its gorgeous green countryside, as it has some of the most glorious sandy beaches in Europe. The county is bounded to the north by Ceredigion, to the east by Powys, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea, to the south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the west by Pembrokeshire. The Millennium Coastal Park was originally a project undertaken by Llanelli Borough Council to transform a 20 km stretch of industrial wasteland on the south Carmarthenshire coast in to green parkland. The project was then taken over by Carmarthenshire County Council and aims to transform the land into a recreational area for the general public. Although many parts of the park have been finished and open to the public for a while, the development of new facilities continues in forms such as the expansion of Burry Port marina and the construction of housing and leisure complexes at Llanelli’s North Dock. The park offers views of the Gower Peninsula on the other side of the Loughor estuary, and features a variety of visitor attractions including the National Wetlands Centre Wales at Penclacwydd and Sandy Water Park. The Millennium Coastal Path (a stretch of the Celtic Trail cycle route, also known as National Cycle Route 4) runs through the park.
THE GOWER PENINSULA lie in some of Wales most stunning coastline. Most of them only a 15 minute drive from the centre of Swansea, the Gower Peninsula is home to around 50 unspoilt beaches, coves and bays. Around 70 square miles in area, The Gower is known for its coastline, popular with walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, especially surfers. Gower has many caves, including Paviland Cave and Minchin Hole Cave. The peninsula is bounded by the Loughor estuary to the north and Swansea Bay to the east. Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers 188 km; including most of the peninsula west of Crofty, Three Crosses, Upper Killay, Blackpill and Bishopston. The highest point on the Gower peninsula is The Beacon at Rhossili Down at 193m/633ft overlooking Rhossili Bay The interior of Gower consists mainly of farmland and common land. The population resides mainly in small villages, though suburban development has made a number of communities in eastern Gower part of the Swansea Urban Area. The southern coast of the peninsula consists of a series of small, rocky or sandy bays like Langland and Three Cliffs, and a few larger beaches like Port Eynon, Rhossili and Oxwich Bay. On the north side of the peninsula there are fewer beaches, this section of the coast includes the famous cockle-beds of Penclawdd. Writer Wynford Vaughan Thomas called The Gower Peninsula “a secret that people hug to themselves”.