Holidays in West Wales
Coasteering In Pembrokeshire
Swimming, scrambling and climbing around the rugged shorelines of Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coast whilst navigating your way through often pounding waves may appear to be the actions of a mad man to some, but in fact the sport of coasteering in Pembrokeshire is one of the key reasons adventurers return to the county every year. They join the millions of individuals, couples, families and stag & hen parties on the mission for exhilarating, adrenalin packed fun and follow in the footsteps of Ben Fogle, Julia Bradbury, Rhod Gilbert and Pembrokeshire’s MP Stephen Crabb who have all coasteered the surrounding shores over the last few years.
With origins from the late 19th Century and initially referred to as ‘sea-level traversing’, the sport of coasteering evolved into a commercially packaged activity in the late 80’s providing a safe way for the everyday visitor on holiday in Pembrokeshire to explore the beautiful wildlife and the natural rock formations within magical inlets and coves that were previously only accessible by boat.
Ask any qualified coasteering guide what is so addictive about this activity and you won’t be able to keep them quiet. Unforgettable adventures, the most fun you can have in a wetsuit, belly flops, back flips, the ‘toilet flush’ and the ‘washing machine’ are all common phrases you’ll find in the Coasteering Glossary of Fun which truly exists within the adventure community including hundreds more words and phrases that the average city dweller may well interpret as a foreign language.
So what’s actually involved in a coasteering adventure? In short, no two coasteers are the same – your experience will vary considerably depending on the location, the weather and the current tidal movements. The only thing that doesn’t vary is that you are guaranteed to emerge from the water with a grin wider than your face can manage and the biggest sense of personal achievement than you can ever remember. You will have the chance to swim and scramble in and out of caves and view some of the county’s oldest geological creations from a different perspective, and you’ll be given the option to plunge off sea level rocks or jump safely from higher places if adrenalin is your thing. Don’t be discouraged by talk of extreme cliff jumping and mandatory back flips off 35ft headlands, these stunts are generally performed by the highly experienced and talented coasteering guides who are lucky enough to do this for a living. Coasteering can be as extreme or laid back as you choose, it is also becoming the chosen activity for hearing and sight impaired adventurers or those with a learning or physical disability.
To go coasteering you need the correct kit and safety is of the utmost importance. Those joining a group session will need to bring swimwear, a towel, old trainers with a decent grip and some shorts to wear over the top of the wetsuit (to protect the surface of the neoprene). Your coasteering guide will provide you with a wetsuit, a helmet and a buoyancy aid and some providers supply gloves too to protect your hands whilst scrambling around the rocks.
If you fancy your first coasteering taster whilst on a short break in Pembrokeshire or a Summer holiday with the children, you can choose from some of the best water sports providers (some award-winning) in the UK such as; Celtic Quest Coasteering, TYF or Preseli Venture in the North of the county and Pembrokeshire Adventure Centre or Morfa Bay in the South. With these companies, you are likely to visit one of the many spectacular locations including Stackpole Quay, St Non’s off St Davids Head or Abereiddy Bay, now a world famous destination for the extraordinary Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
Coasteering has recently been described as a ‘bucket list’ activity and a likely one that you want to repeat again and again. Will you be crossing it off yours?