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Portmelgan

If you’re looking for a secret cove, unbeknown to many of the visitors to Pembrokeshire, then take a visit to Portmelgan. This quiet little place is situated in the North of the county of Pembrokeshire, in the National Park between Whitesands bay and St David’s Head.

Being quite difficult to reach, couples or walking groups will love the peace and quiet Portmelgan offers. This area is a wonderful place to stay for walking holidays as this is perhaps the most unique and unspoilt part of the county of Pembrokeshire. The nearby Whitesands was, according to legend, founded by St Patrick, who planned to settle here. However, he was visited by an angel who said that there was greater work for him yet to do, and showed the saint another land across the sea to which he should go. Trusting Gods purpose he set sail from the beach and took Christianity to the people of Ireland. An oratory once stood on the spot where he received his vision, a plaque now marks the site and the foundations are still evident beneath the grass.

Whitesands Bay is a Blue Flag awarded beach which, as its name suggests, has a wonderfully sandy shoreline. Whitesands is a popular surf beach and in the Summer months you will find it significantly busier than it is in Winter. If you’re walking in the area then Whitesands is a great place to stop and admire the view, particularly in the shoreside café there. Whitesands Beach Café provides you with everything you need for a great day out at the beach including a shop selling suncream, beach toys and watersports equipment as well as serving light lunches and refreshments. Whitesands is backed by low hills, and to the North East side you will find a large rocky outcrop. This is known as Carn Llidi. Carn Llidi is approximately 520ft in height and whilst this may not sound like much the view from the summit is impressive. From here the views are spectacular in every direction, and to the West it’s possible to see the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. At the base of Carn Llidi and in the surrounding areas you are likely to spot cromlechs which are ancient burial chambers. Some of these date back to the Neolithic period some 5000 years ago!

Portmelgan is near to the UK’s smallest city, St Davids. This idyllic place, which on first glance looks like a small village hides a vast Cathedral and ancient Bishops Palace in a small valley. St David’s Cathedral is a place of great importance for pilgrims and it’s said that two trips to St David’s is equal to one pilgrimage to Rome and three pilgrimages to St Davids is equal to one trip to the Holy City, Jerusalem. St Davids is a popular place to visit not only for pilgrimages but also for artists. You will find several art galleries dotted around as well as boutique shops selling many handmade crafts. From St Davids it’s also possible to take a boat trip to Ramsey Island which sits 1mile off the coast of St Davids. A rumoured 1000 saints were once buried on the island and today it is now a RSPB reserve. Boat Trips are a great way to explore the surrounding area of the island and the coastline, wildlife sightings are frequent including dolphins, seals, porpoise and even the odd whale!