The small seaside village of Saundersfoot on the south Pembrokeshire coastal path is picture-postcard perfect. But as Kim Jones discovers, it’s also perfect for a multi-gen break with simple family fun on the agenda.
Saundersfoot has sandy Blue Flag beaches you can hop between during low tides. It’s also the place for safe bathing and a pretty harbour packed with working fishing boats. Head away from the beach and you’ll find hidden valley gardens and pretty woods to explore. Boat trips take you out to spot seals or porpoises and there’s plenty more to keep families contented on a traditional, simple-pleasures short break.
Saundersfoot makes a low-key short break for lovers of the great outdoors.
The Saundersfoot area holds many fond memories for me as we used to enjoy caravan holidays here when my sister and I were small. I warmly recall endless beach days punctuated with steep clifftop walks and trips into colourful Tenby nearby. There were exciting sailing tours to Caldey Island: heady days rounded off with nail-biting attempts to win our fortunes in the two-penny falls at the amusement arcade. Then there were those lip-licking freshly cooked hot doughnuts from a small stall on the front. And who could forget fish suppers on the beach watching the sun go down?
Revisiting Saundersfoot now with my own family and my parents on a multi-gen holiday, it’s a delight to see things have hardly changed.
There are a few more coffee shops perhaps, as well as some smarter stores. And top-notch haute cuisine restaurant, Coast, now overlooks Coppet Hall beach. But Saundersfoot has certainly not become over-commercialised and hasn’t lost any of its easy-going charm.
We picked a pretty unusual holiday home for our stay
Our base was one of a small terrace of houses clinging to the clifftop overlooking the harbour and the sweep of Saundersfoot Beach. This stunning holiday home was booked through HostUnusual, an agency specialising in unique places to stay. Apart from its charm, our chosen home, Llareggub Beach House, also boasted truly exceptional views. Dylan Thomas fans will know Llareggub as the fictional village in Under Milk Wood – read Llareggub backwards and have a smile!
It’s an ‘upside down’ house. So the living and dining area hoisted up high to survey the stunning scenery at its best. But you also have sea views from every room. And the master bedroom with freestanding oval bath and double door opening out onto a terrace will make your morning coffee taste all the better. The house is unusually decorated with walls clad in reclaimed wood and rope lights hanging from a driftwood log suspended from the ceiling. The black slate adorning the ever so stylish shower room is wonderfully dramatic. But really, every room was a treasure trove to dwell in.
As an added bonus, you’re just a short walk downhill to the gentle bustle of Saundersfoot village and the wide sweep of beach that fronts it.
Things to do and see on the Pembrokeshire Coast
Make the most of the seaside with beachcombing and beach games
Saundersfoot has three beaches where you can spend many blissful hours building sandcastles, paddling, playing sand cricket or rock pooling. The main beach sprawls towards Coppet Hall Beach where you’ll find toilets and family changing spaces. There’s usually a coffee van there too.
At low tide, you can walk further east along the sands all the way to Wiseman’s Bridge, hitting hundreds of rock pools en route. And on the other side of Saundersfoot Harbour there’s smaller, quieter dog-friendly Glen Beach. You can also walk to the hidden gem of Monkstone Point from here when the tide is right. Time it carefully or you’ll get cut off!
Bring a torch and explore the Dramway Trail
From the village centre, you can walk the buggy friendly Dramway Trail to Wiseman’s Bridge along an elevated ridge above the beaches. The exciting bit for kids is that you get to make your way through two dark tramway tunnels on route. Bring a torch! There’s a pleasant pub with with sea views at the end to reward your legwork.
Grab a paddleboard and explore a little of the lovely Welsh coast
At Coppett Hall beach, Good Trails water sports centre hires wetsuits and paddleboards. They also offer taster lessons, SUP Safaris and hire kayaks and bikes.
Walk the south Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
Stick to dry land and explore as much, or as little, of the stunning Pembrokeshire Coastal Path around Saundersfoot. Older children can take on the challenge of the twists and turns, ups and downs of the path and trek all the way to Tenby. It’s around 4.5 miles one way, but you can always get the bus back.
Go on a ‘sea safari’ with your kids
Companies, including Saundersfoot Sea Safari, can take you on exhilarating boat trips around Tenby, Caldey Island, St Margaret’s and St Catherine’s islands. If you’re lucky and keen-eyed you’ll spot seals and dolphins, as well as plenty of seabirds nesting on the crags. There are also mackerel fishing trips if you fancy the chance to catch your fish supper.
Explore the National Trust Colby Woodland Garden
Take shady woodland walks to the National Trust Colby Woodland Garden. There’s a magical, colourful hidden walled garden to explore, carpets of bluebells in spring and a stream with stepping stones to go net fishing. Bring a picnic or try the popular Bothy tea rooms for a cream tea.
How to plan a short break in Saundersfoot
Where is it
Saundersfoot is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in south Wales. It’s on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and about 10 minutes’ drive from historic Tenby.
How to get there
Trains from Swansea to Saundersfoot take from 1 hour, 49 minutes. Direct trains to Swansea run from London, Bristol, Manchester and several other UK cities.
Saundersfoot is about 4 hours, 10 minutes’ drive west of London on the M4.
Where to stay
Our holiday home, Llareggub Beach House, was situated on the cliffs overlooking Saundersfoot village. We had spectacular views and it was just a five minute walk to the beach.
To find out more about this area head to Visit Pembrokeshire.
Images courtesy of HostUnusual and Visit Pembrokeshire.