Known locally as ‘little England’ due to all the second-homers who spend huge portions of their holiday allowance in this far-flung corner of southwest Wales, the Pembrokeshire coast is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful shorelines on mainland Britain.
Paths wind along the top of green-headed rocky cliffs, which plummet down into churning, dark turquoise water, and the views out to sea never dip below spectacular. There are steep climbs and gentle downhill sections; pockets of woodland, reed-carpeted hollows and secluded beaches upon which the only sunbathers tend to be seals.
Pembrokeshire is made for children that like the outdoors, don’t mind walking and love the beach. The area is like a less-touristy version of Cornwall, but with a heavy Welsh accent and much more reliance on its natural beauty.
You won’t find many theme parks or kids’ attractions here; instead children are invited to make the most of the startlingly fresh, salt-drenched air and the relatively easy walking routes that criss-cross the gorse-swathed clifftops. That’s not to say child-friendly destinations don’t exist here.
The seaside town of Tenby is a glorious buckets-and-spades and sticks-of-rock destination, with three glorious beaches renowned for their clear, clean water, and a glorious 12th-century castle overlooking the harbour.
More atmospheric medievalism can be found at the remarkably well-preserved Pembroke Castle, the birthplace of King Henry VII and a dream daytrip for any child who’s ever buried their head in a Horrible Histories book.
And if that doesn’t do it for your kids, you could always take them to The Dinosaur Park in Tenby, a kind of Jurassic Park on sea, which is home to 30 life-sized recreations of the most popular giant reptiles.
Older children and teenagers will enjoy wildlife excursions out to Skomer Island, where grey seals and puffins reside throughout the summer. Thousand Island Expeditions’ offers boat trips out from St David’s into the Irish Sea, where you will see minke and pilot whales, plus dolphin and porpoise heaving in and out of the swell.
How to get there: From the east, you will come via the M4 and then via the A48 to Carmarthen followed by the A40 west to St.Clears. If you’re coming from the south, follow the A477 signposted for Pembroke Dock and Tenby. From the rest of the country, stay on the A40 for Haverfordwest and Fishguard.
Travel time: Driving from London takes approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes.
Where to stay: Stylish guesthouse Llys Meddyg is located in a Grade II-listed Georgian building in the idyllic seaside village of Newport. As well as offering eight luxurious bedrooms (several of which accommodate children), it is also one of finest restaurants in West Wales. Perfect for hungry families returning from a day’s walking. Family rooms from £120 per night, including breakfast, based on two adults and two children under 12.