The sea side town of Tenby has to be one of Wales’ best kept secrets. Hidden and cut off from the slightly busier parts of the quiet South Wales, getting to the coastal areas of Tenby is half the fun as a series of winding, twisting roads will leave you dizzy and in need of a breath of fresh air and, fortunately that’s exactly what Wales has an abundance of.
We pulled over near one of the most beautiful old castles I’ve ever seen. Dotted around Wales and England some castles are often overlooked by tourists due to their similarities with one another, however this beauty called Maronbier Castle had a hidden churchyard, which was the perfect setting for a Welsh wedding. Capturing the Bride and Groom’s first kiss on camera against a backdrop of a large sun-drenched Gothic Arch window left a pleasing result and set the tone for a great day in South Wales.
As if the picture perfect castle wedding was not enough, our newly weds soon made a dash for Maronbier Beach for some more photos, driving their convertible around the country side roads to the sound of the clapping crowds.
Exactly one year ago I flirted with the Welsh countryside for the first time and fell in love with a part of the world known as the Gower, just off the city of Swansea and thankfully my love affair with South Wales has not ended yet. Tenby offers some of the best beaches in Europe for surfing, and though the thought of swimming in the cold British seas might put you off, donning a wet suit will keep you warm enough for a quick summer dip.
The beaches here look like they belong in the Caribbean. Hugged by rugged cliffs and defined by a sea tide which can rise up to nine meters, the rocks here seem sliced by circling winds, and the hills roll into the sea from afar. Catching Tenby’s beaches in the summer sunshine is the key however a stroll here in winter would also provide you with the very best of British countryside hikes.
The rich coastline with glorious beaches scattered about also homes a small island a mere one-mile off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Caldey Island is now home to a small population of monks and an even larger population of lazy seals and visiting these pups is a must. Fishing trips set off from the beach every one hour, with free tasty Mackerel being handed out in the basket load by local fishermen.
Circling the island will offer you surreal views of the peaceful sister island of St Margret which homes thousands of birds, including puffin and cormorants. Tiny beaches are set enclosed by coves and the low-lying rocks provide the perfect sun bathing spot for the island’s main inhabitants. We may not have seen any monks sunbathing topless on the beach, but the seals did not disappoint at all as they perched up to greet our boat.
The Caldey Island Lighthouse can also be seen on a clear day, which will provide yet another glorious photo opportunity as it is set on the lush green rolling hills. I enjoyed my stay there so much I have even began using the local’s favorite word: Lush!
Being primarily a fishing village, feasting on the glorious supply of shellfish is a must and tiny fish shops perk up from nowhere, offering you a range of fish in a small ice cream tub. Those like-branded tubs also hold the best scoop of ice cream you will ever taste in the UK, Pembrokeshire local ice cream.
Good and cheap accommodation here is not hard to find at all as many families have converted their countryside homes into bed and breakfasts which offer typical Welsh hospitality, including delicious traditional Welsh Cakes upon your arrival.
Waltzing through the village you will notice the colorful houses standing upright near the coast, setting an almost fairytale like view as you take in the beauty. Summer days here are long and twilight stretches the daytime till beyond 10pm, which then offered some of the best sun set views imaginable. With a bag stuffed with no less than 16 Mackerel fish freshly caught it was soon time to head back in time to prepare a Welsh feast, fish fried in chilli sauce, as recommended in a very thick accent by our local friendly fisherman himself.
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