A couple of weeks ago we headed to Pembrokeshire in Wales for a family holiday to St David’s.
In an area well known for its spectacular coastal views, Britain’s smallest city was, in fact, big in Welsh history with enormous amounts of fun.
Pencarnan Farm, St Davids
Perched on the most westerly point of Pembrokeshire is Pencarnan Farm, 96 acres of working farm and the most chilled out camping haven we have been lucky enough to discover.
Pencarnan Farm has a lovely relaxed vibe, very few ‘rules’ just good old common sense and families having fun. From caravans and motorhomes to one person pop-ups and tipis, we were in very good company.
When we arrived, I got a weather forecast from the friendly owner, including advice on how to pitch to avoid the expected wind. Take notice, the wind certainly blows up there (it’s wild and wonderful). Next, we were encouraged to drive around and hook up, wherever took our fancy.
One thing worth a mention… when you arrive at Pencarnan the lane from St David’s is winding and narrow – standard rural stuff I hear you say – but nailbiting if you’re towing a twin-axle, like us. That said, we reversed, they reversed, we breathed in, they squeezed into the hedge, and a mile or so later we were pitched up and drinking a cuppa before anyone could say ‘croeso i gymru’.
With laid back seaside vibes, the facilities at Pencarnan are great. Hot showers, clean toilets and washing up spots. That covers it for us.
Most of the camping fields are close to the facilities, but if you choose to camp in one of the lower fields next to the beach, it’s a slightly longer walk back up to the loo. To be fair, it’s a small price to pay for the view.
Pencarnan reception doubles as a well-stocked shop. It has all the essentials mixed with local treats and camping delicacies.
The site also has a couple of food vans, serving hot fresh grub, from stone baked pizzas and baked potatoes to coffee and croissants. Great when we fancied a quick treat.
Guests have direct access to family-friendly Porthsele beach. No more than five minutes walk from the furthest away pitch, Porthsele is virtually part of the site.
With waterfalls, rock pools, surfing and sand, along with beautiful views across to Whitesands Beach, Porthsele really is stunning.
By day we built sandcastles and surfed, and at night we enjoyed beach fires, cooked sausages and toasted marshmallows over the fire. Making memories, a cliche maybe, but we had an awesome time.
Who can stay
Caravans. Motorhomes. Campers. Tents. There are also plenty of statics if you don’t have a home on wheels.
Electric hook-ups are available, doggies are welcome (and on the beach too).
All in all, a pretty perfect place to pitch.
All year round.
What to do around St David’s
The cathedral city of St David’s is only about a 20-minute walk from Pencarnan – back along that winding lane. If you don’t fancy that, take a walk with a view along the coastal path.
An awesome local bus service, picking up and dropping off along a circuit from St Davids to Whitesands. It picks up at the entrance to Pencarnan Farm – handy huh. £1.50 per journey, £3 all day pass, kids ride free and dogs allowed too.
St David’s is a tiny city with an enormous personality.
In and around the high street you’ll find independent shops and local eateries, well worth an explore. First up, food.
Wander down Main Street and pop into St Davids Food and Wine – beautiful Welsh produce and a variety of food and fine wines. Delicious.
Gianni’s ice cream is special, and the fish and chip shop on the main street was really very good,
And no trip to St David’s would be complete without an Oggie. Not to be confused with its Cornish cousin, The St David’s Oggie shop sells a variety of these Welsh pasties. I tried the seafood variety and is pretty delicious.
St Davids’ Cathedral
For 1500 years the site of St David’s Cathedral has been a place of worship. The 800 year-old Cathedral is a place of pilgrimage to thousands of visitors every year. It was erected next door to a sixth-century monastery build by St David the patron saint of Wales – it’s now a spectacular ruin and you wander the fallen down walls.
St David’s RNLI launch
A couple of minutes from Pencarnan is St David’s RNLI launch. Looking out across St Georges channel, and North to the Irish sea and South to the Celtic sea, views don’t get much better than this.
The Druidtone, Haverfordwest, SA62 3NE
An informal hotel, restaurant and bar overlooking St Brides Bay.
‘A million miles from city life’ is what it says on the website – and it couldn’t be closer to the truth.
Award-winning, blue flag flying, Whitesands Bay. A few miles from St David’s with its enormous stretch of golden sand. £5 to park in the carpark, with watersports, a beach cafe and plenty of surf. Sadly, no doggies allowed.
As you’re heading towards St David’s you’ll pass through the quaint village of Solva.
Park up and head along the gravel path to towards the sea. You’ll reach a small harbour where it is teeming with crabs (and crabbers).
And when you’ve done, don’t miss Points Castle for its creamy Welsh ice cream.
Why so special?
Pencarnan Farm is everything we could have wished for.
The footprint of the site is large, but it still feels friendly and intimate. Its hedge-lined fields offer shelter, and it’s perfect if you’d like a bit of privacy from fellow campers. And the landscape around is wild and unspoilt.
Chilled, friendly, with its own beach. We’ve found an absolute gem.
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We hope to champion caravanning and shine a spotlight on beautiful and unusual places that we find fascinating and fun. Sharing tips we’ve discovered along the way.
So when we go somewhere special or find something we like, we write about it. Because we want to share that joy with other people, just like you.
We are a family of four, travelling around the UK in our caravan. Seeking hidden gems and special places. Learning to be more eco-conscious along the way.