A LAND OF MAGIC AND BEAUTY
Pembrokeshire is a world waiting to be explored
The UK’s only coastal national park
Set on the West coast of Wales Pembrokeshire has a truly inspirational landscape taking in 180 miles of the coastline as well as all of it’s offshore islands.
Consisting of natural cliffs, broken up by Wales’ most beautiful sandy beaches and small picturesque rocky coves, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the perfect location for adventure or just relaxing amongst an awe inspiring environment.
Where is Preseli Venture based?
The Preseli Venture eco lodge is located deep in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, nestled in a green valley, just up from the secluded beach at Abermawr.Abermawr is a beautiful sandy beach, and is just a 10 minute walk from the eco lodge. This walk takes you through beautiful National Trust woodland, which is carpeted with bluebells in April and May.
Our nearest village is Mathry, a small and friendly Welsh village on a hilltop, commanding impressive views of the Preseli Hills. Here you’ll also find our local – the Farmers Arms pub.
If you stand on top of the ancient Preseli Hills, source of the “bluestones” of Stonehenge, you will see spread about you one of Britain’s most beautiful and magical landscapes. The north Pembrokeshire peninsular thrusts out into the Atlantic Ocean, at the southern end of the Irish Sea, an area thankfully left unspoilt by the ravages of industrial society. The ancient iron-age field enclosures are still remaining, as are the neolithic burial chambers and the bronze-age standing stones. Hedge-rows covered with wildflowers and supporting a rich and diverse wildlife criss-cross the area. A Pilgrim’s route, which leads to St. Davids cathedral, drops down from the hills and here you can enter the hidden Gwaun Valley, thick with ancient oak woodland, and maybe pause for a jug of beer, noted for its unusual properties, in Bessie’s pub.
Pembrokeshire is internationally renowned for its plant and animal life and due to its position at a kind of ecological crossroads; it is the farthest west on the fringe of the European landmass marking the western limit for many land animals, while the Atlantic Ocean coastal waters are the eastern limit of many aquatic species. Again, this area is the most northerly point reached by many marine creatures dependent on the warm waters of the Gulf Stream that lap around these southern British shores, and the most southerly place in which several Arctic species of fish and sea birds are to be found. The coastal zone from Abereiddy, 5 miles west of Preseli Venture, to Fishguard Bay, 5 miles to the east, incorporates superbly rich and varied coastal habitats and wildlife.
The Pembrokeshire climate is very mild, remaining largely frost-free and with relatively long daylight hours, and low rainfall along the coast.
The Pembrokeshire coastline is home to a wide variety of seabirds. Guillemots and razorbills are members of the auk family and they nest on rocky ledges on the high sea cliffs from March to July. Cormorants and shags, prolific fish-feeders due to their ability to swim underwater, and the noisy oystercatcher are often seen on the lower cliff slopes of the coast. Kittiwakes and fulmars, with their dramatic straight wings, also nest on grassy cliff ledges and along the shore rock pippits flit among the rocks. The rare chough nests in holes and crevices on the cliff and feeds on insects on the grassy cliff-tops. Ravens can often be seen from the coast path, and often you’ll hear skylarks with their beautiful song!
Cetaceans, the collective word for whales, dolphins and porpoises, can be seen along the coast, particularly off headlands such as Strumble Head. From Strumble Head it is possible to observe bottle-nosed dolphins and the smaller harbour porpoise swimming past the headland. Other larger cetaceans, such as the fin whale, basking shark and bottle-nosed whale, are found further offshore with occasional sightings close to land.
Seals are our most sighted sea mammal and they gather and breed around the rocky shores, inaccessible coves, sea caves and rocky islands from summer to autumn. There are over 5000 individual Atlantic grey seals around the Pembrokeshire Coast and islands. The largest population is on Ramsey Island off the St David’s peninsular, and the highest number of mainland animals are found here, in our “playground” between St David’s Head and Fishguard.
These playful, inquisitive creatures and their pups are a joy to see on our coastal adventures, but care must be taken to avoid disturbing the white beach-bound pups and their mothers who suckle their young for the first 3 weeks. Once weaned, the pups moult their white coat and then venture into the sea to start fishing for themselves. Seals are amazing divers and can remain below the surface for up to 30 minutes.
A fantastic family holiday
Reviewed 12 August 2016 ★★★★★
The location is stunning and the Pembrokeshire coast is amazing for outdoor activities – lots of wildlife/ sealife, caves to explore, rocks to jump from.
Jo F / Shaftesbury, United Kingdom
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