2023 is a year to discover new experiences on the Pembrokeshire coast. From connecting with nature and taking in local culture to enjoying romantic meals with a view. Make the most of your Pembrokeshire holiday this year with our 2023 Pembrokeshire Bucket List! How many will you tick off?
Discover new views
This year, why not challenge yourself to walk a stretch of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path that you haven’t before? With 186 miles to explore, there’s always a new view or secret cove to discover! For inspiration, here are some of the best Pembrokeshire walks.
Experience a Welsh festival
Get out of your comfort zone and experience something unique at a Welsh festival this year! With music, talks, workshops and more, immerse in modern Welsh culture at some great events planned for this year. Here are just a few happening in 2023:
The Big Retreat, Lawrenny – 1st – 4th June 2023
Unearthed in a Field, near St Davids – 16th – 18th June 2023
Welshstock Festival, Scolton Manor – 21st – 23rd July 2023
Pack a picnic and Take in a new spot
Pack up your favourite snacks, and experience one of the best picnic spots in Pembrokeshire. Some of our absolute favourites include the Blue Lagoon, Carn Llidi and the little known picnic area at Oriel Y Parc at the top of St Davids. Take in the view, breathe in the fresh air and spend some quality time with those you love, or simply some time by yourself!
Celebrate St Davids Day
St Davids Day is a big day in the Pembrokeshire calendar. Between specials on restaurant menus, daffodils pinned to chests and parades through towns and villages, it’s a great way to celebrate the our patron saint at the beginning of spring. Cadw, the organisation that protects many historical sites in Wales, offers free entry on St Davids Day, so don your daffodil and get exploring!
Run a marathon (or half!)
This one won’t be for everyone, but the local Coast Path Marathon is so spectacular that it firmly belongs on this list! Organised by MUUK and called Ras Dewi Sant (St Davids Race), if one of your New Years Resolutions includes running, this is a fantastic option. Choose from a full marathon, half or 10K, and take in the beauty of the coast while achieving something you won’t forget in a hurry.
Gaze at the stars
Pembrokeshire is one of those places where the stars seem to shine that bit brighter. With very little light pollution (practically none on the coast!) you may be amazed by what you can see when you look up. Newgale Beach is a Dark Sky Discovery Site, and so we recommend heading there with a flask of hot chocolate and a blanket. Sit back and take in the wonder above you.
Head out on a bike tour
Slow down and see the sites of Pembrokeshire from the saddle with an electric bike tour! Adding that oomph of electricity makes the hills a doddle, which still allowing you to feel the satisfaction of a day of cycling. Hidden Routes are based in Newport, Pembrokeshire and offer half day or full day tours. They even provide snacks!
Listen to the dawn chorus
Pembrokeshire at sunrise (and sunset) is Pembrokeshire at its most stunning, in our opinion! In busy times, first light is when you’ll have the popular spots to yourself. Take the time to listen out for the unique dawn chorus here. On an early morning beach walk, you may hear the oystercatchers as their footprints make the first marks in the sand. Or take a walk around Cathedral Close to hear the whole host of birds waking up for another day in this tiny city.
Be a keeper
Fancy getting up close and personal with some animals? Folly Farm offers the opportunity to do exactly that with one of their animal feeding experiences. Choose from sloths, lions, penguins, giraffes and even rhinos, and then spend the day visiting the rest of the farm. What an incredible way to spend a day!
Try some Pembrokeshire Street Food
The street food scene in Pembrokeshire has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, and so there’s no better time to give it a try! In and around St Davids we have Bagels & Brews, Seaside Shack Burgers and Mr Funk’s Sri Lankan Curry. For the ultimate street food experience, coincide your trip with the Pembrokeshire Street Food Festival in Tenby from the 16th – 18th June 2023!
Hit the waves
Whitesands is the perfect surfing beach for beginners and more experienced surfers alike. Take the opportunity to learn with Ma Simes Surf School, based in St Davids. They’ll show you the ropes and you’re guaranteed to have a laugh if nothing else! If you fall in love with the sport and want to upgrade your kit, Unsunghero on St Davids High Street is a great place to kit yourself out.
Try some of the freshest seafood
When you’re this close to the sea, trying some local seafood is a must! Mussels, oysters, lobsters and crabs are available all over the county, as well as catches of the day like bass and mackerel. If you’re staying in St Davids, we recommend heading to Câr Y Môr just down the road, or Mrs Will The Fish in Solva. Get ready to eat platters for picnics or uncooked ingredients to up your barbecue game.
Meet the puffins on Skomer
Puffin season on Skomer begins around April, and usually lasts until July. During this time, a boat trip to land on Skomer is extra special as you can watch these cheeky little birds waddle about. This island is spectacular apart from the puffins too, with Manx Shearwaters, Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, Seals, Razorbills, Gannets and more!
Book a 2023 landing on Skomer here.
Walk among the bluebells
Pembrokeshire is renowned for its stunning coast, but there’s plenty to be seen inland too. Prendergast Woods nestles at the bottom of the harbour village of Solva, and in spring it puts on a show. From around mid-April to late May (earlier if spring is mild) the woods are carpeted with bluebells as far as the eye can see. It’s truly magnificent, and smells even better! The perfect break from sun and sea.
Eat Local Delights
When in Wales, eat as the Welsh do, right? Definitely! There are lots of classic Welsh dishes to be sampled in this part of the world. There’s seaweed harvested from Pembrokeshire waters from Cår Y Môr, Glamorgan sausages in most of the local pubs, Welsh Rarebit and cawl at cafes. Welshcakes in particular are one of the best snacks around, and if you can’t stop craving them even when you get home, try your hand at making them with this recipe.
Be the only person on a secret beach
Even at the busiest times of the year, there’s plenty of space for everyone in Pembrokeshire, and you will usually find a spot to be completely on your own. The best place for this is a ‘secret beach’ – usually one that can only be reached by foot. Two of our favourites are Porth Melgan and Caerbwdi. The best way to discover these and more is to set off on the coast path with a flask and a sandwich and see what coves you come across on the way.
Enter a Sand castle Competition
Yes, you read that right! The annual August Sand Castle Competition on Whitesands Beach is an event many people look forward to every year. It’s fun for all the family, with the big kids among us getting just as excited as the little ones! There’s no limit to the ingenuity and creativity that goes into the sand castles, and so even if you turn up and watch, it’s an experience to remember.
Get a taste for bugs
Sustainability is at the forefront of our minds as we head into 2023, which will no doubt lead to lots of new experiences! One of the best is at Grub Kitchen just outside St Davids. Part of Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, this restaurant serves a wonderful mix of innovative dishes with familiar ingredients, and, of course, bugs! Bugs are a fantastically sustainable source of protein, as well as being delicious and a real talking point. Enjoy!
Take a guided walk
In 2023, why not take a guided walk and learn something new? Some walking tours will be chocka with information about the local history and culture, others about the natural world, and some more specific! This bat walking tour of St Davids will help you to get to know more about these funny little creatures that are all around but still a bit of a mystery.