Top 6 Pembrokeshire Watersports to try in 2019

We’re the UK’s only coastal National Park – do you know what that means?  It means we’ve got 186 glorious miles of beaches, coves, islands, inlets and caves to explore!  And how better to do it than to jump right into one of the many Pembrokeshire watersports adventures on offer.  With adventure companies popping up all over this pretty peninsula, there’s an aquatic activity for everyone.  We dare you to pop on a wetsuit and give one of these 6 fabulous Pembrokeshire watersports a go.

 

coasteering

1. coasteering

What: 

We had to start our list of Pembrokeshire watersports with this fledgeling activity as it originated right here on the shores of the St Davids Peninsula.  Coasteering is a thrill-seeking combination of adventure swimming, cliff scrambling and jumping or diving – a wetsuit is a must as this sport is not for those who want to keep their hair dry!

Where:

There are many spots around Pembrokeshire where coasteering takes place, none as popular as the steep and stunning cliffs, rocks and man-made plateaus around Abereiddy (also known as The Blue Lagoon).

Who:

These companies all offer packages for families, children, school groups, stag and hen groups and corporate days out.

abereiddy weekend break

2. Diving

What:

This heady recreation is a little more involved than a dive-bomb from a high rock.  Diving is one of the most crowd-drawing Pembrokeshire watersports, as it’s attracted the attention of Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, who’ve held championships here twice over the last few years.  If you’re not keen on taking on the professionals, there’s calmer options such as scuba diving shallow waters, or diving to visit the plethora of shipwrecks dotted along North Pembrokeshire’s coastline.

Where:

From the rugged Dale peninsula right up to Abereiddy – that’s nearly 30 miles worth of fascinating coastline to explore!

Who:

wild swimming

3. Wild Swimming

What:

Anyone who saw the recent re-run of Dr Alice Robert’s show on BBC4 on Wild Swimming will know that this is not a new recreation.  It is, however, making a comeback due to its incredible health benefits such as better circulation, a boost to the immune system and a sure-fire way to have a great night’s sleep.   It may not seem like a thrill-seeker’s activity, but braving the bracingly cold waters of Pembrokeshire in just your bathers takes guts!

Where:

When the tide is high, the beautiful long harbour at Solva is the perfect place to take a sheltered dip.  Whitesands beach is a lovely place to swim if you don’t mind walking in – sometimes it’s best to just jump in though! The Blue Lagoon is a sunken mine that has succumbed to the sea – less rough than open water if that’s not your thing.

Who:

In Solva, a group of locals have jumped right into this most daring of Pembrokeshire waterports. The Bluetits are a group of skin swimmers who love the thrill of cold water on their skin and the feeling of community that swimming together gives them.  The group is informal, fun, and welcomes anyone who wants to give cold water swimming a try when visiting Pembrokeshire.  Visit The Bluetits Facebook page to find out details of the next swim.  Go for it!

4. Surfing

What:

The St Davids Peninsula is Wales’ version of Newquay in Cornwall.  Rugged coastline teamed with the wild Irish sea makes for some fantastic surf conditions, and there’s no end of companies that will hire boards, wetsuits and give lessons.  It’s not unusual to see campervans topped with boards in almost every beach car park in Pembrokeshire from May to September.  People from across the world make a pilgrimage to partake in this most popular of Pembrokeshire watersports.

Where:

The 2-mile open stretch of beach backed by pebble bank at Newgale is paradise for surfers.  Equally as popular, but a little more saturated with families in the summer is Whitesands Beach, a mere mile from St Davids city centre.

Who:

5. Kayaking

What:

With such a vast amount of sea to explore, those who choose to kayak the coastline around St Davids will be spoilt for choice.  This stunning way of moving across the water can also provide the best views and opportunities to explore the coast in far more depth than from a surfboard or a boat.  Sea kayaking is one of our favourite Pembrokeshire watersports – won’t you give it a try this year?

Where:

With so many inlets, caves and islands to explore, the sea’s your limit!  Keep an eye out for some playful dolphins, too.

One of the most challenging stretches to kayak around these parts are The Bitches, a set of treacherous rocks between Ramsey Island and the mainland.  We think we’ll leave that to the whitewater kayaking professionals, though!

Check out the St Davids Sea & Surf Kayak Festival, which runs from the 18th – 20th May 2019.  Book your St Davids Escapes Cottage now in time for the festival fun!

Who:

6 pembrokeshire watersports

6. Boat Trips

What:

OK, so technically this isn’t a watersport, but it would have been a travesty to leave this off our list of aquatic activities.  The islands surrounding St Davids Head – namely Ramsey, Skockholm and Skomer – as well as their smaller siblings, offer many opportunities for birdwatching, dolphin spotting and occasionally, the sight of a passing whale.  This is a fantastic way to see this stunning coastline from a completely different angle and is a great way to pass an afternoon with the family.

Where:

All of the main boat trips leave from St Justinians, home of the St Davids Lifeboat Station and 2 miles north-west of St Davids.

Who:

So there you have it.  Whether your a wetsuit-clad kayaker or a bathing suit wild swimmer, there’s a type of Pembrokeshire watersports to suit everyone.  So there’s no excuse not to get your kit off and get in there!

Did you know that this year our chosen charity is the RNLI?  Keep an eye out for a new blog post with more details on their fantastic work, and how staying with St Davids Escapes supports our local lifeboat station!

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