The UK has a magnificent collection of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that are excellent choices for a staycation. The Pembrokeshire Coast, in the south west corner of Wales is no exception, but with such a broad area to explore, it can be difficult to choose which town or village to stay in. I recommend Saundersfoot.
Situated just a ten minute drive from the popular seaside resort of Tenby, the village of Saundersfoot is a quiet, relaxing location. Forget the bustle of busy high streets, and no chance of finding a parking space. Forget the continuous stream of boats sailing to and from Caldey Island. Saundersfoot is the perfect spot for the social recluse like Dan and me.
Part of Saundersfoot’s appeal is certainly the blue-flag beach. It’s split almost in two, with the south a dog-friendly haven, and the north a more typical seaside atmosphere. It seems to stretch for miles, allowing visitors to set up camp while maintaining ‘social distancing’ from each other.
We’re not beach people, so didn’t spend long on the sands, but had we a couple of kids in tow, I could imagine us spending a whole day dipping our toes in the water. It was here that Ted got his first taste of the sea. We led our pup into the waters and for a moment, he was fine, but the sea can be brutal – the poor bugger got hit by a wave. He hasn’t stepped foot in the sea since!
Once you’re tired of the beach, a walk up towards the harbour makes for some fantastic views. We passed a few families crabbing in designated spots on the harbour decking, and enjoyed looking over at the hundreds of fish clearly schooling in the almost transparent waters. Luckily, there were a few boats still docked so we were really able to get a holiday vibe from the place.
Hours frolicking on the beach would probably make you quite hungry, and Saundersfoot definitely does not lack in the catering department! There are an array of pubs which are dog-friendly and offer tasty meals. One we visited and enjoyed was the Royal Oak Inn. Saundersfoot also sports some fancier restaurants, like Beachside Barbecue, and HARBWR Bar and Kitchen.
Related: HARBWR Bar and Kitchen Review
What we particularly enjoyed was an al-fresco dinner at Marina Fish, the local chippy. It’s obviously a popular spot as every time we walked past there was a queue out the door. After a long day of travelling, the cod was sublime.
What would a seaside village be without its shops? Of course Saundersfoot has a collection of independent shops, selling gifts, sweets, and antiques. There’s even a dog groomer, should your pup fall foul to a particularly deep bit of mud.
Truly, the best part about Saundersfoot is the accessibility. There is a range of accommodation available to visitors. From here, you can easily reach any Pembrokeshire attraction, whether it’s the city of St David’s, Carew Castle, or Fishguard.
If you don’t make it this year, why not make it next?