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Summer is not cancelled, we are just doing things differently this year by staying local and discovering the pleasures that home has to offer. Back when outside was open and we were free to roam, summer was temperamental and now that we are finally allowed to step outside of our homes, albeit cautiously, summer is showing bits of herself; it’s an unending tease really. Typically, most of us would hop on the plane to Europe or across the pond to the Americas and other far flung places, but not so much this time… maybe for a while yet. Still, home is not without her pleasures if we are open to being home-ish.
As I have often stated when summer gets going in the UK, its something special and its hard to tear yourself away from it; we get the Indian summer the weather man often teases us with, if only for two weeks of the season. We’ll take it. Personally, I am not a huge fan of heat, preferring the in-between and shoulder seasons for a hop and skip out of town for a few days. Besides, the hassle of customs and schleping from place to place, maybe being home for a while may not be such a bad thing and since most of us will be grounded for sometime to come, a road trip across the UK is just what the doctor (Corona) ordered and it is the next best option to for the summer holidays. I spent a long weekend with my sister up in Pembrokeshire last summer, a time to remember; farm, two dogs, chickens and afterwards a pony! Lush fields of daffodils in close proximity to sandy beaches. Did I say heaven! We were suspended in the bliss of the Welsh country. Pembrokeshire is one of those towns that also doubles as a great base whilst you explore much of what the local area has to offer, and explore we did. The charming seaside town of Fishguard, Newport Beach, and the incredible paradise that is Mwnt Beach (pronounced Munt). There is a particular peace on the road, its imaginative and a moment to be suspended in utter bliss whilst anticipating the unknown. We attended a festival in the local church of Fishguard where we were treated to a bit of history: a stone laid in memory of the brave Jemima Nicholas who took on French invaders during the 1797 battle of Fishguard, also known as the last invasion of Britain. One of the stained windows in the church was donated by a church in Charleston, in the Carolinas… incredible right? The town of Fishguard itself is brimming with charm and warmth and character; hospitality is ingrained in who they are, a defining quality if you will; this is one of the first towns to host refugee families, and one of the stained glasses in the church was donated by a family who’d suffered a loss and found solace upon moving to Fishguard because of the hospitality shown to them by the town’s folk.
From Fishguard we drove to the beach in Newport, doggies and nephew in tow… and you’d be forgiven to think you are lost somewhere in the Mediterranean for a time. No cold, no grey, just blue skies and the clearest of waters for days. Kids flying kites, dogs running wild and my feet happy as a clam as I dug them into the sand to test my resolve against the crashing waves.
On Sunday morning, we woke up early, packed some food and drove down to Cardigan Bay for Mwnt Beach, a cove on an especially charming coastal path, one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been to, that you will ever visit. It’ll take your breath away, quite simply put. The beach is flanked by cliffs, making for the perfect summer get away. We climbed up the hill to see the World’s end and played in waters so clear and clean.
As we stayed with family, there are no recommendations for hotels and restaurants but there is a highlight below of places to hit up should you want to visit.
Good to know: the car park in Mwnt is about a fiver for the duration and you can pass it on to other drivers as you leave which is what happened to us and it is also a part of the National Trust.
The summer holidays so not have to be on hold, here’s to all the road trips and places we will get to discover this summer.
North & South
Head North and South, all roads lead to the beach front. Saundersfoot where you’ll find nice fish and chips and a reptile centre; if that is your thing
East & West
Harry Potter fans unite. Freshwater East is where Dobby dies and Freshwater West is featured too in Harry Potter movies.
Castles & Farms
Pembroke Castle, Carew Castle and Millipond. Folly Farm is essential to winning you all the points with kids (and adults alike).
Newport Beach. Mwnt Beach are absolutely gorgeous. Also Laugherne is the birth place of Dylan Thomas but also a pretty town.
NEW PRINTS ON THE EDTD