Things to do and Dining Out
There are numerous dining options in the area, ranging from simple pub meals to restaurants offering fine cuisine but here are some of our favourites:
PORTHGAIN - the delightful fishing village situated on the Pembrokeshire National Coast Path within 1.5 miles of Yr Hafan:
- The Sloop Inn - An atmospheric old pub, which has been at the heart of the local community since 1743. Open all day, all year round and serving a wide range of food from simple bar meals to mouth-watering specials and good breakfasts. Always worth a visit.
- The Shed Seafood Bistro - Award-winning, local family- run bistro, specialising in their own caught fish and shellfish. AA Wales Seafood Restaurant of the Year 2006/7.
ST DAVIDS – the UK’s smallest City, some six miles to the west of Yr Hafan
- St Davids Cross Hotel - a comfortable and friendly pub and restaurant which offers fresh produce, a 2-minute walk from St. Davids Cathedral and is dog friendly.
- St Davids Kitchen - this restaurant serves great tasting homemade food served in a friendly and relaxed environment, sourced from some of the best local farmers, Producers and fishermen.
- The Meadow Cafe is a trendy café in the high Street with outdoor seating offering simple, wholesome food and great coffee.
SOLVA – a picturesque harbour village enjoying a stunning scenic tidal foreshore, fabulous walks through 2 melt-water valleys (created during the last ice age) and working woollen mill all within 15 minutes by car from Yr Hafan:
- The Cambrian - Has a relaxed lounge bar and stylish main dining room serving dishes such as Pembrokeshire Wagyu beef burger and a selection of fresh fish caught daily by Solva fishermen.
- Mamgu - Trendy Cafe specialising in homemade welsh cakes with a twist
- No 35 Main Street - nestled just off the coastal path on the quay, No 35 is a licensed cafe by day and restaurant by night offering an array of local seafood, famed for their home made beer battered fish or hollumi cheese & chips, Solva lobster salads and dressed Solva crab.
- Ffwrn (meaning oven) on the main square- a busy open bakery, they also do snacks and lunches but more importantly, the bread is to die for..
- Peppers not only serves great food but is also a hub for the arts featuring diverse live music with a reputation for exciting jazz, as well as classical, contemporary and folk music.
- JT@3 is run by chef Daniel Jones and Loss Thomas who both bring years of experience from Michelin star restaurants in London and UK wide. They recently won the award for ‘Most Appetising Restaurant’ at the 2018 Welsh Enterprise Awards, for their bespoke menu, hospitality and use of local produce.
As Britain’s only Coastal National Park, Pembrokeshire is beautiful even in the winter.
You can join the coast path by walking up our lane, turn left onto the road and then take the 1st bridle path on your left – just follow the path down the valley to the coastal road (turn right up the hill to the pretty village of Trefin with a pub and coffee shop) or left and follow the stream down to the small rocky cove. It is a picturesque inlet beside the ruin of a grain mill, tucked between two high cliffs and is sheltered from the prevailing winds which make it ideal for a picnic and watching the kayakers.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path
To make the best of your holiday and the Pembrokeshire coastline take time to enjoy the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Just a short way from the cottage join the Coastal Path at Trefin and walk west towards Porthgain, Traethllyfyn beach and Abereiddi or north towards Abermawr and Abercastle.
The dramatic coastal scenery, flower and wildlife are what make Pembrokeshire one of the world’s best holiday destinations - National Geographic voted Pembrokeshire the 2nd best coastal destination in the world!. It is lovely at all times of year - the explosion of colour with the spring flowers is beautiful!
Porthgain Village and harbour
The nearest village to the cottage is Porthgain - once a prosperous nineteenth century industrial harbour which exported slate from local quarries at Porthgain and Abereiddi. Now the village is popular for water sport enthusiasts - boaters, rowers, fishermen and canoeists - their activities overlooked by relics of the industrial past. It is on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, served by the Strumble Shuttle (the local bus service) and offers the visitor galleries and a gift shop.
The Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy near Croesgoch is a short walk from the coast path. At 25 m deep, it is the remains of a small slate quarry, now flooded with sea water with a glorious blue/green hue in colour, derived from the mineral content of the quarry. It is the venue for the Red Bull diving competition and popular for Coasteering!
Beaches at Abereiddi, Traethllyfyn, Abermawr & Aberbach
- north of the cottage are Abermawr and Aberbach beaches – enjoy the walk down through the valley to Abermawr and see the amazing carpet of bluebells in the spring.
- to the south of Porthgain on the coast path you will reach the metal steps down onto Traethllyfyn beach – a wide sandy expanse (avoid high tide) great for swimming, walking the dog, picnics and games of frisbee!
Whitesands Beach - a short drive will take you to the Blue Flag beach at Whitesands – popular with families and surfers alike. The café serves breakfast and evening meals in the summer season or a takeaway to sit on the beach to watch the spectacular sunsets.
Newgale is another blue flag beach famous for its two mile stretch of gloriously golden sand. Newgale faces west and is therefore open to winds from the Atlantic making it popular with surfers, windsurfers, kite surfers, kayakers and anglers, as well as beach-goers.
For more information visit http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com
15 minutes from Yr Hafan, spend a few hours exploring the thriving ancient village city. Its charming array of local shops, galleries, bars and restaurants are arranged around the magnificent St Davids Cathedral and the atmospheric Bishop's Palace ruins. You can book a thrilling boat trip out to the internationally important bird islands. RSPB Ramsey Island just 1 km offshore has impressive sea cliffs teeming with seabirds and the coastal waters around are frequented by seals, dolphins and passing whales.
Fishguard comprises of the old harbour of Lower Town which is a particularly picturesque village with its cluster of quayside cottages and cafe. The main town of Fishguard is perched on the cliff top.
- Fishguard Farmers Market is held in the Fishguard Town Hall every Saturday and a weekly market every Thursday. There are delicious local produce and crafts on offer and the market is well worth a visit.
- Upstairs in the Town Hall the gallery contains the remarkable Last Invasion Tapestry. Made in 1997 to commemorate the bicentenary of the 1797 invasion by the French - the last time the British mainland was invaded! This amazing piece of work was created by local needle workers and tells the story in the style of that told by the famous Bayeux Tapestry.
- Fishguard hosts events year-round including the popular annual Fishguard International Music Festival, a ten-day extravaganza that attracts artists from across the globe and also AberJazz, a well-attended jazz and blues festival.
Dinas Head and Newport Village
A little further up the coast is the popular pretty village of Newport which has a number of great cafes, restaurants and independent shops. Visit the wide Blue Flag sandy beach at Newport or take your boat down to launch at the Parrog Sailing Club.
On the way back from Newport, stop off at Dinas Head and the the wonderful little cove at Cwm yr Eglwys with the ruined remains of the church destroyed by the great storm of 1859. The circular walk around the headland finishing at The Old Sailors at Pwllgwaelod (a rustic pub on the beach dating back from 1593) is one of our all time favourites.
Artists are drawn to Pembrokeshire for the quality of the light made by the combination of landscape and sea. There are numerous local galleries ranging from St Davids' Oriel y Parc - both local Tourist Information Centre and 'state of the art' gallery housing both visiting and resident (Graham Sutherland) exhibitions - to small individual local artists' galleries with a great variety of art on offer. Visit the John Knapp-Fisher Gallery in Croesgoch (5 minutes from Yr Hafan) or Workshop Wales gallery just to the west of Fishguard on the A487.
There are two historic woollen mills locally which are well worth a visit:
- Melin Tregwynt is a delightful white washed traditional wool mill located in a remote wooded valley on the Pembrokeshire coast 13 minutes by car from Yr Hafan. It sells clothing, accessories and bags, blankets, throws and cushions – all made in their own unique fabrics, together with other carefully chosen Welsh gifts, clothes and accessories. The mill shop and trendy coffee shop are open 7 days a week, for lovely reasonably priced light lunches, locally baked sponge cakes, barabrith and welsh cakes and good coffee! Tregwynt is in the Pembrokeshire National Park and there are spectacular beaches, cliffs and coastal footpaths (great circular walks) all within five minutes easy walk from the Mill.
- Solva Woollen mill - in the hamlet of Middle Mill, just a mile up the valley from Solva village - is the oldest working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire which has been producing beautiful traditional fabrics since 1907. The mill supplies bespoke floor rugs to the Price of Wales for his Welsh home. The Cafe serves good coffe and cake.
Great Gardens of West Wales - visit: www.greatgardensofwestwales.com
There are several fabulous gardens and plant collections in West Wales, all within easy reach of Yr Hafan. These are some of our favorite local gardens which continue to inspire us whilst our garden is still a work in progress...!:
- Dyffryn Fermant Garden - the lovely Christina Shand, from a wilderness in 1966 has created 6 acres of Atlantic Coastal garden to explore and can be found some 20 minutes from Yr Hafan. It has been highly recommended by Monty Don, Gardeners World and Noel Kingsley.
- Perennial Gardens and Cafe - just up the road from Yr Hafan, the cream teas, homemade cake and tranquil setting is lovely. One of the owners, Gill, runs various events and workshops from these small gardens including willow basket and garden structures and free advice is always available from the friendly gardeners.
- Hilton Court Gardens - housed in an old Victorian courtyard and surrounded with stunning gardens, Hilton Court is the ideal destination for some retail therapy, sample great food or simply somewhere to relax
- Picton Castle & Gardens - see walled gardens, amazing vintage trees and plant collections from around the world. We especially love the willow structures and board walk through the Gunneras...
Pottery Studio - a couple of minutes from Yr Hafan is Jennifer Halls pottery where you can see her at work and browse around her lovely shop. She uses very traditional making techniques to create stunning contemporary slipware. Visit: www.jenniferhall-earthenware.co.uk
- St Bride's Bay Water Taxi for Walkers - Solva Sailboats operates a water taxi which will take you to your chosen destination from where you can walk back along the stunning Pembrokeshire Coastal Path to Solva. Possible destinations include Porth Clais, Porthmynawydd, St Justinians, Nolton Haven and Little Haven (weather dependent). Phone 01437 720972
- Coastal 'Shuttle' Buses – you can join and leave the buses at will during the summer months (reduced service out of season)
Explore the Preseli hills - start with a walk at Pontfaen in the Gwaun Valley or nearby Pengelli woodlands, where the ancient oak woodlands are beautiful any time of the year but even more so when the leaves turn in Autumn.
Boat Trips and Offshore Islands - the Pembrokeshire coast is Britain's only coastal National Park and is a treasure-trove of birds and flowers, fish and marine mammals. Boats from St Justinians will take you round Ramsey Island and out to sea or you can land and spend the day wandering this amazing, rugged Island - highly recommended.
Pembrokeshire is a centre for water based activities of all sorts and home of the sport of 'Coasteering'. It is also a magnet for surfers and windsurfers, sailors, canoeists, paddle-boarders, and rowers.
Golf Courses - there are golf courses to suit all levels of skill – Haverfordwest, Priskilly and St. Davids City Golf Club (the latter being one of the most dramatic small courses overlooking the lovely Whitesands beach) are all within easy reach from Yr Hafan.
Horse Riding- At the back of St Bride’s Bay, Nolton Riding Stable at Nolton Haven, is a riding school offering rides through the surf on the lovely beach at Druidston Haven.
Bike rides - there are several places in St Davids to hire bikes including helmets and permits. Yr Hafan is close to part of the West Wales Route 4 cycle trail between St Davids and Fishguard enjoying beautiful views across the rolling Welsh countryside and the coast.