In picturesque South West Wales, Pembrokeshire is well known for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (the only national park in the UK to be focused primarily along dramatic coastline). Rich with rare flora and fauna as well as historic sites, there are traditional seaside towns, beautiful beaches and plenty of myth and legend as well. There are lots of things to do on a spa break in Pembrokeshire - here are a few favourites...
Top tourist attractions in Pembrokeshire
This rugged peninsular is very much a place for exploring the great outdoors, biking, hiking, water sports and visiting historic castles and fortresses are all on the agenda.
Visit Merlin's Birthplace
Otherwise known as Carmarthen, according to legend, this is the location where King Arthur's legendary Celtic magician, Merlin, was born. On the River Towy, close to an eponymous bay, Carmarthen celebrates the wizard in all manner of ways, with statues and references. You can also see the ruins of Carmarthen castle while you're here.
Explore Pembroke Castle
This imposing Norman coastal fortress has a reputation that spans the ages thanks to starring roles in films including Me Before You. Built in 1090 by the Earl of Pembroke, it is privately owned and has the most magnificent views. You can visit to explore exhibits including stories of the Earls, a medieval banquet, and tales of a battle between Cromwell's troops and the Pembroke Royalists. It's not the only castle in the region either - there's also Manorbier Castle and Carew Castle, to name but a few.
Visit the home of Dylan Thomas
A boat house in the small market town of Laugharne is where Dylan Thomas retreated with his wife in 1938 until his death. A place with 400 residents and a penchant for cockles, its 18th century architectural heritage is well preserved. Thomas's boat house above the bay would have been an enchanting place to write, and today it's been turned into a museum in his honour.
Go to the beach
You can't have a coastline without plenty of beaches to visit and Pembrokeshire doesn't disappoint. From the popular Saundersfoot to the isolated Barafundle Bay, surfing at Manorbier Beach to the beautiful Freshwater West Beach and many, many more, there are plenty of places to pitch up with a bucket and spade.
Head to Tenby
The famous town of Tenby inside ancient city walls is a riot of colour and heritage. The artist, Augustus John, is said to have called it "so restful, so colourful, and so unspoiled" thanks to the pastel-coloured houses by the harbour. It has two sandy beaches, and plenty of pretty streets to explore.
Go on an adventure
For those seeking a little more adrenaline along the coast, there's plenty of activity and adventure to keep you entertained. Walking isn't your pace? Why not try coasteering, rock climbing and sea kayaking during your spa break?
Go to Caldey Island
Did you imagine you could include island hopping in your Pembrokeshire spa break? Caldey Island is off the coast from Tenby and has a recorded 1500 year history. Considered an important holy isle in Wales, it remains home to 40-ish Trappist monks who make good including cheese, chocolate and perfumes that are all available to buy. You can also go on a boat trip to see the indigenous wildlife including a colony of cormorants.
Hike in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Established in 1952 and spanning 629 square kilometres, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is an enchanting landscape that's aching to be explored. Naturally, no one expects you to hike across the whole thing on your spa break, but a walk along the coast path is definitely in order. All that fresh air, along with sightings of rare sea birds like puffins or razor-billed auks - that's the kind of thing that feeds the soul.