Pembrokeshire makes for an idyllic staycation the whole family will love

On a staycation there are two things you can be pretty sure of – unpredictable weather and traffic jams. But we had a plan to combat the latter.

With a car full of luggage, mother-in-law and offspring, we set off at midnight for the six-hour journey to Pembrokeshire on the south-west coast of Wales.

And after driving overnight we arrived just in time to see the sun rise over our beautiful holiday – no wonder this place is called Joyful House.

Walking through the courtyard, it opened into a huge, dreamy kitchen and immediately exceeded my expectations: like all the best holiday homes, the images do not do it justice.

Even the teenagers labelled it ‘decent’ (emphatic praise when you’re 16 and 18).

Every room was packed with thoughtful luxuries, including board games (Scrabble’s a must for us), fresh eggs from the local farm and even locally-sourced toiletries.

Coffee poured, it was love at first sight. We were blown away by the quality of the house and the rugged scenery of the UK’s only coastal national park.

We had also lucked out with clear blue skies, so headed to our nearest town, St David’s, to stock up on supplies and start exploring.

Surprisingly this tiny city (it’s the smallest in the UK: really only the size of a village) managed to tick all of the boxes for our demanding tribe.

A cultural trip to the cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace ruins next to it won approval from the teens, and the dog, who was allowed into the grounds on his lead.

There were lots of pubs and cafes to choose from; we ended up in the pretty garden of the Cross Hotel – perfect for sitting outside and eating their fresh crab sandwiches and scones.

A local beer for Dad, G&T for Nan and space for everyone (who needed to) to run around – and all generations were content.

Parking as always in small towns is limited; there is a tiny car park in front of the cathedral which is free. From here, you can book family-friendly boat trips from £10pp to Ramsey Island to spot seals, harbour porpoise and sea birds.

We also wanted a traditional, put-up-the-windbreaks day at the beach, so headed to Whitesands where teen-friendly surfing lessons take place.

We lasted three hours of sand-in-face bathing but the kids loved the chance to build sandcastles and run in the sea.

There was plenty of parking (£5 a day), and the food hut serves up locally made ice-cream which was divine. In this area, you can take your pick of castles; we headed to Cilgerran as there is a wildlife centre there.

You can choose a walking route that leads you direct to the castle ruins. We didn’t see any animals on our trek apart from swans and cygnets, but the walk alone was worth it.

Definitely take a picnic if doing this with kids – there are wooden huts along the way for bird spotting, which they loved, and work as pit-stops on the two-mile route.

The car park is £3, coins only, and the Glass House Cafe has a great ­reputation. Beware, they stop serving hot food at 2.30pm (which we discovered at 3pm and kicked ourselves for not checking). Still, they were serving ice-creams and drinks, including a cheeky glass of wine for me and Nan.

We holiday in Cornwall often and had no idea this area of Wales was just as magical. Talking of magical: if only we’d conjured up a traffic-free drive home…

Book the holiday

BOOK IT: Quality Cottages has seven-night self-catering stays at Joyful House in Pembrokeshire from £844, for up to nine sharing. Up to two dogs welcome at a small extra charge.

TOP TIP: A car is an absolute must for getting around this beautiful coastline but don’t rely on your iPhone/satnav for directions as the signal is poor. We bought a local map – it’s more fun. Also stock up on pound coins for the car parks.

MORE INFO: For more information head to

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Madrid guide for Liverpool and Spurs fans heading to the Champions League final

    Hola amigos del fútbol! Magnificent Madrid.

  • Sibenik Croatia guide including best things to see and do on a short break

    Sibenik is tipped to be one.

  • Albufeira Portugal guide including best things to do and top holiday deals

    Albufeira is one of those destinations.

  • Best things to see in Los Angeles and where to find cheap holidays

    Los Angeles is one of the.

  • Plans for huge new zip line attractions in the UK revealed and they sound so fun

    Thrill-seekers may want to start planning.

  • Universal Studios shows riders what to expect on new Hagrid-themed rollercoaster

    Harry Potter fans can get ready.

  • Two words frequent flyer claims has ALWAYS got her upgraded to First Class

    Choose a broken seat, sit next.

  • New Zealand’s visa rules are changing for Brits – here’s what you need to know

    Brits heading to New Zealand for.

  • Calling all gin fans – a bottomless G&T brunch has just launched in the UK

    There’s nothing quite like finding a.

  • Best UK summer festivals which are perfect for families – including a giant picnic and Busted live

    There are some fantastic festivals taking.

  • Lake Garda breaks are going from £139pp for summer including your hotel and flights

    Lake Garda is one of those.

  • Inside the giant inflatable unicorn park complete with a themed obstacle course

    Unicorn fans may want to update.

  • Best cities in Croatia for short breaks that need to be on your radar

    Croatia has fast become a holiday.

  • Dream job will pay you up to £50k to travel the world living on luxury yachts

    If travelling the world and living.

  • Top tips for finding cheap breaks to Spain for the Champions League Final

    Having four Premier League teams in.

  • Iconic bay from Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach closed to tourists until 2021

    The beach which served as the.

  • 10 beautiful castles in Europe that look like something out of a fairytale

    Castles can make for pretty fascinating.

  • All Points East 2019: Full festival line up, schedule and how to get tickets to Victoria Park show

    If you’re yet to book a.

  • Cheap train tickets – how to get hidden and cheap fares and split tickets

    The start of the year saw.

  • Holiday car hire firms to AVOID ahead of summer holidays

    Holidaymakers have been warned to avoid.

  • Dreamy Athens and Santorini breaks are going from £279pp including flights

    Greece is full of breathtaking destinations,.

  • flash sale includes Ibiza summer breaks from £229pp

    If Ibiza has long been on.

  • Top things to see and do in Jordan including Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea

    I can’t think of any other historic.

  • Best UK campsites for a brilliant cheap staycation in 2019

    Camping holidays are no longer about.

  • Best things to do in Majorca including top days out for families

    Majorca has everything you could want.

  • How to find cheap holidays in Orlando and visit the theme parks on a budget

    Orlando holidays can make a pretty.

  • Mirror Online: The intelligent tabloid. #madeuthink

    mirrorLoad mobile navigation News UK News.

  • Where London Marathon 2019 runners can get free food and drink after the race

    Completing the London Marathon is no.

  • Brits use nearly half of their annual leave on events they feel forced to attend

    We Brits are renowned for being.

  • Inside the Four Seasons’ private jet that’s basically a luxury hotel in the sky

    The Four Seasons hotel group has.

  • Best things to do in Fuerteventura whether you’re after lazy days or adventures

    Fuerteventura has everything you could want.

  • Universal Studios is opening an adorable new Secret Life of Pets ride

    Universal Studios Hollywood is opening a.