You know the drill. One hundred unread emails in your inbox, a presentation due on Friday and a weekend packed with engagements you’re already trying to wangle your way out of in favour of a bit of a rest. Mindfulness is something we should all aspire to, but it’s tricky to be ‘in the moment’ with so many distractions to contend with. What you need is a genuine escape, and the tranquil surrounds of West Wales fit the bill perfectly.
With speedy road and rail links from London and beyond (London to Pembrokeshire takes five-and-a half hours on the train, four-and-a-half by car), it’s an easily accessible getaway from the stresses of day-to-day life. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to find in this beautiful rural retreat…
Blissful sea breezes
A bracing seaside stroll can cure all manner of ills, and when it comes to windy cliff-top walking, West Wales takes some beating. The entire coastline is visually stunning, but the most stirring stretch is surely the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a meandering 186-mile route through towering headlands, picturesque fishing villages and hidden coves. You can’t really go wrong with any of the routes along the way, but the circular coast and dune walk around Freshwater West is a particular highlight. If you’re wondering why it looks familiar, it’s where Dobby’s death scene was filmed for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. RIP, sweet elf.
Get back to nature
As well as being eye-wateringly beautiful, the Welsh coastline is teeming with wildlife. Top of your must-visit list should be Cardigan Bay, home to the UK’s largest pod of bottlenose dolphins – and you’ll be able to see them up close on one of the regular boat trips run by the local wildlife trust. Want a more hands-on experience? Head to Carmarthenshire and the riding centre at Marros Farm, where you’ll be able to saddle up a trusty steed and gallop across the seven-mile stretch of beach at Pendine Sands.
Myths and Legends
Feed your mind with a dose of culture, courtesy of a visit to the Dylan Thomas Boathouse in the Carmarthenshire village of Laugharne. The poet spent the last four years of his life working in the writing shed perched atop this seaside outpost, which now serves as a mini-museum. Similarly steeped in history is Manorbier Castle, a Norman stronghold overlooking the Pembrokeshire coast, where you can channel your inner Lannister. Even further off the beaten track is St Govan’s Chapel, a tiny hermit’s cell built into a cliff wall near Bosherston. The perfect spot for some me-time.
Win a two-night stay in the Welsh countryside
Known as the ‘Garden of Wales’, tranquil Carmarthenshire offers a genuine escape from the daily grind. The word ‘breathtaking’ is bandied around far too much nowadays, but the coastline in this part of the world really will leave you gasping. With bracing walks, horse riding, expansive beaches, tiny hamlets and cultural sites to take in, you can bring some wellness back into your life.
We’re giving one reader and a friend the chance to enjoy some well-earned relaxation, with a two-night stay at Mansion House Llansteffan Hotel. Perched high on the hillside in five acres of land, the hotel will serve you bed and breakfast, plus a three-course dinner (to the value of £30 per person per night), and the chance to truly unwind.
Find out more at visitwales.com #FindYourEpic
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