Famous for its stunning cathedral nestled at the bottom of a valley, there are great opportunities for some photography in and around the cathedral grounds. Further West leads you down to St. Justinian’s Lifeboat Station with great views across to Ramsey Island, whilst heading further North will take you past Whitesands Bay and up towards Abereiddi Bay. There’s a superb area here called ‘The Blue Lagoon’, which is where sea water has filled in a disused slate quarry producing a distinct turquoise hut to the water. There are many more bays and coves you’ll go through as you travel North East on your approach to Fishguard, and the white tower at Strumble Lighthouse will greet you. The lighthouse itself sits on a rocky outcrop and provides a good main feature to any landscape image. The lower town at Fishguard, further East, can provide good photographic interest with old boats in the harbour along with historic terrace houses. From here now until the border at Cardigan, you’ll catch a distinct difference in terrain in a short space of time. There’s golden sands in the estuary at Newport and unique cliff rock formations and folds, especially at Ceibwr Bay. It’s well worth a visit here in early Spring when the cliffs turn to a soft pink as the Thrift blossoms and carpets the area. There’s also a quite special rock feature called the ‘Witches Cauldron’, which is where a cave’s roof has collapsed. In bad weather the sea here appears to boil within it, lending it, its name. Although he main draw in Pembrokeshire is the coastline, there’s plenty to see and shoot inland. The heritage of Britain is built around its castles, and in Pembrokeshire it’s no exception. There are no less than eleven castles in the small county of Pembrokeshire; the main ones being at Carew, Llawhaden, Pembroke and Manorbier. Carew, similar to Pembroke, is situated on the shore of its millpond, making fantastic photographic opportunities with reflection shots always producing interesting and compelling images. Both castles also allow pretty much three hundred and sixty degrees of viewing, so finding the right angle in any light should be made easier. Manorbier and Llawhaden are more situated amongst vegetation with Manorbier nestled near the sea revealing great views to the beach. But it’s not only castles that give you a great feeling of the past. Pembrokeshire is, of course, renowned for its Preseli Mountains, which is the source of the famous ‘Bluestones’ used at Stonehenge. But the county’s magical landscape also has a great quantity of stone circles, standing stones and burial chambers. The most famous of which are Pentre Ifan, Coetan Arthur and Carreg Smason. All dating back from the Megalithic period; these now eroded graves stand proud amongst the landscape and in fantastic locations, making  a great additional feature to any image.

Blue Lagoon at Abbereiddy, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Blue Lagoon at Abbereiddy, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Considering the county is mostly built around or near to water, there aren’t many consistently good locations for waterfall shoots apart from, that is, Cenarth Falls. Some could argue it’s only just inside Pembrokeshire thanks to its location sitting on the border with neighbouring Ceredigionshire, but this still doesn’t detract from the fact you can come away with some great images. A very unique mill and stonework bridge is located next to the falls helping to aid composition and include its surroundings.

 In to the Witches Cauldron

 In to the Witches Cauldron

Pembrokeshire also has a very diverse collection of flora and fauna, differing geographically across the county. Throughout the year there’s always something to spot, with birds being especially abundant during any month. As mentioned, Puffins are the star of the show in summertime, along with many of the migrating birds that come to feast on your shores. It’s also a mecca for wading birds in Autumn and over Winter; with Geese and Wildfowl flocking down from the Arctic. Bird of Prey highlights in the county are Short Eared Owls, which nest on Skomer and wintering Hen Harriers, which inhabit a few sites around the County at Dowrog Common and Plumstone Mountain; the latter location being a fantastic place to view the mass gathering of hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of Starlings across the sky. Another big draw is the Chough, a rarer corvid species, which resided along the coastal cliffs at Stack Rocks and around the Deer Park near Marloes. They can be distinguished by their blood red beans and legs. Woodland birds also make the passage over come Spring-time and at Canaston and Bosherston Woods you’ll pretty much tick everything off in your spotters guide book. Wilst we don’t have many large land mammals in Pembrokeshire (Red Deer reside on Ramsey Island), we do have our fair share of sea life all year round. During the latter part of Summer through to Autumn is the pupping season for the Grey Seals that breed here and a stroll around the Deer Park, along the Marloes Peninsular or most of the Atlantic coastline will, nine times out of ten, reveal some fantastic views of pups hauled up on the rocky coves, with mums not too far away. Porpoise are a very common sight around the West coast on a calm day and to the north around Strumble Head. Even Basking Sharks are sighted in summer months. So, as you can see from the associated images gathered here, you really are spoilt for choice along the Pembrokeshire coast with the amount of diversity on offer, and it’s a great place to visit at any time of year. Be it golden beaches, varied wildlife, offshore islands or rugged cliffs; it really has it all for anyone to experience and enjoy.

The main draw to Skomer in the summer months is the charismatic Puffin

The main draw to Skomer in the summer months is the charismatic Puffin

Getting there

By road

As with most places in Britain, road networks have improved a lot over the years so follow the M4 west, and then the A roads to St. Clears. Here, you choose to head to the North of the county, or the South. Either way you’re in for a real treat and, if possible, pick the back roads to discover some off-the-beaten-track views.

By train

There are great train links throughout Wales and to reach Pembrokeshire, you’ll need to change at Swansea. Then, as is the case with the roads, due to the Milford Haven waterway that divides the county horizontally, there’s fork at Whitland to head to the North or South of the county.

By air

The downside (or upside) to Pembrokeshire and most of West Wales, for that matter, is that the nearest main airport is Cardiff; some two hours East by car. There is a small airport at Haverfordwest, but it’s mainly for recreational use. However, chartered planes do land there from time to time.

By bus

Many companies run tours to Pembrokeshire along with the usual National Express, which tends to reach the main county towns. Once you’re in the county, there are great bus links including the Puffin Shuttle, which takes you right to the hard to reach places, including most of the beaches, so this makes for a great cheap way to see the seaside.

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